Convergence is an overhyped term in the IT industry. Once upon a time, it was voice and data converging on the network. Today, it is processing, memory and storage converging in servers and the cloud.
Like everything in technology, a good idea moves up the stack of increasing complexity until it either evaporates into the obvious, or becomes the new paradigm.
Underlying convergence is virtualization; virtual servers, virtual storage, virtual networks and the very old idea of virtual memory.
For application software and ISVs, all of this virtualization and convergence is good news. It provides standardized environments that are easier to provision, and easier to scale. It also allows us to deliver the capabilities of our software in new ways, e.g., to mobile devices, or integrated into 3rd party solutions.
What will be next? At Litéra®, we want to make every document better. We want documents stored in the right place with the best tools to create, control and collaborate no matter where they’re stored. We’re excited about the beginnings of repository virtualization and the consequent document convergence we’re helping to create.
What do I mean by this? To me, the documents I am working on should be JBOD (just a bunch of documents). I want to see everything in the same virtual/converged view. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to care where documents are; it means the choice of where they are is virtualized, and not linked to their usage. Each document is stored in the most appropriate place with appropriate security and resilient safeguards. At the same time, each document is available with the best tools at each stage of its life without the need to copy and duplicate.
Splitting the storage and the workflow in this way opens up a host of possibilities to improve efficiency and retain control. It also reduces time spent on locating documents and moving them to the right place.
To put this into real life, imagine I am working on a large commercial contract with a deal room and several external parties who share information with me via email and a couple of public file sharing sites (Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, DropBox, etc.). I also have my own internal DMS, of course, and there is a large body of public information stored in Box for convenient access.
Currently, I have to remember where documents are. Are they in the DMS, or did I just have them in email? Maybe we shared them on Google? Even worse, when a document is in two places, determining the correct version can be tricky. This could all be fixed by mandating a single repository, but those days (if they ever existed) have passed.
The solution is to have a virtualization layer across all the repositories that allows access to every repository through a single view. This is one of the founding principles of Litéra Anywhere™, and is embodied in Litéra Ekta®. Join us on the journey to a simpler more integrated future.