It’s been a crazy week for people talking about the ECM marketplace so I might as well put my 2 cents in. I’ve seen email blasts with titles like “ECM is Dead”, “The New ECM Marketplace”, “Traditional ECM is Gone”, etc… The list goes on and on. The bottom line here is if you’re not constantly developing and pushing the product forward you are going to be out of the ECM race very quickly in today’s marketplace.
7-10 years ago companies could come out with a major release and basically sit back and ride that wave of new features for 2+ years or even longer. The industry big boys only started pushing 12-18 month major product release cycles in the last few years.
So what has changed? Most people in our industry should know the to answer to that question. The introduction of smartphones was the start of the change. Things picked up speed as the Apple iOS and Android mobile platforms gained acceptance. Next the tablet revolution was upon us and then everyone in the World was playing Angry Birds.
During this time period software companies had to regroup and become more agile. Software companies needed to start shortening their develop cycles to 6-9 months instead of 12-24 months. All of us in the industry needed to keep up with the ever changing mobile market. Everyone had to decide what they wanted to do in the Cloud. Just being an on-premise solution would most likely give companies another 5 years of life before their solutions became irrelevant. Cloud is like the term that was thrown around in the late 90’s, Knowledge Management – everyone had their own definition of what it meant. The term Cloud is no different today. Does is mean web client? Does it mean hosted solution? What’s the difference between a Private Cloud vs Hosted Cloud? What is a secure Cloud?? (Shouldn’t it be secure by default!) Trust me I’m in the industry and every few months I hear a new spin of what the Cloud is or isn’t. I think most of the market leaders have very similar Cloud visions so at least that is helping standardize things some what. Okay let’s move on.
In summary in today’s market traditional ECM products of the past don’t have a future. I do agree with what a lot of people are writing about in their email blasts and newsletters. I disagree that it’s a new idea. I’ve tried to outline that this has been happening for the last 5-7 years in my mini rant above. Today people in general act differently then they did 5 years ago. No one ever looks up anymore because they are all looking down at their technology gadgets. People want easy to use solutions that give then the information they want now – waiting for things is also a thing of the past. They want it to work on any device – BYOD – and also from anywhere they work from whether its their home, car, office or vacation resort.
I am sure the next 5-7 years are going to bring even more change and its going to keep getting harder and harder trying to keep up but at least I can go to bed at night knowing that there will still be a version of Angry Birds out there I haven’t mastered yet.