Gartner’s “magic quadrant” of enterprise content management (ECM) tools provides organizations with a good, high-level industry overview of the different products available. There are many ECM products on the market and examining their ranking on the quadrant, as a recent article from SearchContentManagement.com does, can be a great exercise.
But every organization needs to set its own threshold for risk when looking at some of the more immature products. Are you willing to take a risk on a product that hasn’t been in the marketplace for very long? Or are you more comfortable choosing a mature product? Products like SharePoint, for example, are mature with a robust ecosystem of third-party add-ons that can greatly increase its functionality to meet an organization’s specific needs.
It’s also important to remember that the concept of ECM isn’t new anymore. What’s different in the marketplace is that many vendors are focusing more on processes automation in addition to the traditional ECM capabilities. As the article notes, ECM software continues to focus on enabling companies to “capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver content and documents related to the organizational process.”
We believe the key for organizations is to be highly strategic about what they’re looking to accomplish with an ECM tool. Document management and records management are typical ECM use cases. Social enterprise tools can be great, too, but avoid falling into the trap of trying to add every latest bell and whistle to your ECM if they don’t serve a specific business purpose and aren’t enabling an identified business process.
Apoorv Durga, a senior analyst at Real Story Group, is correct in noting that you shouldn’t discount a tool simply because it didn’t rank at the top of the quadrant or leader board.
“We don’t believe that any tool is ‘best overall.’ What’s good for one customer may not be as good for another,” Durga tells SearchContentManagement.com. “Evaluate how you would use the tool. A tool that’s good in document management may not be as good in record management and vice versa.”
Gartner’s “magic quadrant” provides a great map of the ECM technologies available and how companies have evolved. But every organization needs to choose tools based on its specific and unique business needs.