Category Archives: Trends 2009

Hey Gartner, your Magic Quadrant in WCM is missing key players.

I have just read the August 5 2009 magic quadrant of WCM from Gartner.  I am sad to see Gartner still proceeds to evaluate only commercial offering when it comes to top WCM solutions.  Gartner’s main driver for inclusion seems to be revenue, not user experience, not adoption rates, not market peneration, and not features, but legacy measures of revenue, professional services, and support.  By doing so, Gartner tends to elevate and promote the older, less agile solutions, and may skew the research of companies looking for cutting edge approaches.  Gartner identifies trends in the markets are web 2.0, enhanced usability of non-technical audiences, popularity of open source, and interest in saas, however they fail to identify open source WCM drivers in the market.  For example, user experience and web 2.0 are directly being impacted by the expansion of the open source communities building and implementing WordPress, MovableType, Drupal, and Joomla solutions.  Next, the Saas market is seeing an explosion in adoption of cloud products like Squarespace.

I truly value some high level assessments of great products like Autonomy Teamsite, Sitecore, Ektron, and Sharepoint; since a majority of the open source solutions cannot scale in fortune 500 situations across the enterprise.  However, when evaluating a magic quadrant of WCM, you cannot leave the open source off the table, many large distributors of content and SMBs are looking to open source since they provide quick and easy solutions for business users to rapidly produce and publish content.  Trends of WCM/CMS now place a higher value on development community over revenue.  Through development communities, companies can accelerate innovation and adoption of new web 2.0 and social media features.

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Content Targeting and Optimization: CMS vs. Analytics Solutions

Many CMS vendors have been busy incorporating richer targeting functionality into their CMS product. For example, Interwoven acquired Optimost and also incorporates targeting capabilities in its LiveSite product, Sitecore is coming with an Online Marketing Suite , Tridion has its Unified Online Marketing Suite and Fatwire has had targeting capabilities for a long time. At the same time, analytics vendors are now in the same market, with Omniture offering Test & Target, Google offering Website Optimizer , and yesterday Webtrends announcing they are acquiring Widemile.
Obviously, CMS vendors need to move beyond basic content management. Offering targeting capabilities is very attractive, as it is an area where CMS vendors can claim direct results and clear ROI, justifying the investment companies make in buying their products…

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Information Technology vs. Business Needs in CMS

Business Strategy and IT Alignment
Image by Alex Osterwalder via Flickr
By Matthew Johnson

In the last 10 years, I have seen a common theme in fortune 500 organizations in regards to Content Management Systems (CMS) and-or Web Content Management (WCM) solutions.  Many CMS projects begin with a misalignment between the objectives of the business (Marketing, Finance, Operations, Silos, Product Groups) and information technology. It is essential that a CMS/WCM solution be started with all parties having common and clear set objects and performance measure for CMS success.  CMS initiatives should always reflect an organizations long term business strategy (Internet, extranet and intranet etc…).  However, more often than not, the CMS reflects a general interpretation of business needs by I.T.  Why would I say this?  To start,  most CMS initiatives begin to assuage a general need across the company.

For Example:

“The business would like shorter time to market for web content change and decrease the need and dependency of resources from I.T.”

“The organization would like to reuse and share content across the organization and gain efficiencies and reduce duplication of effort across departments.”

Do these sound familiar? Well this is common sales pitch for a CMS.  However, these needs are typically paired up with vague performance measures that quickly attempt to define measure for ROI and before you know it, you have a CMS budget and the project begins.

According to Gartner’s atricle “Tactical Guidelines for Narrowing Your Choices When Evaluating WCM Vendors” from December 2008:

1.  More than 65% of the Web Content Management teams were unaware of their organizations’ high-level, nontechnical objectives.

2.  More than 95% of Web Content Management related inquiries involved teams that had not identified specific, measurable metrics for their WCM initiatives.

