Keep your business tidy
Stuck somewhere between networking and data integration, content management has to be one of the least sexy areas of IT.
Small businesses generally haven’t had to trouble themselves with it, relying on the folder/file system inherent in the Microsoft Windows environment and perhaps a Linux server or two. Large corporations, however, require more advanced systems capable of handling, securing and searching millions of files and documents.
But with the incredible growth in data and increasing legislative demand for its storage, even a small business can find itself overwhelmed. An obvious upgrade path is to use Microsoft Sharepoint, a collaborative content management package that enjoys widespread favour and readily competes with major enterprise packages like EMC’s Documentum and IBM’s FileNet.
There are cheaper options. Alfresco is an open source content management platform that is busily building itself a reputation as the ‘Ryanair’ of the content management sector. Being free and (comparatively) easy to set up and with a capacity of 40 MB, it is a good way for businesses to test the benefits of moving to a more advanced content management platform.
‘Alfresco’s [cost of ownership] is a tenth that of many alternatives,’ declares Alfresco’s chief technical officer John Newton. The software is particularly popular with medium-sized businesses in France, Spain and fast-growing economies such as China and India.
Upgrading to a content management platform is a major infrastructure decision, but it is also inevitable at some point in the life cycle of a growing business.
Testing the water with a free product like Alfresco is a relatively safe way of deciding whether such a system is appropriate.