ECM is Evolving, Not Facing Extinction

New and impending regulations across the financial sector are causing businesses to rethink their content management strategies. Reports show that the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) market remains strong at around $5.5 billion in license and subscription revenue per year and between an estimated 7 percent to 8 percent annual growth.  While some industry pundits predict that ECM is facing extinction, it is actually undergoing what could be classified as a revamping. According to Gartner, content services applications will replace traditional enterprise content management suites in a quarter of large enterprises by 2020.

Across financial, government, healthcare and other industry sectors, the term ECM is being replaced with content services, which industry analysts say better illustrates the purpose of the approach. When ECM was first introduced, it was designed to help business productivity through simplifying and integrating content management processes, with the goal of enabling businesses to develop content management applications alongside other systems. However, traditional models developed holes where end-user adoption was concerned, forcing this process to evolve in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Nowadays, software solutions companies are introducing ‘content services’ platforms that accommodate new needs of scalability and seamlessness. For example, Micro Strategies Docs Now Content Services is a 100 percent private cloud based, scalable solution that can be implemented within one week, and grows alongside an organization or department, currently being used by small to mid-sized businesses and Fortune 500 corporations.

When adopting ‘content services’, businesses are generally aiming to excel in the areas of: the retention and spreading of business knowledge, cost and time efficiency, regulatory compliance and risk management, and innovation. Single monolithic approaches haven’t led to full-scale success, as many providers struggled to keep up with the need for agile cloud-based deployment, and rapid innovation.  In summary, legacy ECM solutions hosted in the cloud haven’t successfully tackled emerging use cases – thus, ‘content services’ have become a  more strategic approach covering a broader range of aspects – content services applications, platforms, and components.

Adam Storch, VP of Business Solutions at leading software solutions provider, Micro Strategies, comments: “The idea is that content services can accomplish the objectives set out by the older versions of ECM. What this picture looks like is the agile assimilation of data and maintenance of appropriate governance and compliance levels which addresses emerging business needs and innovations.

Storch continues: “Alongside the demands of this changing Business Process Management (BPM) environment, Micro Strategies’ new DocsNow content services solution enables organizations to securely jumpstart their enterprise content management (ECM) solution in the cloud. The reality is that Content Services solutions are needed by all organizations, in order to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and allow their employees to work efficiently. The DocsNow platform can integrate with existing solutions, as well as easily and seamlessly add Process Services (BPM) without halting operations -- a necessity in today’s digital economy.”