AIIM published its annual “State of the ECM Industry” market intelligence report earlier this week, and it is a recommended read. Download it directly from the AIIM site here:

This is a timely report. The ECM industry is in the midst of some interesting shakeups. The ratification of CMIS, the launch of Sharepoint 2010, and some interesting warning signals coming from ECM leaders of the last decade… If I project myself years into the future and put my historian hat on, I’d be circling May 2010 as one of those critical inflection points. Customers are looking for new approaches to solving their content management challenges.

A few of the highlights I found most interesting….

  • Open source ECM is highlighted as a distinct growth area. Of the 751 AIIM members who responded to the survey, 6% are using open source enterprise content management today. But a further 9% plan to adopt an open source solution over the next 2 years.
  • 64% would consider using open source ECM - with cost reduction as the primary reason. Simplicity and ease of use was the second reason. Cost consideration does not surprise me as the top choice, but ease of use was a bit of a surprise for me. It’s a positive signal, though, evidence that open source ECM vendors have made the right investments in user experience and product design in order to appeal to the non-developer.
  • 34% of the respondents have an active interest in CMIS, yet only 7% plan to take advantage of it as an early adopter. This tells me that 2010-2011 needs to be a busy year of education - consultants, vendors and customers with the bandwidth to set up test labs need to start showing the power of interoperability. My prediction is that once working prototypes get on customers’ radars the adoption plans will escalate. We’re seeing some fantastic work in our own community, Nuxeo applications integrated with WCM applications like EZ Publish and Drupal, BPM tools, and even Sharepoint. If you haven’t already looked at the 5-vendor demo site launched at the AIIM conference last month, please take a look. Thanks to Laurence Hart, the AIIM iECM committee and the vendors who supported the initiative (including Nuxeo of course).
  • People are still being cautious about using Cloud services for content management - 3% today with and additional 2% over the next 18 months. I’ll anecdotally vouch for this stat - the records management, e-discovery and governance issues around content in the cloud were a distinct area of concern here at the Management of Electronic Records conference in Chicago this week. (more on that in a separate post)
  • Yet… SaaS is gaining traction. SaaS ECM platforms are in use by 6% of the survey respondents, expecting to double to 12% over the next 18 months. I’d be curious to dig into this one a bit more, see if these are pilots that are moving to production, new ECM projects, or replacements of legacy applications.
  • There’s flux out there. 35% of respondents are implementing new systems - both first time deployments and replacing existing systems with new ones. This is a positive signal. ECM is becoming more accessible to companies because of new delivery models such as open source and SaaS, it doesn’t have to be a 6-figure upfront cost to get moving. It’s also a positive signal to see technology refresh happening. As products written 10-15 years ago start hitting their natural end of life, new, modern, extensible platforms are available to help companies better use their electronic content for competitive edge. This is exactly where the Nuxeo platform is a fit as organizations refresh their content applications.

These are my highlights, but there is so much more in the report, check it out for yourself, feel free to share your thoughts and analysis here in the comments. (Or if you blog about it… share the link!)

Oh - and to the 36% who won’t yet consider open source ECM? Call me ;-) I’ll explain how I let go of 15 years of proprietary vendor FUD. It’s easier than you think.