WCM vendors still struggle on the basics

The basic block-and-tackling of Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) is suffering a little as vendors pursue features they hope customers will find sexy — though perhaps not always useful. I’ve been thinking about the lack of innovation in basic services, and am often surprised how often vendors still show “drag and drop” capabilities as “what’s new.” What's going on here?

Focus drifting to site management

Over the past decade, WCM vendors have increasingly focused on “cool" extensions to their platforms — around digital marketing, social media integration, community, and other site management capabilities.

Unfortunately they have spent less effort addressing some of the persistent challenges of web content management:

  • Publishing across environments
  • In-context editing with poor mark-up
  • Omnichannel delivery with multiple previews
  • Simpler and more flexible approvals

Consequently, WCM platforms have become complex (because they try to do so many things), but at the same time provide somewhat archaic content management features.

The other issue is that these tools were not really architected for newer customer environments. Most WCM platforms emerged to manage content for websites accessed via desktops. We’ve come a long way since then: mobile devices far outnumber desktops and include not only mobile phone/tablets but a vast variety of other devices. I have yet to see a mobile-first WCM solution.

What you should do

Before you explore advanced or extended features in a new WCM platform, make sure its core publishing will work for your team, especially if you have a mobile-centric strategy.  The good news is that as I've updated some of our Web CMS technology evaluations recently I've noticed noticed some vendors returning more focus to core WCM capabilities.

You can see a list the 30+ vendors we evaluate this report. Meanwhile, you can always download a sample here.


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