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Enterprise Content Management Circa 2014: 6 Major Vendors Weigh In

Enterprise Content Management Circa 2014: 6 Vendors Weigh InFasten your seat belts and get ready for the ride, the ECM industry is going to be disrupted big time in 2014; in fact, the smartest vendors may even disrupt themselves.

The convergence of social, mobile, big data and cloud are giving birth to a third platform and every enterprise content management (ECM) / enterprise information management (EIM) / information management (IM) (pick your label) vendor, whether it’s two years old or 20, is going to have to build solutions specifically for this era.

What 2014 Looks Like for ECM

Taking on-premises solutions and lobbing them up to the Cloud, adding “like” and “follow” buttons and providing mobile functionality won’t cut it.

Sure, existing vendors will retain their presence in the enterprise for a while, a few more years or even longer, but their market share won’t grow much and eventually they will fade away.

A few other things worth noting:

  1. Application owners, rather than IT, may become the decision makers; consider that CMO’s will outspend CIOs on technology by the end of 2015. (Did you know that at Marriott the CIO reports to the CMO?) This may mean that vendors will have to shift their focus and pitches from “keeping the CEO out of jail,” to growing the top line.
  2. Big data thought leaders are beginning to mention ECM at big data conferences. At this point, they’re talking about storing ECM data in data hubs, data lakes and the like and analyzing it along with all the other data they can capture. To be clear, they’re not looking to get into the ECM business. What’s worth asking is if this will have any impact.
  3. Open source, in and of itself, doesn’t seem to be a game changer in this market. Buyers simply want solutions that work NOW. He who builds the best solutions wins. Period.
  4. Security will become an even bigger issue (courtesy of the NSA) in 2014 and the “Big” will be dropped from big data. By mid-2014 we’ll be talking about social, mobile, data, cloud and security.
  5. Expect acquisitions. Large enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) vendors will buy ECM/IM/EIM companies and, for some, it may prove a better exit strategy than going public.

6 Vendors Speak

But enough about what we have to say, here are the predictions of six major ECM vendors:

Rick Devenuti, President and Gautam Desai, Chief Marketing Officer, EMC IIG

The world of IT as we know it is quickly shifting from the client/server-based “Second Platform” days to the “Third Platform” era, driven by the onslaught of Big Data, Mobile, Social and Cloud technologies. We’re talking billions of users, millions of applications, on millions of mobile devices.

While this shift represents opportunity in terms of growth and innovation, it also brings new challenges and risk. Companies now not only have to manage huge amounts of data, but they also have to protect and optimize it, and make sure the right information is accessible to the right users at the right time. If they fail at this, the entire business is at risk. On the other hand, if it’s done right, it’s a game-changer.

So, how do you do it? And if you’re thinking about moving to the cloud, how do you make your journey successful? Transformation starts where work happens — at the intersection of Content, Process and Collaboration. But the real enabler lies in connecting information to work through the power of solutions.

For every new technology disrupting the workforce, there are just as many — if not more — 'next-generation' content management vendors adding to the confusion and noise. These vendors are focused on providing point products to help companies manage their front and back office processes. But they’re missing the bigger, more important piece of the puzzle: the need for third platform-enabled, enterprise-grade cloud solutions aimed at the Value Office."

Ken Burns, analyst relations manager, Hyland Software

Increased Demand for ECM Solutions That Support Process Agility: Both the Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM, 2013 and the Forrester WAVE: Enterprise Content Management, Q3 2013 acknowledged that large enterprises are increasingly seeking ECM platforms that can be deployed quickly to solve specific problem areas on an incremental basis. Users are looking to gain a greater return on investment by modifying and expanding their existing solutions quickly and easily to keep up with changes happening in their industries. That’s why the market is observing vendors with a smaller footprint competing in deals and beating larger vendors in the market.


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