Not long ago, in a galaxy like this one – in fact, very like this one – ECM emerged from the fortress of the private datacenter. And with that emergence rose a new hope. Organizations large and small can select the computing and storage environments that best serve their needs – without comprising their content security.

At Systemware, we know customers of all sizes have long wanted to move their content management applications to the cloud. But, despite the cloud’s flexibility, many have been hesitant to stray outside their domains, especially those in highly regulated industries. With stringent regulations from the CMS, SEC, FTC and more, keeping sensitive information safe is more critical than ever.

That’s why they’ve stuck with internal ECM deployments, where the information never leaves the safety of the company’s firewall – the “light side.” Yet for all their security, internal deployments don’t scale like the public cloud, nor do they make it easy to share information with outside partners and customers.

The Hybrid Cloud arises

When it comes to ECM security, the public cloud doesn’t have to be the “dark side.” Hybrid cloud deployments are on the rise for apps of all kinds. Hybrid environments can

  • secure critical applications and data within the company’s private cloud,
  • leverage the flexibility and scalability of the public cloud, and
  • simplify sharing of share less-sensitive content with other organizations.

When the enterprise needs to share content with external users, they often end up with a separate ECM application, a separate repository, separate access control lists. All of that is managed, well, separately. As an alternative, they can opt for a one-size-fits-all solution that severely limits how and where they allocate compute and storage resources.

Bridging the dark side and the light side

At Systemware, we believe every organization is different. That difference extends beyond the business model into the selection of cloud infrastructure and the types of content that needs to be shared (and with whom).

We also think customers should choose the computing and storage models that make the most sense for their content needs. They shouldn’t have to manage access to those resources with a zillion different apps. And they shouldn’t have to abandon their existing solution in a “big bang” approach, just because they don’t fit in with a vendor’s roadmap.

That’s why we architected Systemware’ Content Cloud from the ground up to leverage the hybrid cloud. Content Cloud creates an intelligent enterprise content network, allowing secure, interoperability, curation and management of all your content, wherever it may reside:

  • Network file shares or SharePoint repositories
  • Legacy, on-premise applications and databases
  • ECM applications on your own private cloud
  • A SaaS solution on the public cloud.

Of course, you might have a mixture of all these – that is where a hybrid cloud architecture allows you to create a cohesive architecture that enables your organization to work where their content lives.

Manage and access your content, wherever it lives

It’s important to determine the different types of content your organization is working with and then define the information sensitivity around that content. Different content may require different policies and security. Once you understand your requirements, you can

  • Leverage the public cloud for only the content you deem suitable, and
  • Use an on-premise or private cloud solution for more sensitive content that requires higher security or must reside in a known, fixed location.

A well-architected hybrid cloud lets you do both. It can provide flexible compute and storage resources for your whole content ecosystem, both public and private.

Then, too, as we move further into the cloud, organizations need to view information security through different lenses. Traditional models won’t cut it in a truly hybrid cloud environment. Remember that no solution, on-premise or in the cloud, is ever 100% secure if implemented incorrectly.  In a coming blog, we’ll highlight some new approaches to address info security in cloud implementations.

Finally, today’s organizations need to provide seamless, interoperability among existing content repositories, wherever they reside. Enabling your employees, partners and customers to collaborate on exactly the content each one needs – but within business processes you define. Above all, it must allow you to decide where to allocate your computing and storage resources – to leverage the power of the hybrid cloud.

ECM doesn’t have to be confined to a private datacenter anymore. With ECM like Systemware Content Cloud, you can bring light to the dark side – and start enjoying the benefits the hybrid cloud.