33 Fast Facts about the ECM Industry
John Mancini

By: John Mancini on April 15th, 2011

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33 Fast Facts about the ECM Industry

Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

2011 State of the ECM Industry Report by AIIM We recently released our 2011 State of the ECM Industry Report, and I thought it timely to summarize the key findings in the report.

Per AIIM's in-house analyst, Doug Miles, "Over the last few years, Enterprise Content Management has been one of the fastest-growing areas of IT, outstripping traditional enterprise applications with its double-digit growth. Driven partly by the need to contain content chaos, but more positively, by the need to maximize employee productivity, improve knowledge sharing and reduce fixed costs, ECM has taken its place at the IT top-table, both as a concept and as a product."

Doug believes that organizations are struggling to achieve the vision of a single ECM system -- one that manages all types of content, across the whole enterprise. "The vision of 'a single source of information for all' can be achieved through many different strategies. It may involve linking repositories, integrating applications, and implementing search portals. For many organizations, SharePoint plays its part in this ECM infrastructure, but it is by no means an exclusive part. As we will see, industry-specific needs are an important factor in setting ECM requirements for a significant number of organizations, and may call into play vertical market specialists, robust repositories, best-of-breed integrations, open-source components, and SharePoint add-ons."

So without further ado, here are 33 things you need to know about the current state of the ECM/content management industry. Please feel free to use this data in your presentations, with proper attribution to AIIM.

What You Need to Know About ECM Right Now

  1. Improving efficiency and optimizing processes are the key drivers for continued ECM investment across all sizes of organizations.

  2. Compliance is still a significant driver, especially in larger organizations, but has fallen from a peak in 2007.

  3. Improved collaboration is increasingly recognized as an important benefit of ECM.

  4. Two-thirds of those without systems have concerns about information accuracy and accessibility, particularly with regard to emails. ECM systems improve confidence in the integrity and retrievability of electronic information by a factor of three.

  5. 50% of all respondents describe their management of instant messages as “chaotic,” 31% feel the same about emails and 28% for Office documents. “Content chaos” is by far the biggest trigger-factor for buying or replacing ECM systems.

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  6. Although 39% are still filing important emails in personal Outlook folders, 18% now have automatic capture to document or records management systems, or dedicated email management systems, with 19% relying on manual indexing by staff.

  7. 15% delete all emails over a certain age, whereas 16% keep them indefinitely. 27% have no policy.

  8. Within the AIIM community, 16% of respondents consider they have achieved an enterprise-scale ECM capability, up from 12% in the 2010 survey. 29% are in the process of implementing one.

  9. 72% of larger organizations have 3 or more ECM/DM/RM systems. 25% have 5 or more.

  10. Consolidation of existing systems into a single-vendor ECM suite is a preferred strategy for 42% of organizations surveyed, with 19% utilizing an existing suite and 23% buying a new suite. 29% have a chosen strategy to maintain and update departmental or dedicated systems.

  11. Amongst the largest organizations (over 5,000 employees), 4% are looking to a new single-vendor suite as their first content management project, compared to 16% of both small and mid-sized organizations. However, 15% of the largest organizations have no content management strategy in place.

  12. Over 60% of organizations would look to their ECM system to provide management of physical (paper) records as well as long-term electronic records retention. 40% also look for compliance with ISO, DoD, or MoReq standards - and not just in government organizations.

  13. Case Management is important for 38%, and technical/large-format drawings for 33%. Overall, 30% cited a range of more specific requirements for their industry sector.

  14. 18% of respondents chose an industry-specific vendor in order to achieve their particular requirements. For those who chose a generic ECM vendor or suite, 35% took careful account of the ability to meet their industry requirements.

  15. 57% have some degree of local customization, and 27% have add-on products, or best-of-breed integrations.

  16. 28% feel constrained by their ECM/workflow system when it comes to making process changes, and for 15%, it has limited their ability to achieve an enterprise-wide solution. 60% feel that their industry-specific requirements may restrain their ability to use SaaS or Cloud solutions.

  17. Portalling is a popular option to provide employees across the enterprise with a single point of information access.

  18. 19% are using their main ECM suite as a portal to other repositories, and 23% are using SharePoint as a portal.

  19. 28% are migrating content to a single ECM system.

  20. 68% of installed ECM systems have no browser or mobile access options.

  21. 6% of organizations currently use Open Source ECM systems, and this is set to double in the next 2 years. In smaller organizations, 8% are using Open Source now, and 13% have plans.

  22. 32% of organizations use outsourcing for paper archives, but only 7% outsource their electronic document archive. 4% are using SaaS or Cloud for ECM or document management, and this is set to double in the next 12 months.

  23. In particular, 6% are using internal corporate clouds, and less than 3% are using external public clouds. The use of outsourced corporate clouds is set to treble.

  24. 53% of larger organizations are using social business or Enterprise 2.0 collaboration tools inside the organization, compared with 29% of smaller organizations.

  25. 55% have no policy on how long information stored on internal social business sites should be retained, and 32% have no acceptable-use policy for employees.

  26. 54% are using SharePoint tools for collaboration and social sites. Only 34% of users are using dedicated, paid-for products, or SharePoint add-ons.

  27. Increased collaboration within and between teams is by far the largest benefit of social/collaboration tools.

  28. 58% of surveyed organizations have now implemented SharePoint, compared to 45% in 2010 and 33% in 2009.

  29. This rises to 70% in the largest organizations. 6% are live on SharePoint 2010, with 27% in the process of upgrading. For 13%, the 2010 version is their first use of SharePoint.

  30. 23% of SharePoint implementations can be considered as optimized and mature ECM systems. Governance is still a big issue for 40%, including 27% who have yet to commit to a full rollout. 12% of SharePoint users are not using it in an ECM or DM mode.

  31. 49% have a defined strategy to integrate SharePoint with their existing ECM or DM systems, or even a new ECM system (6%). Only 4% are phasing out their existing systems in favor of SharePoint. 24% have yet to agree on a strategy.

  32. Implementing electronic records management and agreeing on a corporate taxonomy are the two highest ECM priorities, followed by the integration of repositories.

  33. Spending in most areas of ECM is set to increase once more in 2011, particularly for software licenses. Scanners and MFPs will hold their own. Outsourcing may fall slightly.


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About John Mancini

John Mancini is the President of Content Results, LLC and the Past President of AIIM. He is a well-known author, speaker, and advisor on information management, digital transformation and intelligent automation. John is a frequent keynote speaker and author of more than 30 eBooks on a variety of topics. He can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77. Recent keynote topics include: The Stairway to Digital Transformation Navigating Disruptive Waters — 4 Things You Need to Know to Build Your Digital Transformation Strategy Getting Ahead of the Digital Transformation Curve Viewing Information Management Through a New Lens Digital Disruption: 6 Strategies to Avoid Being “Blockbustered” Specialties: Keynote speaker and writer on AI, RPA, intelligent Information Management, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation. Consensus-building with Boards to create strategic focus, action, and accountability. Extensive public speaking and public relations work Conversant and experienced in major technology issues and trends. Expert on inbound and content marketing, particularly in an association environment and on the Hubspot platform. John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, and holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.