ECM Industry Perspectives - 6 Years On

ECM Industry Perspectives - 6 Years On

Die Merger&Acquisitions-Unternehmensberatung Document Boss hatte 2009 drei Experten nach Ihren Einschätzungen zur Entwicklung der ECM-Branche gefragt: "ECM Industry Perspectives". Dabei waren Ulrich Kampffmeyer, John Mancini und Alan Pelz-Sharpe. Zum Jahresschluss 2015 wurden die gleichen Fragen wiederholt und geben nun ein gutes Bild der Entwicklung der letzten 6 Jahre.

"ECM Industry Perspectives - 6 Years On" lautet der Titel der drei Interviews mit John Mancini, Präsident der AIIM international, Alan Pelz-Sharpe (Research Director für Social Business bei 451 Research) und Dr. Ulrich Kampffmeyer (Geschäftsführer der PROJECT CONSULT Unternehmensberatung): http://bit.ly/boss-ECM. Die Fragen von John Symon. Document Boss, waren die gleichen wie im Jahr 2009 "ECM Industry Perspectives - Consolidation? Convergence? or Evolution? Find out the Truth":  http://bit.ly/DBECM2009. Ein Vergleich der Aussagen zu Trends lohnt sich.
 
Unser Beitrag 2015
 
1. Six Years On: Which of these and other influences do you consider is having the greatest impact on the ECM and related technology and applications markets, and why?
We have seen many changes and transformations in the traditional ECM Enterprise Content Management market; the old ECM paradigm has drifted into the background. Whilst in 2009, trends such as Enterprise 2.0, OpenSource and Sharepoint were imminent, today’s landscape is totally different.
The SMAC-stack - Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud - has disrupted the habitual strategies of users, organizations and vendors alike. Other trends are now following on from the SMAC-stack, a new wave:  IoT, 3D, ubiquitous, intelligent robotics and virtual reality amongst a host of others.
Throughout these sweeping changes, vendors have had to adapt, with a considerable number being acquired by other software companies. We have witnessed big deals, such as Dell’s acquisition of EMC including Documentum for $67 billion, and smaller deals such as the acquisitions of KOFAX, SAPERION, CEYONIQ and many others.
As already defined in the early days, ECM - Enterprise Content Management - became a basic IT infrastructure. Obviously, these technologies are now mature and consequently there is only limited innovation coming from the traditional ECM sector. Most new developments currently stem from outside the ECM arena, from innovative companies in the web, collaboration, communication and digital business environments, whilst cloud-based offerings also lead the way to new applications. The traditional perception of a digital document as one file, comparable to a paper document, is fading fast – brought about mainly by the increasing use of mobile technologies. Documents are virtualized and data is presented in layouts that simulate documents but which are easier to use on the Web and mobile devices: literally information at your fingertips.
New challenges are posed by multimedia, video, natural language, digital models and mash-ups; a complete new world, which goes far beyond traditional document management and content management. With new technologies and user behavior changes this might be the biggest challenge yet for ECM vendors - creating simple, easy to use applications like apps on a tablet, usable intuitively, without training, anywhere, at any time. ECM products have been enhanced to meet these new challenges, but striving to maintain the rapid pace of the development of information and communication technologies remains a challenge.
 
2. Six Years On: What do you expect the key drivers will be for buyers of ECM related technologies in the coming year (-> 2016)
Other analysts will focus on the global market or on the US market - so I will focus on Europe. Naturally, European buyers will also scrutinize emerging international trends alongside cloud, mobile and other technologies which are now mainstream. However, most businesses still have legacy IT and software and there are many restrictions in regard to fully adopting new trends in digital business. A large proportion of company budgets will go into the modernization of existing systems and ECM still plays no major role here.
New opportunities are arising in Europe via regional and local, legal and compliance regulations such as the EU directive, eIDAS, which addresses the management and acceptance of electronic IDs and signatures, or the EU directive covering Electronic Invoices. The latter will lead to a boom in electronic invoicing projects but the traditional document or capture features will play only a minor role in this. In direct relation to these pan-European, legal directives, e-government is a major source of new projects throughout Europe. Automation to overcome manual and paper-based processes is another important, strategic goal for all businesses and organizations. Compatibility with mobile devices and operating systems is already a matter of course and therefore, no longer positioned as a trend.  So, for ECM in Europe, my top 10 list for 2016 includes:
• Modernization and migration of existing solutions
• Automation, i.e. automated classification
• ECM, at least archiving, from the cloud as SaaS, PaaS
• More collaboration than pre-defined workflows
• Electronic folder management
• E-Invoicing and financial supply chain management
• Integration of analytics
• Integration of new media
• Compliance related solutions, i.e. records management (although in Germany this term still plays no role)
• A renaissance of knowledge management
 
3. Six Years on: Will ECM exist as a separate, definable, sector in 5 years time?
Six years ago I wrote about EIM - Enterprise Information Management - as the new strategy. EIM incorporates ECM technologies as its core components. So, ECM is not dead, it has only become invisible. This also means,  that ECM as a separate industry segment is vanishing. A lot of vendors no longer want to be recognized as traditional EDM or ECM product providers. They go for applications which use ECM as a backbone.  After more than 15 years, ECM still lacks visibility as an important technology and method to organize and tap into the growing wave of information. Yes, ECM is still important and a necessity, but no longer as part of the user experience. Users simply want to have their information and they don’t want to expend effort storing and classifying it.
The fact that ECM functionality comes as a basic feature in a growing number of standard business applications such as ERP, CRM, PLM and so on, poses a major challenge for specialized ECM companies. ECM as a concept is not obsolete, but the conventional  ECM software companies now have to seek new shores. I believe that EIM - Enterprise Information Management - will not fill the gap ECM leaves, although EIM overcomes the old barrier between NCI & CI, curating all types of information. The future will be information management only, because enterprises have changed beyond recognition to embrace new models of working, including partnerships, employing freelancers and greater customer interactions - totally changing the meaning of the word “enterprise”. So we can therefore, omit the “enterprise” in the term “Enterprise Information Management”.  Let’s simply talk about Information Management as the necessary, basic functionality to handle all information wherever it exists.