Understanding Document Management in the Forrester Wave Context

By Matt Lichtenwalter January 6, 2017 Articles and Editorials

Created by Forrester, an independent technology and market research company, the Forrester Wave on ECM, much like Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, analyzes particular vendors’ offerings within the document management and content management space.

Forrester is transparent about their methodologies for their Wave on business content services, relaying in-depth information on the processes of their research to prospective buyers.

Additionally, Forrester’s research for its Waves is predicated upon holistic processes, utilizing analysts, research associates, vendor response teams, and customer references to arrive at their findings.

The Wave is parsed into seven milestones: Getting Started; Creating Evaluation Criteria; Selecting Vendors, Inclusion Criteria, and Kickoff; Gathering and Evaluating Data; Scoring; Fact Checking; and Publishing.

Although document management and business content management services are slightly different facets of information management, they are highly interconnected, and one can be understood through an analysis of another.

Document Management Points from the Wave

Forrester focuses more intently on ECM features within vendor solutions than Gartner, noting that core ECM features such as file check-in/checkout, role-based user permissions, file cycle management, and search taxonomy will remain integral to business content and document management services.

In accounting for future ECM trends, the Wave also notes that integration will become increasingly two-sided, or “bidirectional,” meaning that software innovation for programs like Microsoft Office and Salesforce will be increasingly designed to integrate with ECM solutions, whereas prior to this phenomenon it was only document management vendors engineering their software to integrate with third-party software like Salesforce and Microsoft Office.

This will prove beneficial for prospective document management vendors reluctant to buy ECM that does not integrate with software on which the organization already depends.

Forrester aptly refers to this phenomenon as “bidirectional integration.” This bidirectional integration will be an important component of an even broader phenomenon as Forrester sees it: the software landscape adjusting to ECM as ECM has previously adjusted for it.

For organizations interested in using document management and content for sharing, collaboration, and usability, the Wave provides valuable insight on several ECM vendors excelling in these areas.

To solidify the importance of sharing, collaboration, and usability, Forrester notes that stake holders such as regulators and customers are stimulating demand for IT professionals to work on documents and projects outside the geographic location of the walls of the office, making high powered collaboration and file sharing features more essential than ever.

Additionally, Forrester identifies cloud-based ECM solutions as game-changers for early adopters in many industries—noting that although many organizations start with On-Premise ECM solutions to be familiar with ECM technology, it will be useful for prospective buyers to only consider cloud solutions across all industries moving forward. Forrester asserts that the cloud will be increasingly vital with time, and is here to stay, in large part, because of transactional content management.

Forrester also notes that this transactional content phenomenon entails business processes originating outside the organization and are fueled by third parties and customers, while

Limitations of the Wave

The Wave weights certain categories based on the research firm’s understanding of prospective buyers’ needs—raising questions about whether research firms understand prospective ECM buyers’ needs well enough to assess them.

On the other hand, some may argue that since Forrester’s customer is, in essence, the person reading their reports, they will take this person’s interest in technologies seriously, striving to provide the most accurate information possible. Furthermore, one may wonder whether Forrester solicited consumer opinion to determine the true needs of prospective buyers.

These trends only further illustrate the trend toward the consumerization of document management and content management services.

Matt Lichtenwalter

Matt Lichtenwalter Author

Our electronic document management products, including our online and desktop versions, help businesses reduce their dependency on paper and enable them to manage all files and paperwork electronically. Our feature-rich document management software helps our clients maximize their office productivity. eFileCabinet is the DMS of choice for cost-effective, streamlined, paperless offices.

eFileCabinet offers two different DMS products as well as custom consulting and training. Our competitive pricing is designed to fit most budgets.

We help our customers set up document management systems that are fully compliant with all FINRA, HIPAA, SEC and NASD regulations. Our clients are typically companies that have frequent customer interaction, require high levels of documentation, and have offices in which compliance and regulation demand thorough record keeping. Our electronic filing system works well with accountants, financial planners, HR departments, insurance offices, health and medical offices, manufacturing companies (with heavy concentrations of record keeping), dental and medical offices, schools and colleges, real estate offices, community banks and credit unions, car dealerships, transportation companies, and small government city offices.

eFileCabinet is focused on helping businesses become more profitable. With over 12,000 customers, over 160,000 users, and more than 15 years in the business, our electronic document management system will help YOU succeed.

About CMS Critic

CMS Critic is one of the top resources on the web for unbiased, honest reviews. Since 2008, we've provided a resource for readers worldwide to find information, get advice and discover the latest news about software, hardware and services such as Content Management Systems, Website Builders, Linux Distributions and much more. To learn how to contribute or work with us, drop us a line.

Follow Us