The enterprise content management (ECM) tools market is still in flux with high levels of vendor consolidation yet to come - but it is poised to enjoy short term growth.
Analyst Meta Group reports that the ECM market will reach $2.3bn in software and $7bn in services by 2007, representing a compound annual growth rate of 15 per cent.
The market comprises vendors supplying software to capture, store, retrieve and disseminate enterprise digital content, and life-cycle management.
"Although this is a growing market, vendors will continue to consolidate through 2005," said Charlie Brett, senior programme director at Meta Group's Technology Research Services, and lead author of the report.
"By 2006, approximately 60 per cent of Global 2000 organisations will standardise on a strategic ECM framework, although many will maintain existing investments in tactical or line-of-business content deployments."
Meta explained that ECM systems have previously been tactical and non-discretionary expenditures, but are increasingly becoming strategic core investments.
The analyst firm observed that, as organisations begin to view enterprise content assets more strategically, the ability of ECM software to manage content and avoid costs by applying compliance and legal risk policies/procedures, is emerging as "critical" to Global 2000 organisations.
"Gaps among vendor products are beginning to diminish and acquisitions designed to help achieve relative technology parity are increasing," explained Andrew Warzecha, content and collaboration strategies service director at Meta Group.
"Support for previously 'non-traditional' content types - including email, digital asset management, and records management - is now viewed as becoming integral to ECM."
The study warned firms seeking to invest in ECM technology that long-term vendor viability is increasingly important in today's turbulent market.
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