IDC Announces Predictions for Information Access Software and Finds the Market Up for Grabs in 2006

FRAMINGHAM, MA – March 20, 2006 – According to IDC, the information access software markets, which include business intelligence (BI), search and retrieval, text mining, content management (CM), compliance, and data warehousing (DW) software, will experience swift change and growth in 2006. IDC predicts consolidation and convergence across several markets, and believes acquisitions will run rampant while partnerships are made and broken as major vendors attempt to dominate the markets.

"IDC believes that the next two years will be a time of ferment, change, and growth in the information access software and solutions markets," said Susan Feldman, research vice president for Content Technologies. "Right now, BI vendors have the edge because of their size; however, large software vendors, hardware vendors, and even software integrators are entering the converged market with a variety of platforms that combine some of the elements of the enterprise workplace. Each of these will seek to dominate the information access market by first selling to its installed base and then moving outward as it gains traction."

IDC's top ten predictions for information access software and solutions are:

1. Demand for access to information anywhere, anytime, from any device will spur development of products that can automatically recognize devices and format information and deliver it securely to users, no matter their location or device.

2. Business intelligence applications and business process automation will merge to become intelligent process automation.

3. Search/discovery applications and business intelligence applications will begin to offer overlapping capabilities.

4. Information access products will begin to converge into information management and access platforms that provide the information infrastructure for the emerging enterprise workplace.

5. A new wave of investment in business intelligence applications will appear as demand grows for "BI for the masses," requiring more scalable applications with easier-to-use interfaces.

6. Fourth-generation search will arrive in 2006, with advanced language analysis tools and capabilities that threaten both the current generation of enterprise search platforms and the data warehouse/OLAP market.

7. "Content management lite" applications will proliferate to manage scattered information on file servers and desktops.

8. Sarbanes-Oxley initiatives will morph into broader enterprise risk management, driving the need for a platform that includes content management, process automation, records management and retention, and search technologies.

9. Large software vendors will enter the information access markets to take advantage of services opportunities and maintain their customer relationships.

10. Consumer information access tools and techniques will filter into the business markets as consumers who are also information workers demand easier-to-use tools that enable them to find, analyze, collaborate on, and distribute information.

The study, Information Access Predictions 2006-2007 (IDC #34951), describes the top trends and predictions for the information access markets in 2006-2007. Ten predictions are discussed and future outlooks are presented for the content management, search, business intelligence, data warehousing, text mining, and compliance markets. The study also recommends strategies for playing in this dynamic market.

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IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications industries. We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy. Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets. Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.

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