NOVEMBER 10, 2015 BY RANDALL STEVENS

LOCAL VS CLOUD

I’ll claim that when you’re talking about content management “local vs. cloud” is a limited argument. In a broad sense, it’s analogous to saying “now that we have cars you don’t need to walk”. If you’re in the business of selling cars (or cloud services) that argument might make sense. For most, of course, reality dictates that you need to manage content across “all” environments. Sometimes the cloud makes sense but, for the foreseeable future, you will also have content on your local network. Even the most popular cloud storage solutions like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, you name it, cache a copy of the content locally.

Valid arguments for storing content in the cloud include 1) a need for external teams to have access to content, 2) consolidating content in one location, 3) making content accessible via the Internet, 4) “outsourcing” IT/storage.

For most people, the design of local versus cloud is largely a storage decision. If you have teams needing to access that content in the field, there are indeed good arguments for cloud storage, but if most of the content is accessed at the desktop the cloud doesn’t solve many of the real content management problems those users encounter daily.

Another way to think about the challenge is to think in terms of Storage and Retrieval. I’ll make another claim… with regards to content management, storage isn’t the real problem, it’s largely a retrieval problem and going to the cloud does nothing to solve it. The graphic above was used in a class we presented at RTC Europe in Budapest a couple of weeks ago. It illustrates the challenge not only of your own content being stored locally and in the cloud but of trying to manage cloud-based content from 3rd parties that are being downloaded and stored in your local environment.

At AVAIL  we’re working on some unique solutions to the retrieval problem. AVAIL is attacking content retrieval in new ways and tackling the reality of managing content in a “blended” environment. I’ve blogged about how important we think context is to accessing content and how AVAIL is addressing some of those problems.