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4/26/2005
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In Focus: Survey Says... 'ECM's an Ideal, Not a Priority'

Consolidating on a single enterprise content management (ECM) platform may be a laudable long-term goal, but it's not a priority. That's the sentiment of nearly 400 Intelligent Enterprise readers sampled in a Web-based survey conducted early this month.

Consolidating on a single enterprise content management (ECM) platform may be a laudable long-term goal, but it's not a priority. That's the sentiment of nearly 400 Intelligent Enterprise readers sampled in a Web-based survey conducted early this month. System diversity prevails at most companies and will continue through mergers and acquisitions, so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that many respondents have no plans to consolidate their legacy systems.

Asked "which technologies associated with enterprise content management (ECM) are deployed within your enterprise," the totals from 547 initial respondents added up as follows:

Document management

53%

Document imaging

53%

Web content management

51%

Real-time collaboration

50%

E-learning tools

47%

E-mail management/archiving

46%

Collaboration workspaces

44%

Workflow/process automation

42%

Records management

39%

Digital asset management

35%

Report management/COLD

28%

How many vendors supply/support these systems? Fifty-five percent of 374 respondents said they rely on one to three vendors (with just 33 reporting a single system). Next were 28 percent reporting four to six vendors, nine percent reporting seven to 12 vendors and eight percent saying they have more than 12 vendors of content management tools and systems.

Asked to rate these technologies in terms of importance, 397 respondents placed the top five in the following order: document management, workflow/process automation, records management, Web content management and e-mail management/archiving. Dead last were digital asset management and report management/COLD, although both still rated between "somewhat important" and "neutral" on a one-to-five scale from "very important" to "not at all important."

Perhaps most telling where the responses on attitudinal questions. Asked to choose the statement most accurately reflecting their plans for content management, 35 percent said they have "several systems in place; no plans to consolidate." Next came "several systems in place; plan to consolidate" at 28 percent. Taken together with the 15 percent who said they're "consolidating to a single ECM standard" and the 10 percent reporting "ECM already deployed," a majority seem to support the concept of ECM and consolidation, but another 12 percent identified with the statement "don't understand/believe in using ECM suites." That's 53 percent pursuing or leaning toward consolidation versus 47 seemingly indifferent to the goal.

Interestingly, 342 respondents rated "offers a consistent look, feel and navigation approach, minimizing training and administrative costs" as the top motivation for adopting a unified management platform, while "reduces the number of vendors I have to deal with, ensuring better discounts and simplifying support needs and questions" was rated least important.

Resources:

Here are the raw, unfiltered results of our poll. http://www.intelligententerprise.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=161600388&pgno=2

A $125 "Professional Membership" to AIIM gives you access to a number of surveys:
http://www.aiim.org/article-docrep.asp?ID=28965
http://www.aiim.org/article-docrep.asp?ID=28342
http://www.aiim.org/article-docrep.asp?ID=28341

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