Enterprise Content Management Is Growing
Due to the increasing need for companies to manage content at the enterprise level, the worldwide enterprise content management (ECM) software market is expected to grow more than 12 percent per year through 2010, from $2.6 billion in 2006 to more than $4.2 billion in 2010, according to "Enterprise Content Management Software, Worldwide, 2006-2011, Update," a new report from Gartner. In 2007 worldwide ECM revenue is projected to total $2.9 billion, a 12.8 percent increase from 2006.
The majority of the information a company has is unstructured data residing in word processing documents, presentations, rich media files, spreadsheets, and other file formats, according to the report. Companies must make this content available to workers, business partners, customers, and applications across the organization to automate business processes, increase efficiency, reduce costs and repetitiveness, make employees more effective, and gain competitive advantages.
"For many organizations, unstructured content is fundamentally out of control," says Tom Eid, a research vice president at Gartner and author of the report. "Employees are creating all types of content for internal and external use with delivery through both formal and informal channels (such as wikis and blogs). While some of this business-specific content is now being managed through insurance claims processing, loan origination, case management and Web content management, the vast majority of this content is not being managed as an enterprise asset."
Eid says many factors will shape the ECM market over the next several years. Vendors and the individual technology markets from which they come will continue to consolidate. The quality, performance and ease of use of software products will improve. ECM offerings will split into two tiers: broad, platform-based solutions will tackle heavy-duty chores, such as focusing on process-centric and mission-critical documents, such as compliance efforts, while streamlined basic content services (BCS) offerings will appeal to companies that need only entry-level functions, such as document security and library services. "In many instances, it is appropriate to have BCS and ECM technologies being used together," Eid says. "BCS will increase the adoption of ECM technologies. As more content is created, more will need to be managed. As the content becomes more valued, it will become more of a corporate asset that is managed in a more comprehensive manner through ECM offerings."
The growth of ECM will go hand-in-hand with the expansion in search technology, which will experience double-digit growth in 2007, surpassing $728 million--a 15 percent increase from 2006's $633 million--according to a recent Gartner report, Eid says. "Search is becoming an enabling technology and really almost a service to other job functions and to other capabilities, such as e-commerce or customer service, as opposed to just being search as an ultimate application unto itself," Eid says. "The benefit of this is if you're in a call center you can access more corporate information and realize then that you can really drill down into the key problem solving that you need to do in that call center."
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