Microsoft Office 365, Apple's iCloud, Google Docs and the Implications for Enterprise Content Management

We've said it before:  "If you want to see the future of the enterprise information technology, look at what’s happening in personal technology." Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft's cloud-based office application service, made its global debut on Tuesday, July 27.  The cloud-based software places Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync (collaboration functionality) into the cloud, allowing office workers to access email and Microsoft Office documents through a Web browser without the administrative hassles of maintaining client applications on every PC or mobile device they use.   

Microsoft has been working furiously to complete this offering while watching its office suite market share being eroded by Google.  Particularly popular among students, Google Docs is being rapidly adopted by community colleges and universities as an inexpensive way for students and faculty to collaborate.  Google's recent announcement of the Chromebook optimized for Google's cloud offerings as well as Google's Honeycomb operating system (also known as Android 3.0) for a variety of manufacturers' tablet devices is putting additional pressure on Microsoft.  Add to that Apple's recent iCloud introduction and suddenly the stakes are raised in the race to the cloud for personal productivity applications. 

So, what does this all mean for enterprise content management?   First of all, many organizations will breathe a sigh of relief in moving Microsoft Office into the cloud.  Not only will there be a big release of the manpower and energy which has been required to maintain servers and client applications throughout the enterprise, but all of those Word documents and Excel spreadsheets which have been created to innovate solutions around legacy system limitations will finally be subject to audit trails and governance.  Infrastructure, platform, and security management will be consolidated to dedicated resources in the cloud taking the economies of shared services centers to the next level.  Mission critical enterprise content is certain to follow given the economics and scalability of the cloud as content explodes into the future stressing the capabilities and agility of internal systems.  

But mobile access will be the big accelerator of cloud computing adoption.  According to a report by Bloomberg West on June 30th, we have reached a tipping point  - smartphone sales for the first time have exceeded feature phone sales by 55% to 45%.  The Apple iPhone market share alone went from 10% to 17% in the last month!  - No doubt due to it’s availability on the Verizon infrastructure.  The workforce is becoming more mobile and requires instant access to important information whenever and wherever it is needed.  Smartphones and tablet devices provide that kind of capability and cloud computing is uniquely positioned to be able to meet the demand for both personal and business use.

Look for enterprise cloud offerings that provide real-time access to mission-critical business content to meet the demands of the new global economy and also link to related business content created by personal productivity applications that are on premises or moving into the cloud.

Until next time,

John Queen

Digital Designs is moving business beyond paper by providing secure real-time access to business content in the cloud.  For more information visit ddilink.com.