Forget Predicting Software Vendor Survivors. Solve Your Problem!

Think of nearly any established market, and I bet only two dominant players instantly spring to mind in each one:

Coke ↔ Pepsi
McDonald’s ↔ Burger King
iOS ↔ Android
AT&T ↔ Verizon
Red Sox ↔ Yankees (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

In more vibrant spaces, you there may be three or four:

Microsoft ↔ Google ↔ Amazon
Nike ↔ Addidas ↔ Reebok
Box ↔ DropBox ↔ Google ↔ Microsoft

And in truly emergent markets, like as not, there aren’t ANY.

Or rather, there are MANY. Some large, some small. Some contenders, some pretenders (no, not naming names here).

Such as is the case in Information Governance.

As an IG customer, part of your job is to try to calculate which is which, and which will end up as a survivor. And this isn’t easy, as early indicators and mid-lifecycle experiences ultimately can be proven deceptive (see: Documentum, FileNet).

The thing to remember is that this is only PART of your job. The other part centers on the selection and use of best practices, tools, and technologies that address the business problems you are trying to solve. And of the two, this is by far the more important.

If you spend too much time worrying about which newcomer will last, or which “usual suspect” will falter, you’ll only extend the timeline for and difficulty of your eventual solution.

So focus instead on who’s got what capabilities, subscribes to which philosophies, and best suits your needs. Only then take a pause to consider their life expectancies. And know in your heart that if their value propositions are there, it’s likely they’ll be among the top four, or three, or two in the end, in one form or another.

About the author: Steve Weissman

Steve Weissman helps you do information right by bringing order and discipline to your governance and process practices. Principal Consultant at Holly Group and Co-Founder of the Information Coalition (now merged with ARMA International), he leverages a proven proprietary methodology to optimize everything from strategic planning and needs assessment to vendor selection and user adoption. He is, in short, The Info Gov Guy™, furthering best-practices for finding, leveraging, and protecting your business-critical information. A member of the AIIM Company of Fellows and holder of numerous industry designations, he can be reached at or 617-383-4655.

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