Medium-sized companies in Germany are increasingly utilising IT solutions for their document management; namely ECM and DMS systems. More and more companies, including small companies, are prepared to invest in these systems – and this willingness to invest is set to increase further in the future. These are the predictions of the latest Bitkom study “ECM in medium-sized companies. Status quo and perspectives for the use of enterprise content management in Germany”, which was carried out by the Research Institute for Rationalisation at the RWTH Aachen and supported by EASY SOFTWARE AG.
The highest acceptance amongst large companies
The majority of large medium-sized companies already rely on an ECM suite, although most of the solutions used are standardised ones. According to the study, these companies wish to considerably extend these systems and to utilise the potentials for rationalisation. Products like E-filing and digital invoicing in particular have been able to convince the companies of the benefits of automated workflows – products that EASY has been offering on the market for many years, and whose development the company has played a key role in shaping. It is precisely these products that are now enjoying rosy market prognoses. The Bitkom spring study concludes that annual investments of around one billion euro per year are fully realistic for the 21,000 medium-sized companies in Germany.
Don’t let up now
However, in order to realise this sales potential, there remains a lot to be done. The challenge is to develop solutions that are as relevant for small, local trade companies as they are for medium-sized industrial operations with 500 employees. And: The benefits of a solution must be communicated in a clear and understandable way; its usage must be simple and intuitive. At present, only one in five owners of medium-sized companies know what ECM actually stands for.
There is more to come
If that doesn’t ring alarm bells for the industry, then what will?! If, despite this, it is possible to wake medium-sized companies from their slumber, the branch is ripe for the next step: to expand the usage scenarios. At present, medium-sized companies are mainly interested in pragmatic, self-evident applications, such as digital invoicing and storage. ECM systems are widespread in bookkeeping and controlling departments; less so in purchasing; and hardly used at all in human resources, customer services and logistics. Mobile working and collaboration are other side issues – this is where the future lies. Illustrating all of the possibilities – this is the primary task and opportunity facing the ECM industry.
You can find the complete Bitkom study here (german language).