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The ECM Juggernaut?

Information Week has published some research on Enterprise Content Management (ECM) spending, and the numbers are impressive indeed. 186 business-technology professionals were asked to comment on spending trends in ECM, and 45% said ECM-related spending will increase over 2004 and 24% said it would be equal to 2004. Only 16% said spending would be lower than 2004, with the remaining 15% saying they did not know.

Moreover, nearly one-third of surveyed companies said they will spend more than $500,000 on content management technology and services this year.

Not surprisingly, compliance seems to be the driving factor.

More than half (52%) of respondents say that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has led them to adopt enterprise content management. The law, which requires companies to document and test internal controls over financial reporting, has challenged companies to move beyond spreadsheets toward building dedicated repositories for collecting information on internal processes… Electronic-records-retention laws also were cited by 52% of respondents as driving adoption of enterprise-content-management systems, followed by intellectual-property and copyright protection (48%), customer privacy (36%), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (32%).

While we don’t do market research, these numbers certainly reflect what we have been hearing and seeing in the marketplace. Organizations are actively looking at and buying ECM solutions, and the focus is often on document management, records management, and compliance. At the same time, we see a lot of activity outside of compliance-driven applications, such as in product support applications where globalization and enhanced customer experiences seem to be driving the work.


  1. Frank

    Here are some numbers on broader IT spending as interpreted by Forrester:

    The US Commerce Department’s revised data on business investment in computer and communications equipment from 2002 to Q1 2005 shows that the post-bubble tech recession was longer and deeper than earlier data indicated. Tech investment for 2004 and the first half of 2005 is thus more of a recovery from recession than a sustained growth pattern. Growth for the next three years should be roughly proportionate with growth in US nominal GDP, in line with Forrester’s forecast for 7% growth in US IT spending in 2005 and 2006 and consistent with Forrester’s expectation that the current "tech digestion period" will last for eight years, until 2008. Q2 2005 data from both US government and vendor sources showed slightly stronger growth of 7% to 9%, depending on the measure. Investment continues to be strongest in computer equipment, fairly solid for software, and soft in communications equipment. Purchases of IT services are showing the first signs of growth in a while.

  2. Mary Laplante

    This article mentions a couple of ECM adopters, including Thrifty Car Rental. Brad Rosenthal, Director of Internet Strategy at Thrifty, is speaking at our conference in Boston. He’s in a session entitled “Using Content Management Technology to Increase Revenue.”

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