What Do Records and Information Managers Need to Know About Open Source ECM?

Jan 18

Today I had the pleasure of presenting a 45 minute session to the Columbia, South Carolina chapter of ARMA, a leading authority on for education of information management issues. The topic? What do records and information managers need to know about open source ECM?

The content builds on a presentation and whitepaper I developed with Nuxeo last year, adding some background on the origins of open source software, links to references and resources to learn more about common open source licensing options, and expanding the content to cover the essential topic of open standards.

I was particularly intrigued by the rationale behind the interest in the topic. Records and information managers are often strapped for budget and resources. Open source is finally being considered as a legitimate option when assessing vendor products. Getting started without a big upfront financial investment for pilots or application prototyping projects is an attractive path for companies. ECM platforms such as those offered by Nuxeo let organizations get their project started quickly, without blowing the whole early stage budget on license fees from the usual suspects.

Cost, however, cannot be the sole motivation for adopting an open source information management product. Finding a good fit for technical and business requirements, as well as a caution not to skimp on budget for support, implementation services, training and customizations were my recommendations. Don’t make the mistake of simply equating ‘open source’ with ‘free’.

But for companies that want to test and deploy at their own pace, buy support when they need it, and have an interest in customizing and configuring content management apps to meet their unique business needs, open source can be a high ROI, low risk investment in their company’s digital future.

Thanks again to the ARMA chapter in Columbia for the invitation!