When I first started in the information technology field 25 years ago I remember placing new computers on desks next to the typewriters while people looked nervously at this new box not sure how it would impact them and the world around them. Little by little the monitor and keyboard move to the center of the desk while the typewriter moved further and further away to eventual extinction.
As exciting new technology continues to be introduced it makes me wonder how it will merge with the existing technology we rely on today. Where does a basic function as core to businesses as content and document management go from here? Systems that were originally designed to replace file cabinets and offsite storage have done an amazing job of offering secure electronic storage and instant retrieval with full content searching and storage for email and voice communications to boot. How well it can adjust to the new wave of technology will determine if it will be able to evolve or go the way of the typewriter.
One of the innovations that can easily integrate is 3D printing. Content management is a natural fit to securely store, search and share conte
nt as that product can be produced anywhere and by anyone with the equipment and raw material to work with. Securing and keeping an audit trail of that information will be critical to maintaining the intellectual property which has become the company’s primary asset. Being able to share the data with printing facilities around the work in a secure manner and negotiate cost and reduce shipping expenses will separate the leaders from the pack as the technology moves to the mainstream of all industries.
Another area of opportunity is the continued expansion of data that systems and devices are tracking and how the system interacts with you. Currently when I come into work I start my day with my new emails and recent documents from the previous day. What we all want is a system that reads our minds like the perfect assistant and gives us what we need before we know we need it. How about putting contracts, correspondence and data from a customer I dealt with 6 months ago to the top of my list because a new acquisition was in the news this morning? Or letting the system use the data it gathers to make decisions and drive workflow. If my fitness tracker determines my temperature is high and my sleep patterns are off then let the workflow take over and inform me to take the day off and shift the workload accordingly.
Many of these concepts can seem intrusive and downright scary but who would have thought we would be using Facebook and Instagram to share our life with the world and preparing for self-driving cars just a few years ago?