“By 2018, 70% of the EFSS destination vendors will cease to exist”
Over the last few years, there has been a massive shift from traditional file share systems deployed within the company towards cloud-based file share and sync systems. Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) outlined both the shift to favorite brands into different quadrants but also exposed an incredibly important trend in the EFSS space, stating a vast majority of the 100 plus providers in this area will be acquired or go out of business.
Wow, that is no joke. But why? What would cause this precipitous drop? Reading the research, there are a few obvious signals like annual revenue and an already crowded space to blame for the decrease, but there is a broader factor at work pointing to the larger EFSS space and their lack of functional evolution.
Any EFSS vendor has at is technical core, DNA based on content management, collaboration, and workflow. But the that is the past and the present, not the future. To survive in the future, any vendor must evolve to use predictive analytics, business intelligence, and personalization to drive action. Whether that action is getting sales teams to use the most relevant content for a sales opportunity, or having partners read and use the most updated product sheets, the future is about weeding through the trash, so employees use the right content. I have discussed in past posts how personalization is no longer a nice to have, it is a core requirement for today's content systems. Companies could spend millions every year getting onto the next best EFSS, but if it is just a shift from OnPremise to Cloud or Documentum to Box, you haven't gained anything.
So what options do we have going forward? Well, we can keep looking at EFSS as upgraded Horse & Buggy solution with new leather or stronger horses, or we can push beyond the four legged animals and get right into actual horsepower from the automobile. Forget about a better-looking user interface of the same old folders, sub-folders, and sub-directories; let us get to the heart of what employees are asking for
"I haven't the time or patience to look for content. Just give me what I need without me searching so I can get on with my job."
The Self-Driving Car
If companies want to align their sales and marketing, then they must use software that both automatically promotes the most relevant content based on a users task and, track each employee interaction with content as part of the software learning algorithm whereby as content is pushed, it also evolves and adapts to the changing business environment. If the system isn't learning and providing business intelligence for every piece of content, then all you have is new horse added to your buggy. The next generation of EFSS and ECM products must include Business Intelligence, Predictive User Modeling, and Content Modeling and it should be available as Platform-as-a-Solution allowing it to be embedded into native apps for a seamless end-to-end workflow and security management.
The horse and buggy are still functional if you are a tourist and want to take a casual stroll around a city but if you are looking to get from one point to the next as quickly and efficiently as possible, well we have Henry Ford to think of.