Records Management Systems Market Trends

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Records Management Systems
Market Trends

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00011151

Publication Date: 2207

Report Type: MARKET


An ERM (enterprise records management) system is one that is designed
to maintain and manage an organization’s electronic and physical
records. This system is regarded as a top priority for companies of
virtually any size, as it provides a means for organizing, finding,
distributing, and securely disposing records. Several ERM technology
vendors deliver both general suites and product lines for specific
industries such as healthcare, legal, pharmaceutical, and public sector
organizations among others. Despite the presence of many
well-established names, there continues to be a
fragmented marketplace that lacks that dominant leader. This forces
organizations to conduct due diligence before selecting a specific ERM
deployment. This report takes a look at a number of ERM-related

Report Contents:

Executive Summary

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As the need for records – both electronic and physical – continues to
skyrocket, many organizations are left trying to figure out the best way to keep
their information organized, accessible to a limited audience, and secure.

Related Faulkner Reports
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HIPAA Records Management

Such records – which can include data ranging from company e-mails to
contracts – need to be stored and managed in the most efficient possible manner.
This need applies to virtually all content, whether stored via a computer
system, server, device document-management system, database, Web site, flash
drive, or cloud-based service. Organizations need to be able to:

  • Access material for business, legal, regulatory, or any number of other reasons.
  • Destroy this material once the appropriate timeframe has been reached.
  • Track changes over time.

Figure 1 below illustrates the basic records management lifecycle.

Figure 1. The Lifecycle of a Record

Figure 1. The Lifecycle of a Record

University of Adelaide – University Archives and Recordkeeping

Information Access

The top defining characteristics of an ERM (enterprise records management)
system is its ability to retain information while also improving access and reducing
retention and retrieval costs. Generally speaking, improvements to productivity
and cost-management provide business benefits, but are not the primary market
drivers for this software segment. Rather, market drivers tend to include legal,
regulatory, and audit-related requirements, the expansion of which tends to
result in higher revenues for ERM software and services vendors.

Deployment Types

Over time, the records-management systems market has continued to
sort itself out, especially with the sun having essentially set on
"pure-play" ERM solutions. Moving forward, ECM (enterprise content
management) systems-backed solutions are growing in popularity, with the
most significant vendors in this space either:

  • ECM companies that have added ERM system functions.
  • ERM vendors with added ECM capabilities.

Additional Considerations

Traditionally, ERM systems tend to share a number of features, as detailed in
Table 1.

Table 1. ERM

Supported Features

Potential Future Focuses

  • Advanced search
  • Microsoft Office integration
  • Security capabilities
  • Access controls
  • Collaboration
  • Managing non-traditional records such as e-mail and collaborative
  • Providing access through most business and personal devices
  • Improving process automation
  • Meeting compliance requirements such as DRM (digital rights management)
    and corporate governance


Those purchasing ERM software should evaluate their organization’s needs,
including specifically:

  • Functionality (such as Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) compliance)
  • Web-content management
  • Mobile data access
  • Vertical domain / knowledge experience
  • Need for a dedicated Records Manager to oversee these processes

Market Dynamics

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Today’s technology-ruled world means that companies now have more electronic
records than paper ones. Such records include not only word processing
documents but also e-mail, IMs (instant messages), and scanned images, among
other file types.


The need for enterprises to manage records became clearer than ever following
the Enron Corporation debacle that began to unfold in late 2001. Partially as a
result, as well as in response to a series of US Supreme Court judgments
focusing on the obligations of companies "to preserve and produce electronic
evidence," the US Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) were amended in
December 2006. These rules were first enacted in 1938 to govern court procedures
for civil suits. The 2006 revisions affected rules of discovery, easing the
management of electronic records for courts and litigating parties. The FRCP rules
– as well as existing regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), and Sarbanes
Oxley (SOX) – are the primary drivers for both content and records management.

e-Discovery. One of the most significant phenomena affecting
the evolution of records management is the emergence of electronic
discovery as a legal and regulatory concept. Electronic discovery (or
e-discovery) is the process of finding information of a particular type that is
stored in electronic files, databases, or archives. While the roots of
e-discovery can be traced to the early 1990s when enterprises began "mining"
large-scale databases to gain market intelligence, e-discovery today generally
involves the on-demand production of information relevant to specific legal
orders and regulatory requirements.

The principal driver behind e-discovery was the US Supreme
Court. On April 12, 2006, the Court approved and forwarded to Congress a number
of revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) that addressed the
preservation and discovery of data in electronic media. The new rules, which
went into effect on December 1, 2006, established a new form of discoverable data
called "electronically stored information" (ESI). According to Rule 34,
electronically stored information includes writings, drawings, graphs, charts,
photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations
stored in any medium from which information can be obtained. Importantly,
electronically stored information stands on equal footing with the discovery of
paper documents
, meaning ESI must be produced on demand in response to
a subpoena or other court order.

