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The Future of Work: Rethinking Document Management Systems (DMS)

Document Management Systems are being replaced by best of breed cloud content management platforms. The result for the organization is greater information security, governance and collaboration while reducing costs.

Modern cloud content management (CCM) platforms, like Box, when combined with 3rd party capabilities like mxHero for intelligent email capture, encompass all Document Management System (DMS) functionality (blue) plus add additional capabilities (green)

As organizations move towards highly collaborative, secure and integrated cloud-enabled eco-systems, legacy solutions including DMS platforms such as iManage and others will be at peril as organizations aim to expand their digital business objectives. High cost, legacy solutions will be disrupted in favor of more nimble platform solutions for content management. While the legacy solutions provide organizations with content management capabilities including storage, version controls and intra-organizational access, there are tradeoffs that no longer fuel the digital journeys being undertaken by the most innovative enterprises. While DMS are often viewed as sub-sets to the broader Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions in the market, the innovation pace is simply not sufficient to warrant retention of these high-cost legacy solutions. As early as the 1980’s, vendors began pushing solutions to the market to fuel a transformation from paper-based documents to electronic versions with multi-file format support. As these solutions evolved, they became the defacto hub for storing digitized content. In today’s technology-powered landscape, simply storing digital assets is no longer sufficient for the future of work. Enterprises who undertake a digital transformation towards powerful API-enabled content platforms combined with edge technology integrations will be the victorious enterprises in the 21st Century.

To remain competitive and to gain market share, companies are now rethinking their digital strategies to drive a new and more robust view of the value of ‘content’ within their organizations. Key themes for innovation powering these new digital customer journeys include:

  • Increasing Regulatory, Security and Compliance mandates (e.g. HIPAA, GDRP, etc.)

  • Increasing inter (external) and intra (internal) organizational collaboration objectives

  • Content Retention Policies and risk mitigation

  • Workflow enablement

  • Improved Search

  • API connectivity to surface content where and when it’s needed

  • Anytime, anywhere, any device access to critical content aligned to broad-based mobile strategies

  • Millennial workforce expectations

  • Platform centric content strategies displacing on-premise storage, shared drives and legacy containers

  • Cost reductions and offsetting ROI expectations

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning innovations

With these new innovation mandates, companies are highly aware that to remain competitive, now is the time to begin investing in the new generation of cloud and hybrid-based platforms to fuel the concept of the digital business.

The good news is we are now seeing maturation in the market around these very innovations. Companies such as Redwood City, California’s Box ( have significant tailwind in the enterprise as they not only offer Cloud Content Management solutions to fuel a centralized cloud-based content management strategy, but they provide the very platforms that will broaden the innovation, collaboration, security and API-fueled connectivity to the boundary information technology stack including marketing automation, social platforms, e-signature solutions, single sign on and identity management platforms, CRM and ERP backend systems. With a centralized content management strategy powered by a ‘platform’ approach to content all while optimizing content search capabilities, security and collaboration — organizations improve their competitive posture and fuel innovation at scale.

With technology solutions such as Box available in the market to fuel this next wave of innovation, making the pivot is no small undertaking for the enterprise. Important considerations apply to companies embarking on these digital journeys. The first potential consideration is to perform the evaluations needed to secure the right platform to fuel this transition. Once a centralized platform approach is understood and committed to, organizations will undergo a potentially lengthy process to stand those platforms up, to handle content migrations from legacy environments into the new cloud based platforms, and to undertake a set of transition activities necessary to ensure that ALL content is contained within the go-forward enterprise content management platform.

Once this transition has been made including the necessary change management components, cost-takeout’s through displacement of the legacy platforms can commence in order to fuel Return on Investment (ROI) targets. In parallel, the next steps on the digital journey can then commence including integration setups from the new centralized content management platform to the boundary stack of IT solutions. This is where the power of the API-fueled cloud content and collaboration platforms such as Box will start to drive significant value as content is surfaced at the right time, within the right applications to fuel workflow automation.

On the path to a more mature ‘digital enterprise’, companies can then undertake broader innovations leveraging the platform aspects of these solutions to drive deeper integrations, mobile-first access to content, higher security, content retention policy implementations, increased collaboration, machine learning and artificial intelligence. These very platforms will fuel new innovations. An even greater benefit outside of the organic and powerful capabilities of these new platforms will be the boundary eco-system that fuels further innovation. Solutions such as mxHero’s Mail2Cloud ( extend the power of these platforms for the enterprise by auto-capturing inflight bi-directional email based content and attachments. When the source of enterprise digital content is derived from multiple sources including migrations from legacy platforms, digital inputs from networked devices (e.g. MFP scanners, cameras, etc.), and email correspondence, the aggregation of this valuable content (regardless of its source) onto a single enterprise connected platform will provide the organizations of tomorrow with a ‘single pane of glass’ with which to drive broad-based content management strategies.

Legacy ECM and DMS solutions served their purpose. However, to achieve a true digital business objective — organizations will need a new breed of technology solutions such as Box and mxHero to fuel their path to the future. The good news is: these technologies are here and the time is now!


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