How Big Data Is Changing Content Management

Virender Jeet

With new content sources springing up continuously, the definition of electronic content management (ECM) itself has changed. Employees and customers are leveraging smart devices to work and interact, as a result of which there have been paradigm shifts in strategies around content access, management, interaction, sync and share. Organizations large and small are grappling everyday with large volumes and velocities of content that has become a vital part of their assets and even liabilities (sheer volumes of content can become liabilities). ECM systems are strategic to the enterprise as a platform for automating content-driven business processes. There are dozens of them in every organization.

The priority today

With humungous amounts of data being generated, the ease with which one can navigate and find data is of utmost importance. Sometimes, the inability to manage mammoth amounts of content generated from different sources has seen some serious consequences, especially in the case of financial or government services related records.

The big challenge for organizations isn’t really the structured or the system generated content that is part and parcel of every big enterprise’s IT infrastructure (although scale and big data challenges are aplenty). With the evolution of ECM systems that can manage content from multiple sources there is no excuse for organizations not to have a suitable strategy in place when they deploy new systems. They should ensure that these new systems are able to sync and leverage existing assets to ensure that the content is managed appropriately.

Big data, mobility and cloud can help make content management easier

The growth of repositories, both on premise and in the cloud has led to expectations that users will be able to leverage content from multiple sources seamlessly. With indications that the world of cloud and in premise content management will converge, the gap between consumer content management and ECM is diminishing thus making content available to users anytime, anywhere and on any device. This enables users to easily coauthor documents, share them with business partners and customers, and synchronize their devices for content from multiple systems while adhering to enterprise security needs. ECM architects are combining taxonomies, federation, rules and analytics to leverage content and deliver context based content to enhance the efficacy of knowledge workers, teams and departments.

Improved web performance is an important component of the evolution of ECM software.

At the same time, integrated browser-based applications can simplify a users’ access to data within a document management database and enable quick, accurate results in an uninterrupted workflow; especially since on-premise applications are giving way to mobile applications.


Cloud computing has been the buzzword throughout 2014 & 2015 in most markets. In the ECM industry, however, cloud computing is becoming a reality. Using ECM in the cloud will be the new normal, especially as more small-to-medium sized businesses embrace the value of managing business data digitally. Cloud solutions present business of all sizes with tremendous opportunities for efficiency and cost savings. 


The sheer volume of business data managed is at an all-time high. Going forward, ECM software will present advanced solutions to aid the handling of Big Data through document management software. Companies will be equipped with tools to deconstruct and automatically analyze complex sets of data. Managing Big Data does not involve getting a bigger database, but rather implementing new methods to streamline voluminous data processing and analysis.


A leading analyst firm predicts that the amount of data stored in companies will increase by 800% by 2018. 80% of this would include unstructured data - email, document management, and social media content which is more difficult to categorize and manage. The big challenges for companies will be to collect, manage, store, search and archive this content. This is where ECM solutions can come in to address all these concerns.


Managing is the first step. Then comes the analyzing part. The Big Data phenomenon has created an advantageous scenario for those ECM providers who offer integrated analytics with their solution and thus answer the need created by the Big Data effect. An end-to-end ECM solution deployed across departments and verticals can be more cost-effective by being not only a content repository platform, but also an optimized decision-making solution based on advanced analytics. And this is why experts predict that ECM solutions are bound to shift to Business Intelligence (BI) hub solutions.


There are forecasts that the ECM market will be worth $12.32 bn by 2019, which represents a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.7% from 2014 to 2019, and Big Data is listed as one of the main drivers accountable for this growth. ECM will certainly benefit from Big Data as Big Data offers a chance to transform the ECM industry, thanks to Big Data analytics due to which further understanding and improvements of ECM solutions can be made possible. Basically, the interaction between Big Data and ECM can be termed as ‘Interdependent’. When Big Data is managed well and effectively analyzed, its analytics has the potential to be transformative. Big Data analytics provide organizations with the insights that help automate, optimize and smarten-up processes and applications by demystifying knowledge that was not available before.

In Conclusion

Last few years were an impressive years for technology, particularly for the ECM industry as business automation solutions have been enthusiastically accepted in the mainstream. As businesses adapt to new content sources, increase in web mobility, cloud adoption and Big Data management are likely trends that will progress and transform the ECM market as we know it.