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Digital media proliferation, resultant security threats drive DRM systems market

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MUMBAI: As organisations continue to digitise content in the current business environment, there is substantial need to emphasize the rights on its usage and establish control to avoid any loss of data. This need is expected to have a huge bearing on the enterprise digital rights management (DRM) systems market.

Frost & Sullivan's report World Digital Rights Management Market, reveals that the market was worth $369.5 million in 2005 and is likely to cross the billion-dollar mark in 2011.

As companies continue to lose sensitive data such as financial information, customer profiles and marketing collateral through e-mail or other forms of data transfer, there is a rising need to deploy systems that not only track but also control the use of information. Theft of sensitive data can not only cause a company financial loss, but can also result in brand erosion and eventually, reduce its revenue generation capacity.

Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Zippy Aima says, “The need to minimize liability by ensuring that only authorized users have access to appropriate documents will have a positive impact on the demand for DRM solutions. DRM solutions enable content owners to assign specific rights such as view, copy, edit and print to files that need to be protected and these rights remain active and travel with the protected file unless changed by the content owner.”

Despite these obvious advantages, DRM vendors will find it challenging to convince companies that DRM will not severely curtail access and that organisations can meet their revenue generation goals using this technology.

Moreover, enterprises have yet to accept DRM systems as solutions that provide security throughout the life cycle of the digital content; be it in the form of a document or a music file. DRM vendors that operate in either the enterprise or media space or both need to create more awareness about the existence of this technology and market their benefits more proactively.

DRM systems have garnered greater attention in the media industry than in the enterprise sector. Some end users consider DRM to be a hindrance to the entertainment sector. However, the success of the iPod and iTunes is an indicator of the change in consumer buying behavior. Users are gradually regarding DRM more as ‘enabler’ than a ‘disabler’ for accessing digital content.

Aima adds, “Apart from the shift in perception, the need to comply with regulations such the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Gramm Leach Bliley, and Sarbanes Oxley is also driving the market ahead.

“Vertical markets such as financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and energy are focusing on regulatory compliance, thus ensuring the steady uptake of DRM solutions.”

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