Our friends at Gartner just released their annual Magic Quadrant report on Enterprise Content Management and it has some interesting things to say about the state of content and records management and SharePoint as a driving force in the market.
Interestingly, Gartner notes that even though the global economy has been in a prolonged recession the last few years, spending on enterprise content and records management actually grew on a year after year basis. Spending was up 5.1% in 2009 and increased again by 7.6% last year. Moreover, they predict growth will continue at an impressive compound annual rate of 11.4% through 2015. (Hey, maybe my kids will go to college after all!)
Gartner says its clients use ECM solutions to meet a number of productivity objectives, including regulatory compliance and e-discovery goals. One of the keys to reaching these goals, they say, is an ‘integration with Microsoft Office Suite for management of new and collaboratively authored content’. This is apparently true regardless of the ECM solution being used.
As for SharePoint as an ECM solution, Gartner says that over half the inquiries they receive about ECM solutions include a discussion of SharePoint. Also, fully one-third of their client base is using SharePoint as the core of their records and content management strategy.
Gartner cautions that many organizations see a continued need to add third-party tools to SharePoint 2010 to realize an acceptably robust enterprise ECM solution. This may be true, but I would argue that this is also the case for most of the other major ECM solutions and Microsoft’s extensive partner ecosystem allows customers to chose the SharePoint features they would like to extend without paying for additional functionality that may provide them no additional value.
Some of the strengths Gartner found in SharePoint 2010 include features and functionality that directly affect its records management capabilities. These strengths include greater content management, taxonomy, metadata and search capabilities.
As usual, this report makes for pretty compelling reading for anyone in the content and records management business. If you aren’t a Gartner client, you might want to go here to get a full copy of the report.