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Search, Compliance, Collaboration To Drive ECM 2010 Spending

Forrester Research also found in surveying 170 information and knowledge management professionals that Web content management and records management will be areas of investment next year.
A survey of organizations using enterprise content management has found that content search, sharing and compliance will drive much of the spending on ECM next year.

Web content management and records management will also be areas of investment in 2010 by the 170 information and knowledge management professionals interviewed in October by Forrester Research. Respondents of the survey had decision-making roles in ECM.

While organizations would like to have one ECM suite to meet all their needs, they continue to have multiple point products and/or suites in place. Software as a service and open sourceECM alternatives are on enterprises' radar, but the deployments are more for persuasive content initiatives than for business or transactional, Forrester found.

A continuous problem with ECM remains return on investment, which will make getting approval for ECM spending more difficult. But investment in ECM continues to have "great value in terms of information worker productivity, as the amount of content enterprises produce continues to increase," Forrester said in its ECM report written by analyst Stephen Powers.

In looking at the specific findings of the survey, Forrester found that 72% of the respondents indicated that their organizations planned to increaseECM use or the number of ECM deployments in the next 12 months. Only 4% planned to scale back ECM use or number of deployments.

Of those planning to increase ECM use, 61% said content sharing was the most important driver, followed by compliance, 51%; improved search, 45%; and cost-effective automation, 44%.

Those ECM areas the organizations expected to drive the most productivity included Web content management, cited by 58% of the respondents; records management, 47%; and digital asset management, 40%.

Most of the organizations used ECM technology from large vendors, such as Microsoft, EMC and Open Text, and 59% said they wanted to standardize on a single ECM suite rather than use tactical point products for business process needs. Nevertheless, 51% of the respondents said they have three or moreECM products in place.

"Given that integration of the various ECM suite components from even the larger vendors remains a work in progress, the idea of a single ECM suite serving all content needs is not a reality at most enterprises," Forrester said.

Satisfaction with ECM products was mixed. Fully, 37% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied, by 36% were neutral and 27% unsatisfied or very unsatisfied. Of those who were unhappy with theECM software, almost half blamed the vendors, saying the products did not meet expectations. Many, however, blamed ECM dissatisfaction on internal problems, particularly poor content strategy and a lack of IT and business alignment.

Alternatives to traditional on-premise software were used more in persuasive content areas, such as Web content management and digital asset management, than for complex use cases found in transactional and business content, the survey found. Fully, 40% of the respondents were interested in open sourceWCM, while 32% showed interest in open source DAM.

More interest was seen in SaaS products, with 43% of the respondents expressing interest in SaaS WCM and 39% in SaaS DAM. Because content stored in these systems are often public-facing, organizations were less concerned with sharing the content outside the firewall.

Proving ROI with ECM products remained a struggle for organizations. Fully, 48% of respondents cited the cost and implementation of ECM systems as the biggest problems today. In addition, 49% couldn't estimate the ROI for any of their ECM systems, making it difficult to get money for expansion.

"Clearly, inability to demonstrate ROI has budgetary impact," the report said.

In conclusion, Forrester said it believes the explosion of content, including diverse content types such as rich media, will force organizations to invest more inECM. In addition, ECM integrations will help compensate for the lack of an end-to-end ECM suite in most organizations.

Forrester also believes organizations will expect content management to include collaboration functionality, which will drive ECM vendors to increasingly include such features in their products. Also, organizations are expected to turn to SaaS, rather than expensive, slow-to-implement on premise products, for lower-level business content, such as technical documentation, training materials and project collateral.