Jim Murphy at AMR Research has posted a great summary of the state of the art for digital rights management technologies used in enterprises. As we've mentioned many times in our publications DRM has been taking off in the enterprise in recent years, fueled by corporate compliance concerns as well as by competitive issues. As Jim points out DRM is turning out to be a solution which, when implemented properly, simplifies access to crucial content in the collaborative environments that are so crucial to productivity in today's enterprises. Instead of having to muss with access to content at the database level, which can stifle collaboration and expose far too much content than may be advisable in many instances, DRM allows enterprises to allow the right content to be shared and forwarded by peers and partners with far less administrative overhead and far fewer concerns about exposing intellectual property improperly.
And where are publishers and aggregators in this mix? Still back in the "Old Aggregation" model for the most part, using database signins as "choke points" or trying to build workflow applications that are oftentimes far too expensive and slow in coming to meet the immediate collaboration needs of professionals. DRM can allow content to into the right contexts with fewer worries about who's using what and encourage value-add access through content relicensing at the point of greatest need. As pointed out by Jim many infrastructure companies have been absorbing the best-of-breed enterprise DRM providers, encouraging stable product support and beginning to whittle down a confusing field of suppliers down to a manageable list of front-runners. The time is right for publishers and aggregators to consider how best to integrate with enterprise DRM systems - and in doing so begin to consider how DRM can help them to leverage peer-to-peer content distribution in many venues.