Social Content Governance: Who Provides It? How should it be Provided?

The Enterprise Content Management (ECM) industry has gone through significant transformations over the course of the past decade.  A seminal event that got ECM on the mainstream map was the Enron debacle a few years ago, followed by Sarbanes Oxley, followed by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure changes that occurred in late 2008. My point is that a series of events increased the need for better information governance, and the logical suppliers were those that provided information management capabilities using their ECM technologies. 

It can be argued right now that information governance as a market might even be a larger addressable market than the ECM market over the next few years, largely because of increased regulation and significant exposure to organizations from mismanagement and poor governance of information. 

But I think there is a larger problem that needs to be solved by these information governance initiatives: the need for governance of the social content  is starting to be generated within organizations at a very rapid pace. Wikis, ad hoc collaborative content, microblogs, and blogs like these typically don’t have good governance policies enforced around them. Those suppliers that provide solutions to address this problem will find themselves in high demand. Those that don’t effectively position themselves for it will be at a great disadvantage due to the rapid growth of social business content. 

Coming up with effective solutions won’t be easy, however. If usability and governance aren’t completely balanced, enforcement will be nearly impossible to achieve. Given the popularity and proliferation of cloud-based models in social computing, it might be an ideal time for the ECM vendors to bring about information governance capabilities as a cloud service.  Furthermore, it will be imperative for the providers to embed the user experience of content governance in the authoring and collaboration applications.  Having records management as a separate UI might be good for a few, but the masses will need to have a default setting for the records management policy so that they don’t need to do much, and if they don’t agree with the default, they should be able to change it with a few clicks.  The benefit of a cloud based, UI-less approach is most likely to garner adoption for governance of social content. 

Here’s a topic for discussion:  Do you believe that cloud-based social content governance will be a viable alternative for your organization? Please weigh in with your comments. 

Explore posts in the same categories: Enterprise and Social Implications, Hoping for a Discussion, Trends and Predictions

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2 Comments on “Social Content Governance: Who Provides It? How should it be Provided?”

  1. Usman Sarwar Says:

    Dear Mr. Patel, how are you.
    Sir I had the pleasure of your company almost 2 years ago during your visit to Washington D.C. You gave me some extremely valuable advice regarding my career choices at that time. I will be extremely thankful to you if you can send me an email at , I have few questions about the DocuLabs enterprises.
    Thank you very much

  2. Jack Large Says:

    As a non-industry sometime-commentator, I’m not completely confident that I understand the intended definition of the terms “cloud-based governance” and “your organization” in this context. If the query is intended only for those in the information management industry, read no further. If, “my organization” countenances “citizen user” as a cloud-being (and if it doesn’t, perhaps it should) and if the cloud is not self-governing, I can’t think of any sense in which it would be governable, short of eliminating the means (infrastructure) by which the cloud is made possible. Into whose hands, for example, are any of us willing to entrust the degree of control that would fit into the usual definition of governance? Microsoft? National government? The UN? The Vatican? Homeland Security?

    A promising approach, if history lessons are helpful, is to do nothing that inhibits the rational development of the cloud, at the same time as encouraging through education and achievement of near-universal familiarity with the cloud paradigm. We’ve already seen how the inclusion of the content of pornography has radically altered perceptions of what is to be acceptable. The doctrinaire, the tradition-bound, the rigidly prescriptivist view of the need to limit access to entire genres of information, is under attack. For some, the attack is liberating and long overdue; for others, it means the end of (good and right) life as we know it. Let’s fully grasp the import and meaning of the cloud before calling it a government, lest it become more negatively taxing, and less positively transforming.

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