ChangeWave survey points to ECM spending decline

Our survey partner ChangeWave Research released its latest corporate software survey late last week with new data from its alliance group on software purchasing.  The ChangeWave Alliance Research Network is a group of about 20,000 business, technology, and medical professionals that participate in ChangeWave’s surveys as part of the company’s primary research efforts.

The title of this month’s report is Corporate Software Spending: 90 Day Outlook, Sharpest Decline for Software Purchasing on Record.  Sounds cheery, doesn’t it?  The report notes that “the spending decline is now hitting all software categories – the first time this has occurred in a ChangeWave survey.”

You’ll have contact ChangeWave for all the data, but I wanted to pull out the stats on the ECM specifically.  31% of those surveyed expect to decrease spending on document and enterprise content management software in the next 90 days versus only 5% expecting an increase, for a net decrease of 26%.  This was the largest decrease of any one software category included in the survey.

This surprises me somewhat as ECM generally includes a good deal of compliance, governance and risk management-related technologies, along with core business process enablement, not things that can be easily cut or postponed.  But perhaps other content management areas, like a customer website overhaul or intranet / internal collab platform do-over, are being seen as non-critical and put off.



#1 Chris Noble on 10.20.08 at 6:57 pm

The biggest problem with Changewave’s otherwise excellent surveys is its inability to accurately capture information on any shift to open source software.

The decline in spending on licensing *could* be masking The 451’s predicted shift towards open source. Changewave needs to start asking subtly different questions.

#2 Kathleen Reidy on 10.21.08 at 9:29 am

Chris – good point. Most of the open source ECM and CMS vendors I speak with are all reporting strong growth. That’s not to say that open source doesn’t come with a price tag — it’s not apples to apples to compare a free open source option with a high-end ECM product, companies deploying large-scale ECM apps aren’t making those comparisons. But commercial open source is typically less expensive so could account for some of the decrease in spending, though certainly not all.