Stéphane Croisier, open source visionary and Product Strategy Manager at Jahia, shared some interesting thoughts about The Rise of Personal Content Management (PCM): The Next Shadow IT? He explains that everyone knows about Personal File Management, the collection of documents either stored in your local hard drive or in a private directory available as part of a shared network drive. However, we are seeing the spontaneous rise of a new generation of “Cloud Content Management” with the fast growth of DropBox and similar offerings. When you combine these document-oriented applications with other note taking and web scrapping utilities and personal social decks, the result is “an explosion of personal productivity tools.” These Personal Content Management (PCM) and Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) tools are being downloaded and used by the millions. They include:
- Personal Storage and Backup on the Cloud
- Web-based groupware, email, mailing lists, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Social Bookmarking
- Page Ripping / Web Scraping
- Personal Note taking
- Personal Wikis
- Personal Blogs
- Feed Readers and Aggregators
- Personal Social Decks
- Instant Messaging
These tools are clearly not limited to personal usage or the sharing of personal data with family and friends – they are fast becoming an integral part of daily business life. They foster a bottom-up approach to knowledge management, as opposed to the traditional top-down approach.
The author then asks, are these tools “not rapidly becoming the next shadow IT? Are they a danger for your business organization? Should they simply be forbidden (knowing … [how hard it is] to forbid the use of an iPhone in your offices)?” He answers that these applications have already proved useful to business, and the ECM/CMS industry has no choice but “to deal with it.”
Croisier goes on to discuss several problems raised by PCM/PKM within the corporation including privacy concerns, lack of control over data, data portability and integration, legal issues re content reuse, and the ownership of personal data. He concludes:
“There are high risks that all these enterprise social networks fail if they do not first better manage ‘Individual Intelligence’ before trying to address the ‘Collective Intelligence’ one.”
So the question you should ask yourself is: “Will the next E2.0 initiative succeed without a proper PCM/PKM approach?” The answer is probably no.
The incentive for successful integration is that PCM/PKM-oriented productivity tools offer much greater added value to your employees than other costly knowledge systems. Therefore, PCM/PKM tools should be included in your next E2.0/Intranet 2.0 project, and PCM needs to be an important part of your Enterprise Information Portal.