The ever evolving world of content management – according to Gartner

December 12, 2016

2 minute read

The ever evolving world of content management – according to GartnerRecently Gartner released their Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management, and while the usual suspects all show up, the rules this year have changed significantly and there are a number of subtle shifts in the positioning.

Now obviously this was drawn up by the geniuses at Gartner in the context of EMC and OpenText as separate organizations.  As/when/If (?) they merge, things will change significantly.  In fact I’d predict that next year’s MQ will look even more bizarre, with a (potential) merged OTC/EMC dominating the landscape - but also opening up a lot of room for challengers, visionaries, and niche players to increase market traction, especially those vendors who successfully address EFSS type demands from the end user base.  

This article via @cmswire does a great job of walking through the state of the nation and is definitely worth a read.

Beyond the infrastructure debate though, what I find most promising about Gartner’s new ECM definition is how they’ve increased their weighting for “Extended Services” and included new functionality like Analytics in their reviews. 

This, to me, finally signals a true shift from the ECM legacy focus on Enterprise and Management to a more modern approach that zones in on the content itself - which, in the end, is all the LOB cares about. The shift starts to acknowledge the new role of ECM Leaders from KM, RIM, IM, IT and other practices whereby it’s no longer good enough to provide a rock solid infrastructure; enterprise leaders now need to derive business value from their content efforts.

One subset of technology that is fostering this evolution is the ECM adjunct category called “File Analytics”. This relatively new area is rapidly growing with Gartner predicting that by 2020, 50% of all midsize and large enterprises will have implemented file analysis for managing unstructured data, up from less than 10% today. Gartner recently published their annual Market Guide to File Analytics which discusses the key drivers for enterprises implementing file analytics (risk mitigation being #1) and Gartner’s recommendations for how to move forward.

File Analysis allows organizations to address underlying content chaos by tackling issues around analytics, governance/policy management, risk mitigation and general content efficiency/optimization.  Arguably, this has been the missing link from ECM → business value.  A tool that understands the underlying content and helps organizations make sense of things, do something with their information, turn it into actionable intelligence.

Unless you’re implementing a new ECM (and who is at this point?!?), the latest magic quadrant, although deeply insightful, may be too little too late; but tackling the adjunct area of File Analysis may help usher your (commonly lack luster) ECM deployment into the new realm of business value, winning you a seat at the executive table.

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