Forrester says 2010 looks good for ECM

Forrester has released the results from its 2009 Global Enterprise Content Management Online Survey. Here are a few of the things that jumped out at me…

72% of respondents plan on increasing their ECM investments in the coming year. That’s certainly good news. Of those increasing their investment, the big drivers are content sharing, compliance, search, and automation, which are all typical reasons to roll out a content management solution.

When asked to list the vendors that supply them with ECM solutions, 63% of respondents included Microsoft with EMC a distant second at 35%. (I kind of expected that Microsoft number to be higher). OpenText/Vignette (29%) and IBM (28%) were clustered right around there with a third clump forming around Autonomy/Interwoven (19%), Oracle (17%), and Alfresco (14%). The only other open source ECM players explicitly named were KnowledgeTree and Nuxeo, each with 1%. Almost a third of respondents also listed “Other, please specify” but Forrester doesn’t provide the list of write-ins. I assume it is a bunch of small, niche or homegrown solutions because the usual suspects were listed as explicit choices. Still, this chart and the one following that shows that nearly 3/4 of respondents have 2 or more ECM solutions in-house confirms what we’ve seen in our Optaros clients: Most people haven’t settled on a single ECM provider.

A little more than 1 in 4 of respondents were unsatisfied with their ECM solution. Of those, 41% blamed the solution itself as failing to “live up to expectations” followed by the usual grab bag of non-technical reasons IT projects fail. I would have liked to see a follow-up that dissected the various ways the solution fell short. Was it not able to do something you thought it was going to be able to do? Was stability an issue? Scale? Bad support experience? Or was it just that the beans you were told were magic turned out to be just plain old beans?

As my college stats teacher was fond of saying, “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics,” so take all of this with a grain of salt.