Magic or Illusion?

The folks at Gartner have come up with another iteration of their “Magic” quadrant for ECM vendors, with what appears to be a very short-sighted perspective—an intentional exclusion of SaaS vendors as part of the market for content management software.

This naturally begs the question, why not include them? A big part of an analysts firm’s focus should be on what’s coming, as opposed to what has already happened. We routinely brief a wide variety of analysts on what trends we see in development and why, and nearly all of them 1) see the compelling value of SaaS as a delivery model and 2) understand that this is the direction in which the market for technology services is headed.

While the market for SaaS-based content management is smaller than the traditional (that is, rack-mounted, behind the firewall, “supported” by IT) CMS system, the overall trend we see is that the SaaS model is growing very quickly, while the traditional model has slowed down significantly. More importantly, the growth we’re seeing is not only in the historical SaaS buyer market (small and medium business), but in Fortune 500 companies; 90% of our SaaS customers are in the Fortune 500, which clearly indicates this is an enterprise-grade play. It also indicates that SaaS as a delivery model has come of age, companies in the F500 are all multi-billion global players, and the decision to switch to this model is not made lightly.

Information on market trends and players can be filtered and categorized any way you want, but the bottom line is the one with a dollar figure on it, and in that context, SaaS-based content management has definitely arrived.

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