It’s been a busy year in the information management space. With the year fast coming to a close we note a time of substantial change across the entire landscape which shows the increasing importance of social business, the lack-luster performance of the enterprise content management space and, like everywhere else, an increasingly speedy move to the cloud.

Market Consolidation

There have been some surprising moves in terms of consolidation as bigger vendors continue to buy the technologies they need to complete their portfolios rather than develop those technologies themselves, but the principal trend across the entire landscape is a blurring of the lines between the different elements that make up the information market space.

Within that market falls technologies like analytics, cloud computing and even enterprise content management as vendors adapt to a market that is becoming increasingly social.

All the technologies that help enterprises manage their data now fall into this space. Many applications that previously might have covered enterprise content management exclusively are now endowed with abilities normally associated with areas like, for example, customer experience management.

One contributor we engaged with during the year even went so far as to suggest that knowledge management is dead, eliciting a wave of responses from other readers, none of whom could seem to agree on it. But we'll see more of that later.

Information Management and Economy

Another notable issue over the course of the year was economic conditions. Earlier this year, Forrester predicted that investment in Enterprise CMS would bounce back after a lackluster year in 2011.

It will be a few weeks before official figures for 2012 come out, but anecdotal evidence suggests that investment was slower than anticipated and that the Enterprise CMS market did not achieve the levels of business hoped for.

This was, and is, nothing to do with the perceived usefulness of these applications, but rather the effects of a sluggish economy that makes large scale capital investments in IT projects difficult at the moment.

Information Management, Cloud Computing

That is not to say that enterprises don't need applications that can manage content. This year we have also seen the emergence of a solution to this problem: information and content management in the cloud.

Increasingly vendors are offering enterprises access to content management through the cloud. The advantages of this are many, and we took a look at them on many occasions over year, seeing it change even the way businesses are doing business. So what were the highlights this year?

There were many releases over the years and many turning points. Below are some of the points that we thought were key, but you may disagree. Let us know and we can revisit this again earlier in the New Year.

1. OpenText’s Social Analytics

In January, OpenText, which has been operating in the social business space for quite some time continued its push in this space with the release of Web and Social Analytics application v2.0.

This solution blurred the line between social business and customer experience management by adding capabilities that offered more information on enterprise clients than had been available before, and considerably quicker than was possible before.

2. Enterprise Content Migration

Also in January, Nitin Mehta, a content management consultant at HCL, looked at how Enterprise CMS is changing and in particular how significant migration technologies are in this space.

This is particularly true of a shifting Enterprise CMS vendor landscape, which has seen a huge move towards consolidation in the last few years.

The total to be spent on data migration was projected to be roughly US$ 8 billion in 2012 and considering that more than 80% of data is unstructured, the Enterprise CMS migration market looked set to blossom.

3. Alfresco v4

In February, after a lot of speculation, Afresco released Alfresco 4, which pushed this open content management platform into the mobile and social space, a move that was replicated by many other vendors across the information management landscape.

Todd Barr, CEO of Alfresco, in an interview before the launch told CMSWire that the planning on this had been extensive and was part of a concerted strategy to bring content management to where business users want it to be at the moment -- on the road and in the cloud.

4. Knowledge Management Is Dead

Author Roan Yong, an expert on intranets, posted one of the most read contributions of the year, creating considerably interest when he declared that knowledge management is dead, or at least that it would die over the course of 2012.