This research validates my professional experiences and points to an overwhelming trend in companies that enterprise level CMS/WCM projects are executed without clearly identifying the needs/wants of the business and the key performance indicators of success.  In fact, many CMS/WCM projects are designed and executed from a technical point of view within information technology communities. Information Technology groups are measured by ROI of their systems and resources shared across the organization.  I.T. traditionally tries to develop a “general”  CMS solution that can be shared across the organization as to achieve economies of scale in content management and support resources.  For example, many WCM initiatives revolve around solutions that allow business units to leverage

  • Generic Presentation Templates for HTML/JSP/ASPX Generation
  • Generic Content Types and Metadata
  • Generic Tag Libraries or APIs for integration with legacy systems

However, this “one size fits all solutions” directly or indirectly conflicts with the expectations of business units that are moving toward a more segmented/targeted solutions that deal with customers at a more granular level.  Many business units interact with the web and see all the new technologies dealing with Analytics, Segmentation, Targeting, AJAX, Flash, Silverlight, Video, JavaScript, Facebook, Social Media, and RSS. The business units then ask the internal I.T. group on the time and effort required to get these features into the CMS/WCM solutions.  What is the result…. push-back!!!

Why do they get push-back?

  • The key performance measures of I.T. conflict with the business needs of the client.
  • I.T. focuses on centralization, support, and reuse while the business units wants segmented, targeted, and custom solutions.
  • I.T. just spent 2-5 years developing a CMS infrastructure to meet the requirements of five years ago and architecture cannot support current needs that demand quick, agile, custom across multiple distributions channels.
  • The current infrastructure is just now getting return on investment and the CTO/CIO are under pressure to squeeze every last dollar out the current infrastructure before significant improvements are made or rebuilt.
  • Traditional I.T. projects require 6-12 months before customizations and modifications can be brought online.
  • Most enterprise CMS/WCM vendors (Microsoft, Interwoven/Autonomy, FileNet, Documentum, Oracle) move just as slow as internal I.T. organizations in delivering more relevant and rich feature sets to meet current and future needs.  Therefore the CMS vendor architecture itself cannot support the business requirement  (Now I know most vendors will directly disagree with this statement, but its true)
  • Due to this push-back, many business units tend to see their internal CMS controlled by I.T. efforts as slow moving, difficult to use, and political.  As a result, we see growth in software and as a service (SAAS) solutions being leveraged by business units, such as marketing, to go around their internal information technology departments.  This is especially prevalent in situations dealing with social media, user submitted content, and moderation.

In order to prevent and-or lessen these issues in regards to CMS initiatives, it is essential to create and develop a cross-department CMS team that has a common set of high level non-technical business objective agreed upon.  These objective must be measurable and have specific targets to measured against.  Once done, technology and business will be on common ground for successful cross-organization CMS experience.

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What is driving the ECM and CMS marketplaces in 2009?

The ECM and CMS  markets are consolidating and changing according to the demands of users, regulations and the needs of the enterprise environment.  To summarize I have created a list of key drivers pushing the the content management market in 2009.

- Compliance and information retention are receiving more attention.  Organizations need to not only control but also archive content being distributed to their partners, customers, etc.

- Organizations are increasingly looking for ways to “distribute” content across channels.  No longer is it about driving users to a single web site, but distributing content across social networks (facebook), fan pages, micro blogs (twitter), blogs, wikis(wikipedia), mobile,  rss,  web services, news aggregators, widgets, etc.  As content becomes smaller, segmented and more relevant, the focus is not on the maintenance and centralization of large pieces of content, but on the distribution and delivery of an organizations content across channels, devices, and boundaries.  The distribution of content should be factored into ECM/CMS strategy.

- Users are increasingly adopting user-generated content tools such as blogging, micro-blogging, comments, ratings, wikis, instant messaging.  User-generated content capabilities should be a component of content management system, especially when positioning for the future.

- Rich Internet Applications (RIA), Widgets, and Web 2.0 sites are becoming the primary interface into content production.  These mediums provide real time content production and deployment to users and business groups.