While the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure apply to federal courts, most state court systems have adopted the
same or similar rules. As a consequence, virtually all enterprises must be
prepared to produce relevant electronic information as required and requested.
From an records management perspective, enterprise officials should be careful
to retain records relevant to transactions with customers, business partners,
regulators, or other parties with whom the enterprise "does business." This
process should:

  • Involve the enterprise General Counsel (as a source of ESI expertise);
  • Be biased toward keeping more potentially "discoverable" records, not
    less (the "better safe than sorry" approach).

An important element of complying with legal-style e-discovery
requirements is the ability to apply "document holds," essentially freezing
information that the enterprise has reason to believe may be the subject of
an imminent e-discovery order.

Compliance Management and Other Benefits

As a result of these regulations, organizations must now maintain a level of
control over data to ensure compliance. It should be noted that records stored
on personal drives or hard drives are not as accessible as records that are
stored within an ERM system, and as such may be missed from a search for
information. Although understandable, this is not an acceptable legal defense.
Other significant business benefits may be gained from a successful
implementation of an ERM, notably improved access to information and reduction
of the costs of records retention and retrieval.

Table 2 explores some of those benefits.

Table 2. ERM

Improved Information Access

Cost Reductions

Records are accessible to the public and to employees on a “from
anywhere at any time” basis.

Elimination of current records management activities.

Records can be viewed simultaneously by many people or by people
in different locations (branch offices, home workers).

Lower costs of preparing records for

Records can be retrieved based on keywords, category indexes, or
record contents.

Reduced need for duplicate (paper and
electronic) RM systems.

Records in legacy systems are accessible.

Reduced paper usage.

Records of various types can be integrated and retrieved with a
single query, for example all purchase orders, invoices,
correspondence, and e-mails related to a particular customer or

Lower physical storage costs.

Records required for business dispute resolution, regulatory
compliance, or audit requests can be located and retrieved
quickly and easily.

Reduced discovery compliance costs
due to quicker and easier location and retrieval of appropriate
records required for business dispute resolution, regulatory
compliance, and audit requests.

Facilitation of reclassification of records (e.g., taxonomy or
records disposition rule changes, reorganizations).

Ease of record capture by moving much of the workload to the
individual computer desktop.


As with all enterprise disciplines, enterprise records management is governed
by international standards. Today, the principal international records
management standard is the International Organization for Standardization (
15489: Information and documentation – Records management. Initially published
in 2001, ISO 15489 emphasizes the management of both paper and electronic
records (including forms like e-mail).1

Table 3 looks at this document.

Table 3. ISO 15489



Part 1: General

Provides a high level framework for record-keeping.

Addresses the benefits of records management, regulatory considerations
affecting its operation, and the importance of assigning of responsibilities for

Discusses high level records management requirements, the design of
record-keeping systems, and actual processes involved in records management,
such as record capture, retention, storage, access, etc.

Discusses records management audit operations, and training
requirements for all staff of an organization.

Part 2: Guidelines

Provides practical and more detailed guidance about how to implement the
framework outlined in Part 1.

Provides practical guidance about the development of records processes
and controls, and specifically addresses the development of key
record-keeping instruments, such as thesauri, disposal authorities,
and security and access classification schemes.

Discusses the use of these tools to capture, register, classify,
store, provide access to, and otherwise manage records.

Provides specific guidance about the establishment of
monitoring, auditing, and training programs to promote and effectively implement
records management within an organization.

Additional: Recent Updates

The ISO also released an updated version of ISO 15489: ISO
: Information and documentation — Records
management — Part 1: Concepts and principles

According to the standards body, "ISO 15489-1:2016 defines the concepts and
principles from which approaches to the creation, capture and management of
records are developed. This part of ISO 15489 describes concepts and principles
relating to the following:

  • Records, metadata for records and records systems.
  • Policies, assigned responsibilities, monitoring and
    training supporting the effective management of records.
  • Recurrent analysis of business context and the
    identification of records requirements.
  • Records controls.
  • Processes for creating, capturing and managing records.

In 2017, the ISO

its latest update to the ISO/TC 46/SC 11.
This refresh focused on working to convert and expand the single
terminology standard. Effective with this update, the title of ISO 30300
was changed to "ISO 30300: Records management: Core concepts and

Emerging Records Domains

A growing issue for both records managers and ERM vendors is the use of
social networking technologies. For example, certain content generated on
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter could constitute – or be construed as – enterprise records
– records that must be managed. Similarly, other sources of enterprise records
could include YouTube videos, podcasts, wikis, etc.

Market Leaders

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Market leaders in the records management market space include:

  • OpenText — Acquired Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content division
  • Micro Focus — Purchased HPE’s Software business
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Oracle

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Until several years ago, the market for enterprise records management
(ERM) software, a relatively small slice of the wider enterprise content
management (ECM) market, was primarily limited to government organizations
and highly regulated industries such as financial services and
pharmaceuticals. Now, however, records management has become a significant
issue for almost all organizations. Factors contributing to its growth
include steady increases in the volume of legislative and regulatory
requirements, the need for real-time litigation responses, the requirement
to contain storage costs, and the need for disaster recovery readiness.

