Content Management Trends and Innovations

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A World View
Certainly, market forces are among the biggest drivers behind innovations in CMS. Businesses need to find more efficient ways to work together when a project team has members in California, India, and England. And given an increasingly global customer base, even locally staffed companies may need to look toward serving an international marketplace. To this end, Ektron has introduced localization and multilingual support on its CMS software.

It is always an important issue to consider who will be accessing a company's international site. This is especially vital for global companies with multilingual users. "You may need to consider [using] a lot of languages," says McLaughlin. Or large companies may have a lot of different brand names under one umbrella organization, but the different brands might share the same content. The CMS needs to pull that information together in a coherent and user-friendly manner.

Globalization and social media aren't the only market forces changing the way we manage content. In addition to many of the trends discussed here, Tidmarsh believes that regulation is increasingly impacting
the shape of content management.

The economic crisis and the troubles in the banking industry will increase the number of regulations on how information is shared, transparency requirements, and so on. "The need for companies to comply with government regulation and to be able to govern their business practices in a transparent way is on the rise," Tidmarsh says.

Centralizing and Simplifying CMS
Another trend that McLaughlin has seen is centralization of content management.

"I think over the years, organizations have deployed tens or hundreds of systems to manage their content, and they are now seeing how painful and expensive that is from a branding messaging perspective," he explains. "So we're seeing a lot of people pushing for a smarter, better system for the experience of the customer."

Along these lines, EMC is looking at how to get companies on board for complete deployment of a CMS. Tidmarsh says, "Part of what we're doing is to make the software prepackaged. We also think you have to build some of the templates and accelerators to get your company there quicker and lessen investment costs."

eTouch SamePage focused on the centralization of content management on a project it did with the California State Polytechnic University-Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona). "People didn't have an easy way to share documents," says Devang Mehta, head of marketing and business development. "And that led to an inefficient process."

Cal Poly Pomona found that wikis offered the ideal collaborative environment; what it liked about SamePage was that it came prepackaged and was executable the moment it was up and running. Even better, the staff needed virtually no training to use it.

"The whole process of sharing content became much easier," says Mehta. "What Cal Poly liked about the wiki is that the data became searchable. If they are looking for some university policy or procedure, they can type in a keyword and the wiki pulls up the information. That would be harder to do in a non-wiki world."

The ability for the end user to be more in control of the software and to let businesses better interact with their clients is a vital component of CMS. "The technology traditionally used (the legacy systems) are IT-centric," says Keene. "You generally have to go to IT if you need to create a new file. We want to change that model."

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Four and a half years of columns, on top of a couple of years prior studying content management systems at CMS Review, taught me a lot about how information is created, managed, and published today, especially on the web.