AIIM: 2011 State of the ECM Industry Market Intelligence Report – Highlights

Apr 04

AIIM released the 2011 edition of its annual “ECM Market Intelligence Report” during the Info360 Conference a couple of weeks ago. Another interesting and thorough survey by the research team led by Doug Miles at AIIM.

Finally had some time this week to sit and analyze it, and wanted to highlight not only the trends that persist from last year, but to note some of the newer findings.

Trends that persist…

  • Top drivers for ECM adoption continue to be efficiency gains and optimization of processes… Compliance has clearly plateaued, on a downward swing as key adoption trend since 2007.
  • Open source ECM continues to gain interest and acceptance, with 6% of large organizations and 8% of smaller ones using it today, and 12% of respondents planning to use it over next 2 years. Still about 36% of companies won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. (Though these are the companies who should ask their current ECM vendors just how much open source they embed under the covers… odds are that you’re using some today and just don’t know it).
  • CMIS is still considered a future requirement or area of interest, but not active adoption. Clearly the market education is working, often led by vendors who contribute to many of the valuable open standards and open source projects that help promote the adoption and use of CMIS across numerous information and content management providers – well beyond initial Document Management use cases.
  • The Microsoft SharePoint juggernaut continues to bulldoze through the basic collaborative content management market, offering ‘good enough’ features and usability to be the dominant ECM offering in 45% of survey respondents, with 70% of reporting organizations showing some level of adoption.
  • Cloud and Software-as-a-Service ECM providers still hover at around 4% of the market share, but with strong interest that could double this rate over the next 12 months.

Stuff that’s new:

  • Dominance of the phrase “Big ECM” to talk about the traditional Suite vendors. My skeptical nature chalks this up to the change in mix of vendors sponsoring the report. My curious nature wonders if this is another example of analysts and vendors being a couple of years ahead of the customer base in terms of trends and thinking. The summary note in the 2011 report says that “Big ECM” with single-vendor, enterprise-wide suites is still the goal of 48% of organizations”. This bucks the trend that most analysts are seeing (including 2010 Gartner Magic Quadrant for ECM, Real Story Group who now break ECM down into its component parts for product-specific analysis). The current thinking is that big ECM as a concept has largely failed for most customers, and that content consolidation and single-repository visions just don’t work in reality. This is worth a deeper discussion.
    • First, because so few of the ECM Suite vendors have a cohesive enough architecture to even pretend to pull this off (See: Platforms vs. Suites vs. Condominiums) and,
    • Second, CMIS as it becomes more broadly adopted by newer information management solution providers and app builders, this all-encompassing Suite vision will be recognized as an out-dated objective.

Once again, a worthwhile piece of research to download and read. Feedback and debate on the AIIM findings and my own interpretations always much appreciated here in the comments.