Several clear trends within this market are apparent:

  • Compliance-Driven – The market for archiving messages (e-mail,
    IM) will grow, partially
    driven by
    regulatory compliance requirements
    . This primarily affects financial services firms,
    especially those that are heavily regulated by the US Securities and
    Exchange Commission.
  • Increasingly Strategic – Input management software that provides
    for the conversion of paper-based information to digital formats will become

    increasingly strategic
    companies electronically capture, digitize and categorize more and more of
    their information.
  • Mobile Access – Enables records management users to file
    information to their ERM system as well as to search for and open electronic
    documents using handheld devices
    will become a key differentiator for ERM vendors with customers in
    healthcare, law enforcement, government agencies, and similar sectors.
  • Compliance Features – Continued improvement by message archiving
    vendors in the
    compliance features

    of their offerings, as well as a storage management focus. This is critical
    given the growing emphasis on compliance dictated by regulations like
  • Records Management will increasingly be viewed as an
    element of enterprise content management (ECM). Information, knowledge, and
    content are all embedded in business records, and ERM manages these
    effectively, making it easier to leverage their value.
  • Increasingly Internal – Although external compliance issues such
    as SOX are currently in the limelight,

    internally driven compliance requirements, organizational policies
    encompassing digital rights management (DRM), and corporate governance will
    become increasingly important.

  • Process Automation – As many organizations have met compliance
    requirements in the last couple of years by relying on costly, slow, and
    error-prone manual processes to address compliance issues,

    additional process automation
    be critical.
  • Expanded Definition – The definition of content requiring formal
    management will expand, due to increasing compliance and legal risk (e.g.,
    e-mail and collaborative interactions).
  • Commoditization – Prices will decrease for ECM-based records
    management solutions as the space becomes

    increasingly commoditized
  • Open Standardization – Customers, particularly public sector
    customers, will increasingly
    call for the
    adoption of open standards and open source
  • Digital Preservation – Emerging as a major enterprise
    records management issue.
  • Wariness Regarding Cloud and Social Platforms – Compliance
    managers will remain
    wary of cloud and
    social platforms
    , citing unresolved security, legal, and privacy
  • Auto-Categorization – Becoming increasingly viable,
    helping improve content accuracy and reliability.

Strategic Planning Implications

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An understanding of business and technology issues, as well as
information lifecycle management, has helped companies formulate the
primary components of high quality records management programs.
Highlights of these programs include:

  • Records classification system that groups records by business
    function, record class, and record type.
  • Policies and procedures for creating, storing, and disposing
    of records.
  • Documented records retention schedule that lists records
    categories and expected retention periods.
  • Program to identify and protect records critical for restart
    after a disaster.
  • Audits to assess the clarity of procedures and effectiveness
    of training, and to provide an enforcement vehicle.

Significant business benefits can be gained from a successful ERM
implementation. First of all, in contrast to conventional paper records,
digital records can be easily located and viewed by more than one person
at a time or by people in dispersed locations, which also reduces the
unnecessary duplication of information. Better access to information
also improves decision-making and customer service. In addition,
appropriate ERM retention, archiving, and destruction guidelines reduce
the expenses related to retaining unnecessary information, such as
physical storage and server costs. Finally, records management supports
risk management and business continuity planning, in part by identifying
and protecting those records critical to the running of the business.

This comes in addition to the requirement that companies must be able
to prove to regulators that they have the right procedures and
technology in place to retrieve requested e-mail, IM, and other
electronic documents that could be considered business records. Failure
to comply can cost millions of dollars in fines and other sanctions. A
successful ERM system greatly assists organizations in meeting their
legal, regulatory, and audit obligations, by allowing quick, thorough,
and cost effective retrieval of information.

This should make it clear that records management is a serious
concern for most, if not all, organizations. As a result, the following
considerations should be made:

  1. The ERM solution selected must be
    supported by appropriate company
    policies, procedures, and training
    to be optimally
    effective. Many organizations will implement an ERM suite in small
    steps, beginning with document intensive parts of the company, such
    as its legal department. This helps companies identify potential
    issues early before a company-wide deployment.
  2. Despite the time, effort, and expense taken by vendors to be
    certified as compliant with SOX and other regulatory and legal
    standards, not all enterprises require support for these standards
    in their implementations. Organizations must
    determine what information must be
    declared and managed
    as records, then purchase an ERM
    solution accordingly.
  3. The system should be able to manage e-mails
    and instant messages
    , as well as more conventional digital/scanned
    documents. Document changes should also be tracked.
  4. It should be able to manage paper records
    too, as few offices will be able to abandon all paper records or scan in all
    paper records.
  5. If there is a need for mobile access, the system must
    support a range of devices,
    accounting for additional challenges related to security, integration with
    existing infrastructure, and real-time technical support for end users.
  6. The ability to manage information from other electronic applications which
    may contain corporate information, such as records from Web sites, is an
    advantage for some organizations.
  7. It may be of value to focus on vendors with specific domain
    expertise. For example, OpenText has significant experience in
    pharmaceuticals, government, financial, and high technology


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