Industry Voices make 2011 predictions

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Since I was writing my own 2011 predictions this week, I thought it might be fun to ask some industry experts what they expect for the coming year. Here's what they had to say:

Corporate websites grow up

Many organizations have been trying to fix their corporate web presence for the last couple of years--moving them to the next generation by going all out with social media or giving them a "face lift" with a more modern look and feel on top level pages. But the reality is some websites are an irretrievable mess with lots of disorganized, old content and a mish-mash of applications. What looks good on the surface disintegrates in two clicks or one search query. I predict that in 2011 organizations will realize that you can't put lipstick on a pig of a web presence and expect real, measurable business value. In 2011, organizations will gut that pig of a site and start from scratch with new technology, a content strategy and web presence performance measures that map to real business results. Websites will finally grow up. - Lisa Welchman, WelchmanPierpoint

No vendor lock-in

Going into 2011, our research customers are indicating an unprecedented aversion to vendor lock-in. In the real world, enterprises have to support multiple devices, multiple internal portals, multiple web delivery channels, underutilized SharePoint deployments and the lingering primacy of email as a corporate information management platform--so vendors will have to adapt. - Tony Byrne, Real Story Group

Open source WCM gains popularity

Hybrid commercial-open source offers will grow in popularity dramatically. Open source WCM products are enterprise ready, but large companies have been hesitant to adopt them because of the inherent risk of "AYOR" products. With a number of open source vendors now beginning to offer "enterprise" or "professional" variants of their traditionally open code base--along with commercial maintenance contracts and full-fledged partner certification programs--2011 could well be the breakthrough year of open source CMS platforms. - Tony White, Ars Logica 

The rise of distributed convergence

The 90s signaled the rush to the Internet, and inside, the first Intranets and Portals. 2000-2010, saw the rise of Web 2.0 and more recently Enterprise 2.0. 

In 2011 and beyond, the dynamic of taking advantage of all of the prior trends, management practices and technologies, is leading into what I call "distributed convergence." It involves taking advantage of things like a very distributed set of employees, but getting them to more easily collaborate as one unit. Or extending parts of infrastructure to the cloud, while still taking advantage of traditional on-premise deployments to create a greater, more flexible environment (and much more). 

In short, it's the realization that no single technology, management style, motivational technique or mindset is enough by itself. We need more of all of these things, but working together. And that's where the gold is for 2011. - Dan Keldsen, Information Architected

Systems of engagement, systems of records

Since I joined the board of AIIM (Association of Information and Image Management--the main ECM industry body) at the beginning of the year, we have been looking at where ECM is going from here. In doing so, we engaged Geoffrey Moore of "Crossing the Chasm" fame. In working with AIIM and some of the leading vendors in information technology, Geoff has come to the conclusion we are on the verge of a significant shift in investment in enterprise software from systems of record (ECM, ERP, CRM) to systems of engagement (Facebook for the enterprise, YouTube for the enterprise, Twitter for the enterprise). Although the systems of records are largely complete, these new systems of engagement will tackle new issues of real-time collaboration, handling unstructured or ad hoc work, and bringing customers and partners along as part of the job of adding value to products and services.

Systems of engagement will dramatically change enterprise content management in two ways: They will challenge ECM to manage, control and audit information that seems to be unmanageable. They will also become a new, kinder, gentler face to ECM infusing a rather staid technology with easier, more consumer-like user interfaces that are directly injected into lively, engaged discussions between employees, customers and partners.

The two emerging use cases of where systems of engagement meet systems of record, that I can see in 2011, are around customers and employees. For customers, ECM helps provide the engaging content that is essential to the conversations in systems of engagement. They represent the truth and quality of information that will be valued by customers as text, image and video--especially video. As systems of engagement enter the workplace as the "Facebook for the enterprise" that all, especially young, employees have been dreaming of, ECM will help provide the repository, audit trail and arbiter of truth that will be required to put these into real operational environments. - John Newton, Alfresco

Mobile productivity matures

Despite all the talk about mobile workers and the wonders of today's smartphones, real productivity depends on availability of more enterprise applications than just email. In 2011, the power of mobile content applications will catch fire and organizations will start deployments en masse to facilitate greater people productivity and process efficiency. This will also drive the demand for security, compliance and litigation readiness infrastructure for such mobile enterprise applications. - Lubor Ptacek, Open Text

Enterprise 2.0 Value Emerges

Let's ignore the insider's argument over what to call it - social business or enterprise 2.0. Over the last half of the year, an emerging consensus on value has/is emerging. Good for collaboration, knowledge sharing, locating experts, customer service, etc. Where it remains immature is the "you either get or you're business is going to fail" argument that seems to be part of most of the vendors' marketing pitch. They need to articulate those benefits in a way that makes sense to someone staring at his/her bottom line, not poke fun at them for being responsible for a bottom line. - Bryant Duhon, AIIM

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