Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Long Tail Of Enterprise Content

Organizations have applied the 80/20 rule in addressing the challenges posed by the vast amount of content and other digital assets created in the course of doing business. CIO's have generally focused their enterprise content management efforts on content considered to be highly valuable ("the hits") to the organization. A content's value was largely determined by one of the following factors; (1) an organizations need to mitigate risk; (2) expert opinions (3) regulations governing the organization's industry and (4) participation in business process automation applications.

The "modest sellers" of enterprise content, content deemed not so valuable, as defined by the organization, was largely left unmanaged; at best some organizations provided a file server where employees could store this content. In recent years however, organization have come to realize that the combined value of these modest sellers was equal to the value of the highly valued content. This is the Long Tail (LT) of enterprise content and managing the volume of content produced by employees is a huge, enterprise content management, challenge for organization.

Chris Anderson coined the term “The Long Tail” to describe how the internet has made possible a world in which the combined value of modest sellers (in the world of movies, books and music) equals the sales of the top hits. The long tail has been applied to other industries and I will explore its applicability to enterprise content and in defining an enterprise content management strategy.

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