Taking Baby Steps or Giant Leaps?
For more years than I would like to count being in the software business, there has typically been a one dimensional approach to solving business problems with technology. Myriad solutions are available that solve a specific problem, such as search, records management or compliance, but they are typically narrowly focused and not adaptable outside the boundaries of the application. This leaves organizations in a continual state of flux trying to achieve incremental improvements to achieve specific business outcomes with multiple technologies. And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, in most instances a specific software solution is required to solve a specific challenge.
When discussing the management of unstructured content, the game is a bit different. In this scenario organizations should be looking beyond addressing a single business challenge. If you only want to improve your enterprise search, then it may be more appropriate to deploy a robust search solution. But if you want a more strategic approach that addresses the fundamental problem of capturing meaningful metadata then the approach is different. The extendability and flexibility of the solution should be a key component. With unstructured content, the basic problem has always been metadata. Either a lack of it, subjective, or inconsistent metadata has hampered the ability for organizations to re-use it to improve other applications. The ability to identify semantic metadata on the other hand, leads to the ability to re-use the metadata for diverse applications such as records management, compliance, or migration to name a few.
A good example is the US Air Force Medical Service, who has been a long-time client of ours. They have been unique in their use of our technologies. Initially deployed to improve search outcomes on their intranet portal, they continually surprise us in what they have done. They have expanded the use to include records management, identification and protection of privacy data, compliance, and migration. Who knows what they will think of next?
Anyway hope you get my point about flexibility and extendability of technologies.