The top content management stories of the year

Industry experts make their choices

As the end of the year approaches, we decided to approach some industry experts and ask them for their choice for the top content or content management story in 2012. We received a variety of responses across the spectrum of coverage areas here at FierceContentManagement.

For me, the top story probably was that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has shifted to a cloud-first development cycle for SharePoint 2013 and is encouraging customers to make the transition to the cloud. I wouldn't have expected Microsoft to move ahead of its prime customers, but it has, and it should be interesting to see the short-and long-term impact of this strategy.

Here's what some of our experts thought:

"Marketers are finally realizing that long-term campaign planning isn't the only way to create and that real-time content is a definitive competitive advantage."

- David Meerman Scott, author, speaker and marketing strategist


"There are many trends, and you already know the usual suspects; most will take years to play out. But if I were going to pick the biggest, most impactful *story* of the past year, it is the Autonomy debacle. It is going to reverberate all through 2013, both in terms of marketplaces, major customer switching, and a cooling of mega-M&A deals in favor of more tactical acquisitions."

- Tony Byrne, president, Real Story Group


"2012 was a big breakthrough year for what I've been calling the web's Three Os: open standards, open source and open data. Huge strides were made by the U.S. in adoption of open source WCM and setting the path for open source records management by late 2014. Open standards were embraced by U.K. cabinet, and open data initiatives have are sky-rocketing at all levels of government around the world."

- Cheryl McKinnon, principal, Candy Strategies


"For me, the biggest content management story of the year is the "Roadmap for a Digital Government" published by the White House in May. (See and Federal agencies now have a mandate to manage and produce content as linked data. Like the commercialization of the Internet almost twenty years ago, this open E-Gov policy will spur innovations in smart content delivery across both the public and private sector for many years to come."

- Geoff Bock principal,  Bock and Company


"I am going to choose the HP/Autonomy affair for the financial size of the impact and it's implications for the future. The multi-billion dollar fiasco of the HP/Autonomy merger points to a more symptomatic condition of large enterprise software vendors caught in technology disruption; they cannot buy their way into innovation and the size of company, and breadth of their stack, is no guarantee that CIOs have a safe and future-proof bet on infrastructure to their build enterprise solutions."

- John Newton, CTO Alfresco and co-founder of Documentum


"I'd say 2012, to me, was the year where the the idea of managing the customer experience came on full-force. Reintroduced to content folks in 2011, 2012 turned the corner for CEM and propelled marketers, especially, to the forefront of the customer experience fold, adding customer retention, customer satisfaction and loyalty to the long list of their responsibilities as the de facto keepers of the corporate digital presence. The implications of this shift have only begun to be realized, as technologies and content strategies still have a long ways to go to fulfill on it's promises, but we'll look back to 2012 as the year we turned the corner."

- Scott Liewehr, president and principal analyst at Digital Clarity Group


"Digital experience was a huge theme in 2012, but that has been building before this year and will continue to be a focus for web content management clients and vendors in 2013. But what really stood out in 2012 was that we finally had a decisive "year of mobile." Smart phones and tablets became truly pervasive, and virtually every company that engages with clients is working hard to catch up or stay current with their mobile plans. It's been surprising to see how many are lagging in this area. Many are doing responsive design and taking "mobile first" approaches, but they're really leaning on their WCM vendors to step up and provide better capabilities for business users to manage content in the mobile channel. There's a big opportunity for WCM differentiation in mobile in 2013."

- David Aponovich, senior analyst, Forrester Research

Related Articles:
2012 Merger and Acquisition Roundup
HP accuses Autonomy of accounting improprieties