The economic data continues to look rather bleak, GDP forecasters for Q3 are predicting somewhere around 1.0-1.5% GDP. That is extremely weak and expectations are unemployment rates will continue to grow higher in the near-term. The month of August from a stock market perspective delivered the worst performance in 9 years. Growth predictions for the 4th quarter are almost non-existent from the reports I have been reading.
So, how does all this very alarming economic statistics affect the data and document capture world?
Well, if customers in either the commercial sector or public sector continue to look for the means to pay for ECM projects - via the traditional capital expenditure process (software, software assurance, hardware, hardware maintenance, professional services) they are simply going to run into significant road blocks, delays and perhaps entire project cancellations. This is especially true in the public sector with declining tax revenue being the norm - which are the primary source of funds used to finance public IT projects.
Let's face it, the Executive Teams throughout Corporate America take into account the economic climate when making informed business investment spending decisions. One would reasonably expect the Public Sector would wake up to the stark reality of budget crunches and maintain some semblance of fiscal responsibility with our tax dollars.
Corporate spending on IT related CAPEX projects certainly are not immune from economic data and certainly will affect those business decisions - whether the projects are "a go or no go." Today or within the last hour, the economic data might be ok, and the Executive Team may be in support of your ECM project, but come tomorrow that may quickly change and without notice, the Executive Team may have decided to immediately shut down your ECM project. As I write this, fuel costs shot up .25 per gallon overnight...the trucking and transportation industry no doubt are all talking about the dramatic, unexpected increase in costs of doing business that didn't exist last Friday, but now exist come Monday morning!
However, there is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel - Software as a Service (SaaS). For CAPSYS customers and CAPSYS partners, CAPSYS CAPTURE ONLINE provides a viable alternative to stalled, dead, or no-decision ECM projects because CAPEX budgets are either frozen, non-existent or have been completely vaporized. The Software as a Service option takes the mystery and uncertainly out of whether or not your ECM project will be funded because you aren't seeking six figures of CAPEX budget dollars to support your project.
Interestingly enough, we are finding that our partner's Global 2000 customers are tracking with the SaaS trend more quickly than the mid-market. I suspect this is because the mid-market organizations still are emotionally attached to maintaining physical possession of their equipment, software and data. Mid market companies are eventually going to get the message...save your cash, embrace SaaS and get business done today...if you don't, your competition will.