Gartner Recommends Open Source for ECM

Aug 31, 2009

Gartner, Inc. provides organizations a little checklist to avoid problems in Enterprise Content Management (ECM).

When organizations make decisions about ECM, many feel disappointed considering how many compromises they need to make, according to Gartner's assessment. For example, ECM systems are expensive, while relatively few coworkers have access to it. In other cases ECM projects failed because they didn't consider the change in work style required for it. Gartner suggests that the right approach would help and for this it provides a list of six tactical approaches. The third item in the list suggests including a content service provider and open source offerings in the strategy.

The reason for open source is that it has matured and the market stabilized. Open source organizations have competed with more traditional ECM market leaders for government and higher education contracts. Useful also are content service providers that enhance software offerings with consulting, implementation and support. Next to these points Gartner suggests posing the question right from the beginning how policy rules and metadata can help eliminate duplication and proliferation and facilitate retrieval.

Generally the Gartner folks recommend investing in longer planning and vendor selection periods. A large ECM project of $300,000 should take six to nine months in planning and vendor selection. The total cost of ownership (TCO) approach should extend over five years and licensing costs shouldn't exceed 20% over that period.

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