ECM as a marketing and technical concept has great validity.
But the idea of having a single overarching platform to manage all sources of content management only works well in those enterprises that follow a unified and services-oriented architectural approach to IT.
In 2010, we will see more vendors returning to core document management and workflow requirements, and becoming bolder about their lack of interest in embracing broader ECM functionality (DAM, WCM, Collaboration, and so forth) -- at least not in an integrated platform.
Does your ECM package come with its own mobile app store? In 2010, it might.
Smarter phones, more bandwidth, and an increasingly mobile workplace will push the traditionally more staid document management and search vendors to develop richer mobile interfaces.
Meanwhile, major enterprises (and vendors) will need to adapt their search and information access strategies in the face of mobile application search, with a new emphasis on precision over recall, and a fresh look at faceted results.
Some content technology vendors are rolling out thick clients at a time when IT has not forgotten the headaches around user provisioning, security, and version control they experienced when Java applet technology was all the rage.
It won't take CMS vendors long to figure out that Flex is no substitute for AJAX and especially HTML 5.
A majority of the 200+ content technology vendors we cover will come out with optional, cloud-based storage, archiving, and processing services.
Big candidates for processing services are episodic but server-intensive tasks like publishing, indexing, and transcoding. And before year's-end we will see the first wave of a backlash as well, as vendors unfamiliar with running (or brokering) such services stumble noticeably in early attempts, and customers become more savvy about security, SLAs, network performance, and other vital considerations.
This will slow, but not halt, the rise of cloud-based supplemental services across nearly all the technologies we cover.
There is a fight already brewing between records managers and business managers, but in 2010 the battle will join in earnest.
Throughout much of the past decade, record managers succeeded in getting more executive attention in the wake of scandals and stiffer legal/regulatory requirements.
Today, though, the RM profession is perceived as being behind the times and focused on paper documents; sadly there is some truth to this.
At a time when enterprises have fallen behind the curve in dealing with e-mail as a primary source of records, the potential for Cloud Computing and new viral collaborative technologies raise further questions about the RM profession's ability to adapt and deal with changing times.
As a result the movement for simple retention rather than detailed RM practices will continue to gain ground.
Many collaboration and social networking vendors are struggling to support internal ("behind the firewall") and external community scenarios off the same codebase.
In 2010, many will give up the struggle and acknowledge that these business scenarios have fundamentally diverged. We will see more separate offerings from the same vendor, with increasingly different user experiences, security models, performance goals, and so on.
At the same time, vendors will add and promote integration hooks as more customers seek to "move" discussions and collaboration across enterprise boundaries.
11. Divergence collaboration and social technologies
Many firms are now recognizing the need to localize applications and content across cultural and geographic boundaries.
Though the technology has been around for while to enable this, a mindset shift is propelling this requirement forward.
For some firms it is the perceived or actual threat of competition from countries such and India and China. For others it is the recognition that employees and partners operate more effectively in their native language rather than using English as a second language. For others it is the potential to sell outside of saturated English-language market.
Many collaboration and social computing vendors in particular will get caught flat-footed in their assumption that application interfaces need only support English.