Top-end ECM could be risky investment

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Top-end ECM could be risky investment

Market leaders in the enterprise content management (ECM) space could represent a higher risk to IT buyers than their mid-market rivals, according to new research from CMS Watch.

The analyst firm's ECM Suites Report 2009 compared 40 ECM solutions, including a risk assessment of each offering.

The results suggest that top-tier vendors such as IBM, EMC, Microsoft and others represent a higher risk because of their continued rapid development of new features, and because some are having difficulty integrating technology from recent acquisitions.

Mid-market and smaller scale vendors, on the other hand, could be a better bet because they have greater corporate stability, and competent product offerings which focus on carrying out more specific tasks in a better way, the report found.

"You would assume that the [larger vendors] are a safer bet, and it's not that these products are going away. They are just in transition," said report author Alan Pelz-Sharpe.

"The reality for buyers is that this means change, and people do not have much of an appetite for that at the moment."

Pelz-Sharpe also argued that enterprises are going back to basics in their approach to content management, concentrating on key functionality such as workflow automation rather than the new Web 2.0 functionality offered by some of the big name vendors.

"The tried and tested way for firms to watch their costs and reduce overheads is to impose proper automated workflow," he said.

"But some vendors have neglected their core audience and rushed off into Web 2.0."
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