When it comes to Web content management, there are probably a slew of features business users will want: An easy interface, templates, searchability, feed management, something to cope with the whole social-networking thing.
There's one key feature, though, that might not come up until they're knee deep in working out the details: integration. And that's a problem, because it turns out, integration is becoming a key difference between these solutions, according to "Online Engagement: An Integration Play?" by Forrester Principal Analyst Stephen Powers.
After reading Powers' post, I have to say this seems like one of those issues where a bit of proactive discussion from IT could save a lot of headaches for business users and your development staff down the road.
Powers covers all sorts of document-, digital- and information-management issues for Forrester. Web content management has always been a busy topic, but he says there's been a bustle of client interest in the past few months as more clients are "investing in technology for their online, public-facing initiatives..."
What he's noticed is that increasingly, these projects are not simply about managing content, but about more savvy marketing and technical issues such as "content targeting, analytics, multivariate testing, social media, and mobile." And before you can do those things, guess what has to come first? If you said "integration," give yourself a gold star.
The problem is, at this point, the vendors haven't caught up, he writes:
The vendors in this space aren't necessarily offering all the pieces of the engagement stack; so integration-at least currently-needs to big a major part of an organization's strategy. No one vendor currently offers all of the many technologies needed in a single suite. And even if they did, most large organizations simply can't afford to rip out all their technologies to go with the offerings from a single vendor. So integration has become an important fact of life.
So much so, he believes it could be a "differentiator."
The post also discusses what some vendors are doing to address this issue. He also will be discussing the problem in more depth at the upcoming Content and Collaboration Forum on Oct. 7-8 in Washington, D.C.