Today on the ITxpo show floor, Gartner Analyst Kenneth Chin presented the 2012 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management (ECM), which was just released last week (click here for a complimentary copy of the 2012 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management).
Chin started by explaining how to use the Magic Quadrant model. He emphasized that the Magic Quadrant model is meant to be the conversation starter as you look for an IT solution. Viewing it as a starting line rather than a finish line, IT departments should use the Magic Quadrant reports as:
- A snapshot in time of a market and its participants
- A way to narrow down a vendor shortlist
- Stimulus for further discussion
- A tool whose usage is determined by your specific needs and circumstances
Chin then had three big recommendations for IT executives looking to implement, expand or consolidate their ECM strategy. Aligning closely with yesterday’s keynote on the “Nexus of Forces,” they include:
- Look at solutions that offer both cloud and traditional on-premises offerings. Having both options will be an absolute requisite in the next few years as IT departments solidify their cloud strategies. Many ECM solutions will soon be hybrid solutions, with some parts of a solution existing in the cloud and some existing on your own infrastructure.
- Consider tablet and smartphone options, strategies and roadmaps. Chin noted that for every five tablets sold, there is one less PC sold. With smartphones and tablets sales growing and PCs sales declining, your ECM strategy will have to be mobile.
- Make usability and low cost of deployment a priority. ECM solutions continue to improve usability, and new releases scheduled for 2013 will continue to push them in that direction. At the same time, proving return on investment in the same year as you deploy is more important, especially as CFOs become more interested in IT spends and results.
In addition, it’s important to take into account the four different quadrants: Visionary, Niche Player, Challenger and Leader. Chin explained each, noting that Visionaries are often smaller companies and newer to the market. Niche players focus on a specific geographic region, making them an important consideration for companies operating in those areas. Challengers are often executing fairly well, but still lack the market vision to make them Leaders. The Leader quadrant owns 60 percent of the ECM market and the vendors are executing strongly today and are well positioned for tomorrow.
Depending on your needs, your best fit could be in any of the quadrants, and if you use the Magic Quadrant as a starting point as Chin recommends, you’re prepared to make the right ECM choice.