While figures from AIIM’s State of the ECM Industry 2010 report indicate that the management of content across enterprises is still, to a large extent, chaotic and disorganized, they also show that there has been a considerable improvement on last year, and that many enterprises have finally seen the writing on the repository walls.

In the last year alone, for example, the research found that 12% of organizations have completed the deployment of an enterprise–wide enterprise content management system, a further 28% are still in the process of doing so and 15% are integrating projects across different sections of the enterprise.

However, the flip side of that is 21% have still to start an ECM project -- although the report doesn’t say whether that means they haven’t started, or they haven’t started to plan -- while 17% are only implementing a system for the first time. Let’s look at some of the key areas.

ECM Drivers

The massive increase in the amount of information arriving in enterprises appears to be the main driver for companies to deploy ECMs. While many have put it off until now, 60% of companies cite “content chaos” as being the principal driver in deploying an ECM.

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That is not to say that the principal driver cited in last year’s report of achieving cost savings has disappeared, but is has dropped back into fifth place as a driver behind improved efficiency, optimizing business processes, compliance and risk mitigation.

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And even in the extreme regulatory environment enterprises are working in now, improving efficiency and optimizing business processes are bigger drivers than compliance by a factor of 2:1 as opposed to three years ago when they were equal.

Document management

Not surprisingly, if “content chaos” is the principal theme running through this year’s report, then document management issues are also going to be a major problem too.

Taking document management and records management together, the highest current priorities for ECM activity are implementing electronic records management and managing emails as records, followed by the integration of multiple repositories.

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This is not altogether surprising given that 41% are not confident that their electronic information (excluding emails) is accurate, accessible and trustworthy.

In addition, 56% of those surveyed said that there were not confident that the emails documenting staff commitments and obligations are recorded, complete and retrievable.

SaaS Document Management

Moving from document management on-premise to document management as a SaaS is also an emerging trend with the numbers of enterprises taking this route in the next 18 months set to double from 6% to 12%.

Records management as SaaS is also set to rise from 2% to 6% over the same period, and email management from 4% to 6%.


On the SharePoint front things are looking good, even if they could be better. Over half of those surveyed had either deployed SharePoint 2007 or were currently implementing it, breaking down into 32% and 21% respectively. This is a proportionate increase of 26% on last year’s user base.

Another interesting figure is that in terms of a SharePoint strategy, while 46% recognized the need for a formal plan for using SharePoint with other ECM investments, they don't have one, and 12% don’t even know where to start. This is particularly telling considering:

  • 11% cite SharePoint as their sole ECM
  • 20% say they are integrating it with existing systems,
  • 23% say it is working in parallel to their other systems
  • 5% say it is competition with their other systems.

Social Media

Regarding social media and enterprise 2.0, 29% of respondents view internal E2.0 as imperative or significant to their organization’s business goals, citing knowledge sharing, team collaboration and project coordination as the main drivers.

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Open Source

Open source solutions are being used by 6% of organizations for ECM. This is set for growth, with a further 9% planning to adopt open source for ECM, WCM (Web Content Management) or portals within the next 2 years.

ECM Still Going Strong

The report concludes by saying that while there is still work to be done, the ECM industry entering a new decade is actually in quite a healthy state despite its many failings.

In particular, it notes, good information governance is now accepted as essential to good business, and ECMs are key in this respect, bringing the added advantages of collaboration, knowledge sharing, better business processes and ultimately cost savings.

The report can be downloaded from the AIIM website after you register for free.