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Untitled Document Recall the expression "content is king?"

You probably associate it with the dot com boom, where websites used dynamic content to differentiate themselves. Today, dynamic content is taken for granted -- we've moved on to expecting things like real-time interactivity and immediacy, repurposing to different client devices or media, the ability to mashup or synthesize different content or services from a multitude of sources, and so on.

But content is once again king -- for a different reason. Today there are at least a dozen laws on the books in the US alone for protecting the sanctity of corporate and customer data. It's become more critical than ever to track who gained access and used what version of which content, and when.
Consequently, managing content is no longer a competitive differentiator. For many organizations, it's a matter of survival.

And that's behind yesterday's announcement that IBM wants to buy FileNet. We wondered, what took them so long?

Content is King - Act Two

A glance at the ongoing double-digit growth of the storage industry should convince you of one fact: the world's appetite for data is fast outpacing whatever the technology price/performance curves are. So if you subscribe to the notion that at least 80% of corporate data is unstructured - that is, it sits outside databases - the content management folks should be having a field day.

Content management was rooted in the classic client/server document management or imaging tools that specific regulated sectors, like aerospace, healthcare, or pharmaceutical firms, relied on. But those markets peaked early because of their narrow appeal and high cost barriers. But the emergence of the web, and the need to keep websites current to draw traffic, content was king. That sparked a wave of web content management tools that grabbed attention and revenues form their more staid document counterparts.

Ironically, the unrelated events of 9/11 followed several months later by the demise of Enron reversed fortunes for the content folks. Content was still king, but for a different reason. Sure, web sites needed to stay current, but lots of cheap commodity tools kept vendor margins down. But in the wake of Enron, new corporate governance mandates, combined with a wave of customer privacy laws, once again made content king - but for different reasons. And, restyled into "enterprise" content management the document folks regained their groove.


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