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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Enterprise Content Services
Author:
Greg Laugero&Alden Globe
ISBN:
0 201 73016 2
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
180pp
Price:
£22-99
Reviewer:
Christopher Hill
Subject:
management
Appeared in:
15-6
This book is written to challenge the view that 'Managers have a deeply held belief that technology is about automation and that automation replaces management'. In fact we need new ways of managing to get the most out of the technology - to let strategy drive technology.

Rather than simply throwing the latest search engine or document management system at the problem, take a step back and consider what the enterprise (business) actually requires.

Each department producing its own 'helpful' information as little islands of knowledge fails to provide useful returns on the effort because they are just reproducing the paper-based system.

Better to consider Use Cases (the book calls them lifecycles and storyboards). By focusing on the lifecycle for a key business entity (customers, products, staff and services) the discussion stays at business level rather than descending to department or technology level. Once the lifecycle is firmed up, then tasks can then be assigned to departments and technology - the dog is now wagging the tail.

First a common language must be agreed to enable to identify and later find content. Versions and editions of documents need to be handled consistently across a range of media. Entities need to be identified consistently across the company. Security of access is also required; who can edit, who can authorise, who can read.

The final section of the book considers the roles within this vast project; the champion, the decision maker, the solution designer. This section would be useful in understanding any larger project.

The book addresses the need for an overarching vision, an enterprise taxonomy and standards for navigation to avoid the messy collections of disconnected web sites that beset many large companies.

Whilst the book is aimed at large companies, the issues raised need to be faced at all levels of content management. Recommended.