Information is the lifeblood of knowledge, the flotsam of events and perspectives
created in every second of history. There is so much to capture and yet so little
time and so few resources to make sense of it all. Just as we get tantalisingly
close, the holy grail of true knowledge slips further over the horizon.
To capture this jetsam of time, to find some meaning and to predict the future is
an eternal struggle. We take our experience about the world and transform it
into a repository of knowledge that will sustain beyond our own lifetime. It is a
quest for recognition.
The pursuit of the perfect representation of knowledge is all-encompassing,
applicable at any time, multifaceted and understood by all. It is the yoke of our
endeavour that we aim for all these ideals.
In order to achieve clarity we must clear our minds of the clutter and pretence
of the everyday and balance our thoughts with the contributions of others to
direct and consider our machinations. There is a dichotomy: single-mindedness
must be carefully balanced with the creative vigour of the team.
This book aims to define the enterprise content management (ECM) approach
to developing the organisational repository of knowledge, and achieve clarity
in the midst of a multiplicity of global viewpoints. This book is not an
encyclopaedia on ECM, because to do so would be to write about every aspect
of information management: there are online tools that satisfy that need. I hope
to give the reader a strong sense of purpose about content in the enterprise:
how it affects and is affected by the organisation and its processes. This book
tries to be agnostic about products, solutions and technology.
This book could not have been completed without help from industry leaders in
ECM. I count among them Doug Coombs, who kindly wrote the foreword, and
AIIM, who gave me the opportunity to meet many customers and vendors over
the last 10 years. I also thank Matthew Flynn for his gentle yet insistent
encouragement, and the members of BCS’s north London branch: Dalim Basu,
Richard Tandoh and Jude Umeh. To all those who have inspired me on the way:
Pat Hannon, for his extraordinary gift for engineering, Mark Burnett, for his
inspiring methods using SouthBeach, Jonathan Barber, Mike Brakes,
Nick Carus, Carl Chilley, Ray Fielding, Lisa Gibbard and Ben Kahn, for
being sage mirrors, mentors and alternative thinkers and influencers
throughout my work.