Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Long Tail Forces in Enterprise Content

In my previous post I introduced the idea of The Long Tail (LT) of Enterprise Content, in this post I'll discuss the tree LT forces in enterprise content.

- Democratize Production
- Democratize Distribution
- Connect Supply and Demand

Democratization of Content Production
The democratization of content production in organizations started with the release of word processing software for the PC. As the use of PCs as a productivity tool increased with deployments across the enterprise, employees began to do their own word processing tasks. Further advancement in the PC hardware and software industry: (1) inclusion of hard disks in PCs (2) networked computers (3) Windows OS (4) Computer Server significantly lowered the cost of producing and storing content which led to more content that ever been created.

Democratization of Content Distribution
With the release of Portal/Collaboration software such as SharePoint Portal Server and Plumtree, employees began to collaborate in ways they were not able to in the past. Granted, employees had been able to share content through e-mail or by putting them on file servers, the content on these file servers were however not indexed therefore finding anything was a nightmare. Portal/Collaboration software however democratized the distribution of content, employees can now share and collaborate on content in ways they are not been able to do before. For example with SharePoint Portal Server (SPS) any employee can create a document library ( a repository for content), invite others to collaborate on the content and the content in the document library is available to anyone using a web browser.

Connecting Supply and Demand
Another effect of Portal/Collaboration software was that is connected previously un-findable content to the demand for the content through the enterprise search solution that was a common component of the portal software. For example with SPS, employees could now search for content stored on either file servers, SPS Document libraries, Exchange Servers, Lotus Notes and several other repositories by simply entering a search term in SPS search UI. The search component of portal software helped to connect the supply of content with the demand for it.

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