- Digital Asset Management features are gaining momentum. Due to the high cost of production, organizations are looking for ways to cut costs, especially when it comes to expensive photo/video shoots.  Digital asset management provides a way to centralize and share creative assets across an organization.

- Mobile internet is a growing market in the North America.  However, throughout the rest of the world, mobile is the primary interface to the internet.

2009 Trends in Content Management

Google Trends CMS
Image by ♥ China ♥ guccio via Flickr

2009 Trends in Content Management

By  Martin Jacobs, Vice President of Technology
Matthew Johnson, Senior Technical Architect
Razorfish CMS Center of Excellence

The world of content management is ever changing in the digital world, especially in enterprise scenarios.  To start off, we at razorfish though we’d look at some important trends in 2009 that are sure to make for an exciting year in content management.

Move from decoupled to coupled

One key element around CMS is whether to leverage a decoupled CMS (e.g. Interwoven, Documentum) vs a tightly coupled CMS (such as Tridion, SiteCore and Vignette). In the last couple of years, we have seen a stronger trend towards more tightly coupled CMS. A couple reason for this exist:

Personalization and targeting is becoming a standard requirement for many web sites. As a result, instead of a page centric model, a more component / module centric model is more applicable. This requires a different delivery model, as well as a different administration view.

  • Social capabilities are becoming an integral aspect of the overall content management ecosystem.
  • In-context editing is a key requirement to support a component view of content. In addition, in-context editing is crucial to increase adoption.

As a result, vendors like Interwoven have developed additional modules that provide dynamic editing and delivery capabilities such as LiveSite and Targeting to address the market place needs.

The CMS becomes social

The focus of traditional CMS software packages has primarily been content. However, the social use of a CMS has grown in importance. It is not just about content, a CMS is starting to play an important role around communication, conversation and collaboration. All these elements need to be tightly integrated with the content itself.

This place a more important emphasis on capabilities such as:

  • blogging
  • commenting
  • discussion
  • feedback
  • ratings
  • collaboration
  • filtering
  • rating

In addition, content is being distributed, and capabilities around sharing, RSS, email and social network integration and other related areas become must haves.

A development community is becoming an important selection criteria for a CMS platform

Especially around the social capabilities, innovation happens quickly. Social networking platform vendors like Facebook add new capabilities like Facebook connect, new tools like Twitter are coming to the forefront. As a result, the community that exists around a CMS platform is becoming more important, as it becomes a differentiator in how quickly you can adapt to these new trends. It drives the release of new plugins or modules.

For example, the wordpress community is very active, and new plugins with new capabilities are released on an almost daily.

Cloud computing further drives Open Source CMS adoption

Cloud computing has been gaining traction in the last year. Computing power can be ordered online cheaply, and without contracts. As a result, Open Source CMS technologies that are aligned with cloud computing has gained more traction. The benefits of using Open Source platforms like Drupal or WordPress are:

  • No license restrictions. Licensing and cloud computing do not combine well. Many licenses are sold on a CPU or server basis, and in a cloud environment, this license is not valid any more.
  • Cloud environments provide agility. It is easy to establish an environment. This applies to many open source CMS tools as well. A reasonably capable CMS can be installed and up and running within a matter of hours.

Ownership of content management is shifting from IT to Marketing

With improved analytics and richer consumer interactions with well-targeted audiences and market segments, changes are being made more frequently. As a result, marketing departments are seeking more control for managing content, as well as the overall web site experience. This requires more flexible and agile CMS solutions. This enabled by two parallel trends:

  • Service oriented architectures allow for further decoupling of a web experiences from transactional enterprise capabilities. As a result, the web experience can evolve faster.
  • CMS solutions have become more turnkey, and richer in capabilities. Changes require IT involvement less often
  • Marketing departments have become more web and technology savvy

Content re-use is dead

A few years ago, a main focus areas for CMS systems was to enable content re-use. This focus has shifted towards content distribution and RSS, and enabling re-use at a delivery point instead of enabled within a content management system



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