IDC says that the market for content management services will grow from $4 billion to $7.5 billion in next five years. To keep that in perspective, it’s about three times the size of the most optimistic estimate of the online content industry and about ten times that of a more realistic estimate.

Now, most of that content being managed by these services will never been seen by real people. It’s mostly corporate dross that’s now stored in Word, Excel, Notes, PDF, Quark, and other document and database files.

The current IT doldrums will keep this idea from gaining too much traction in the next year or so. But the problems of content management make customer relationship management look simple by comparison.

Content management may find itself caught between the database-oriented filesystem of Microsoft’s Longhorn OS at the low end and the infinite recursion of turning knowledge into data at the high end.