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How ECM can help media and entertainment companies

Technology Writer

Enterprise content management (ECM) has emerged as an important source of data for media and entertainment companies and their IT departments, though in this industry and others, the employee-led adoption of cloud platforms like Box have thrown some IT departments for a loop. Cloud storage platforms like Box have proven to be particularly popular: Box has a customer base of 39 million people and 50,000 organizations, including many Fortune 500 companies.

In many ways, the rise of ECM has followed the adoption patterns of smartphones. In other words, cloud storage was sometimes embraced by rank-and-file employees before IT departments warmed to them. Such products are sometimes called "shadow IT," since employees often start using them for business purposes without IT approval. Overall, the cloud is on the way to becoming the primary data storage option for businesses. Gartner estimates that in 2015, 15 percent of businesses were provisioned with office capabilities from the cloud, either on the whole or in part. The market research firm expects that figure to grow to around 60 percent by 2020.

Advantages of ECM systems for entertainment companies

Years ago, the creation of movies and TV shows required a team to be assembled in one location, but thanks to cloud-based enterprise content management (ECM) systems, that's no longer the case. Instead, far-flung teams can collaborate using a variety of devices.

For instance, the short film "The Dam Keeper," which was nominated for an Academy Award for best short film in 2014, was created using Box, the cloud computing platform. Some 70 volunteers collaborated on the film, all working remotely via the platform. The Hollywood Reporter notes that cloud computing also helped shave $1 million off the production cost of Robert Zemeckis' film "The Walk," which recreated New York's Twin Towers using CGI. These types of cloud-based efforts leave a data trail, offering clues about how resources can more efficiently be allocated for future collaborations.

In addition, a robust ECM system can help media and entertainment properties monitor and capture feedback from social media and blogs to assess the popularity of various content and tailor recommendations to users. Netflix in particular has been a vocal proponent of using data to help decide what programming to host and what content to develop, as the New Yorker reported earlier this year.

Merging the cloud with ECM

These days, IT departments and workers don't have to choose between consumer-friendly cloud storage services and ECM.

For enterprises, these developments mean that all data stored in the cloud can easily be put to use without overtaxing the IT department or other company employees. It also means that employees don't have to give up their preferred consumer-focused cloud platforms. As Bob Larrivee, VP of market intelligence for the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), puts it, platforms like Box can "extend the enterprise in a hybrid fashion" and increase the capabilities of the information ecosystem in support of meeting business requirements.

"There is a level of flexibility through the use of these platforms allowing a more device-agnostic approach to capture and access content and a way to build upon the technology infrastructure," he said in a recent interview.

Mass adoption of the cloud coincided with a new appreciation for the possibilities of unstructured data for consumers and enterprises alike. For enterprises, it's ideal: Workers do not have to give up their preferred consumer-focused, cloud-based platforms to complete business tasks, and the business can collect an array of data for increased insights and better service.

Find out how you can capitalize on the connected consumer and the digital marketplace with solutions such as IBM Behavior-based Audience Insight for Media and Entertainment. View the solution video today.