Regulations could help sales, but not solve the problem

Regulations could help sales, but not solve the problem

An Ovum researcher has said that information management systems are selling well on the wave of current regulation changes, but he warns they may not solve the problems that businesses face.

"The Surbane-Oxley Act and a raft of regulations surrounding Homeland Security in the US is driving sales of content and data management software," said Alan Pelz-Sharpe, the sector research director for British research company Ovum. He believes the white collar crimes of last year are helping to drive sales. "And since scandals rocked the financial world and the drive of eGovernment have coincided, the IT world sees the potential for a 'perfect storm'; a huge wave of customers who have no choice but to buy their products. Many substantial IT vendors are betting the ranch on regulations driving future sales."

Like many in the business community, Mr Pelz-Sharpe is astonished that records management has become so important. "Regulation is hot news at the moment, and related topics such as Records Management are finding an audience like never before. And who would have though that Records Management would ever be a 'hot topic'?

But although he believes its driving sales, the analyst doesn't identify the technology as being the answer, rather it is the management. "The sheer scale of the mess most companies face in dealing with their information management issues cannot be resolved quickly or easily, and though many IT vendors can help, none have comprehensive solutions to the problem. Indeed many of the problems will be resolved simply by the implementation of corporate policies regarding records retention, rather than implementing new software."

Having told readers that the IT systems won't fix their problem he then pours further bad news on the sector. ""Much of what currently sells as high end document or content management functionality is becoming a part of the infrastructure and will become pervasive throughout the enterprise, courtesy of Microsoft, Sun, IBM and Oracle. Independent information management vendors are having to decide whether they will go the infrastructure route and compete against the goliaths of the industry or return to building vertically specific solutions."

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