2 ECM predictions for 2014 (and a wild card)

By David Jones

It’s that time of year when all the so-called gurus of the world fire off their “Top X of the …” blogs. Like them or not, you’re going to see plenty.

So, despite never being one to follow the crowd, here is my Nostradamus-like effort by way of two solid predictions for 2014 (and a wild card).

1. 2014 will see cloud become the dominant delivery platform for small and large ECM projects – but not the middle tier.

As you know, I’m a massive ECM in the cloud fan. The business and cost benefits are massive, but unfortunately, not everyone agrees with me. (Yet.) However, my prediction is that small companies, who have started to deploy corporate versions of cloud-based file sharing solutions in droves, will continue to do this and also start to move to fully featured ECM in the cloud solutions. Cloud will become the dominant player in this market by the end of 2014.

In addition, the largest enterprises will also start to use the cloud as their primary ECM platforms – not necessarily for organizational-wide deployments, but for departmental delivery – mainly based on the speed of implementation and lower start-up costs. But those who select their tools carefully will be able to scale up and out, extending their ECM in the cloud solution to other users, departments and geographies according to needs and budgets.

The exception to the rule will be mid-tier businesses. These guys are struggling in general to move to the cloud. They understand the benefits but can’t quite get over the fact that they have spent a shed-load of money building an IT department and mini data center and don’t want to just throw it all away. Also, they are in a very delicate business position and often believe that moving their data and systems to the cloud will take an element of control away from them – something that does not sit well at this level.

That’s not to say that there won’t be some mid-tier businesses taking the plunge. Of course, these companies will be the major beneficiaries of the cloud in 2014.

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