Study: Enterprise Content Management / Document Management Services – The Swiss Market to 2020

The MSM market study on the ECM/DMS market for Switzerland was presented at Zurich Airport on March 5, 2019. The KRM accompanied the study as a knowledge partner and actively supported the study authors.

These are the key findings from the study:

  1. In 2018, the Swiss market saw sales of Fr. 495 million. was spent on ECM/DMS solutions, hardware and services, which is 4.9% more than in 2017. MSM Research anticipates a further significant increase in spending in 2019.
  2. ECM/DMS is one of the top 4 topics of (IT) procurers and user companies
  3. The quality of the projects is judged to be consistently high.
  4. The benefits of an ECM/DMS system are difficult to convey.
  5. The perception that ECM/DMS systems form an essential cornerstone for digitization is hardly present.
  6. Projects fail because user needs are insufficiently considered. This is no wonder, since most ECM/DMS systems are procured without sufficient consideration of user needs!
  7. AI makes its entrance
  8. All providers are also trying to offer their solutions as “cloud-ready”.
  9. Compliance with the law is expected.



The study shows that ECM/DMS products have gained a foothold. Unfortunately, they are still little perceived as an important element of a digitization strategy. This has to do with the fact that organizations rarely address the issue of “information governance”, i.e. the strategic handling of information. ECM/DMS procurements are still driven by IT, i.e. product-driven. User acceptance is the central problem here. In many cases, this means that only a small part of the potential of these products is exploited and their effect fizzles out. Many solutions are used only as simple archives, which amounts to a waste of resources.

ECM/DMS procurements are not technology projects – they are change management projects!

The large number of suppliers has led to an increase in project quality. The market is competitive, with at least 20 (serious) providers fighting for market share in Switzerland. The mostly medium-sized product providers are also trying to make the leap into the cloud, which will certainly not be successful for all of them. This is because new cloud technologies require a corresponding investment and, above all, a clear migration/replacement strategy. For the time being, hybrid installations will form the majority.

Legal compliance is expected for all products. De facto, however, only very few products meet the high requirements of the Business Records Ordinance (Switzerland). A product cannot be data protection-compatible per se; this requires a great deal of organization in addition to the technology.

The automated processing of large amounts of data is increasingly becoming an issue. For this purpose, new technologies are used, which are offered under the label “AI” (how much “I” is really in it remains unanswered here). Until now, this was the preserve of the large providers. There are interesting product options here that are affordable for smaller organizations.

The study does not allow any statement on the extent to which the large providers (MS; Google, AWS) will take over parts of the market or the functionalities of ECM systems. It is difficult to identify a clear trend, as there are many influencing factors (e.g., data protection, security, price, connectivity, compatibility) that each organization must assess for itself. At the moment, these providers are hardly competition for the established ECM providers, as hybrid installations still dominate. However, it is quite conceivable that data storage will be “virtualized,” i.e., the storage location will no longer matter if the data is fully encrypted (end-to-end encryption), for example.



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