There’s never any shortage of trends, new ideas and technologies when it comes to the web and the way that content is managed and distributed. Two of the biggest tech buzzwords we have heard this year are ‘Big Data’ and ‘Cloud’.
These are very relevant to the CM space, as more and more enterprises integrate these into their businesses. However, these aren’t the only changes we can expect to see in CM over the course of the next year, social will continue to play a big part and so will mobile devices.
- Big Data: What is it? The internet has grown considerably over the past few years and according to IBM, “90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from a variety of sources and can be defined as “the growing volume, variety and velocity of information”. Basically, this just means gathering the data and analyzing it so that you can maximize what content is relevant and how much engagement it gets. It’s not easy to predict how big data will impact content management technologies, but it does seem clear that new tools will be needed to cope with accelerated growth and insights.
Experts agree that this means enterprise content management will evolve to push ‘out-of-the-box’ systems out as it leans towards a platform-based approach. This will make it easier for organizations to streamline their content-driven applications and make them ‘smarter’.
Whilst all this sounds a little daunting, it’s a good thing as we’ve never before had such enormous possibilities for business intelligence and the way it’s handled. This means that CM architects must now incorporate CMS that are well designed and developed intelligently for the end-user.
- Cloud: there are so many cloud platforms out there, with more emerging all the time, which means even the term cloud-computing can give you a headache. The most popular for CMS is, so far, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which can allow a common interface for workers all over the organization, depending on individual roles and permissions.
It would take too much time to go into all the aspects of cloud right now, but think of products such as Dropbox or SpiderOak and then consider how a bespoke package could make all the difference to how people collaborate. Files can be shared instantly, streamlined and even scheduled to makes a huge difference to how an organization runs. It’s all about the productivity (and profits, of course).
- Social: Not only are organizations collating a huge amount of analytical (big) data, but social is a perfect way to both distribute and measure your content. Just think of how much data passes through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. so much so that it’s worth the analysis to see how your CM is working.
Of course, there are also social intranets, which is a CMS of sorts if you think about it; people at work collaborating, discussing, making data all of their own and better yet, engaging with their work in such a way that they feel valuable to the company and have a ‘voice’ within it.
- Mobile: Despite the ‘smartphone explosion’, we’re not just talking cell phones here but tablets and whatever devices might pop-up to help us out on the move. The emergence and popularity of BYOD means that with a good, secure CMS, people can login from anywhere and update work records, again improving on productivity.
Whilst cell phones and the iPad in particular have become this year’s most popular tools to use whilst away from the office, this is set to explode. The iPad mini you can just about fit in a pocket and you can even purchase a keyboard. Add to this Microsoft’s Surface, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and various other manufacturers and it’s easy to see how working away from the office will become all the more simple and attractive.
We’ve seen a big push in this direction already this year and it’s still expected to grow at an even more tremendous rate, as well as pushing the production of HTML5 ahead too (nice for those who aren’t tremendous fans of Flash and want to see its demise).
However, the nicest thing about mobile is that it is and will continue to drive the take-up of CMS, as more people telecommute or travel around the globe. The beauty of a really good CMS is that all that’s needed is an internet connection and a way of connecting to the company intranet; this is where cloud also comes in very handy.
Web CMS has evolved rapidly over the last five years and it’s become easier for people without too much technical knowledge to manage their content.
I think that the biggest impact will continue to be cloud and mobile as they are both areas in which we will continue to see a huge impact in 2013. CMS that are designed for cloud or SaaS makes for a much more flexible and scalable working environment and most models are on a pay monthly basis.
Add to that mobile and it’s a no-brainer really, between the two the world really can become a smaller place (to borrow a tired cliché) and the cost-cutting benefits of cloud are also attractive, especially for smaller companies.
For larger organizations, cloud is a little more complex as IT departments worry about which model to deploy, especially with concerns around both security and compliance issues. However, this is something that CIOs are beginning to relax a little on now as it’s been reported that those who have moved to cloud are finding security especially much better.
All of these things will leave older CMS models in the dust for enterprises over a certain size, as they won’t be able to cope with the demands required for managing big data, mobile and so forth.
As Mukul Krishna, global director for digital media, Frost and Sullivan points out: "The old model of WCMs as standalones is fast diminishing, and most standalone WCMs that cannot help manage larger enterprise workflows and content are going to find it very difficult to survive going forward."
CMS is in a period of growth that, looking forward, I can’t see diminishing at all but moving faster than ever before. This represents an ideal opportunity for developers to really get in on the act and ensure that they concentrate on:
- Functionality – including adaptability for mobile devices
- Ease of use for the end user
Get at least these right and any CMS developer will be off to a flying start!