New realities require new editorial tools

Today, a successful WCM implementation must be measured against more than the basic requirements of publishing to a web property, keeping costs down, providing a stable service and improving ROI. With the acceleration of internet adoption and the proliferation of new mobile devices, and the growth of social interactivity, online managers today face significant new challenges:

Ineffective management

Outdated editorial interfaces often hinder online publishing operations and lead to costly, manual, and ineffective site management processes. Portal managers and web site editors are frustrated by lack of usability, making their lives increasing difficult.

Inflexible systems

This online ecosystem is constantly changing. Decisions based on current requirements will not necessarily make sense next year, or even next month. The current acceleration of mobile and social is putting continuous pressure on both business users and IT.  Many WCM solutions are inflexible and provide no answer for continuous innovation.

Technological obsolescence

The need for operational stability requires a fine-tuned balance between reliability and technological innovation. Today’s stable platform is tomorrow’s proprietary dead end. Technology can become obsolete long before a ROI has been realized.

Modern WCM systems should make the work of business users as easy and efficient as possible – while protecting companies from technological dead-ends.

The ideal characteristics of the next generation of WCM editorial interfaces include the following:

  • Designed for a Wide Range of Business Users

    In the past, most Web properties were maintained by a fairly small number of content editors. Now, as  Web experiences are becoming more sophisticated, additional roles – including business specialists, online marketers, communication professionals and channel managers – contribute to the online experience. Effective interfaces must be browser–based and highly configurable to meet the specific roles of those who use them.

  • Dynamic Content Rules and Information-Based Publishing

    The standard way of publishing Web content is to create static pages and establish manual links between content items. This may be a valid approach for a Web property with a small amount of content that is rarely updated. However as pressure increases to provide more content to more segments on any device, this manual approach falls short and hampers innovation. Modern WCM systems allow business users to manage information not pages – supports “dynamic assembly” of content elements at run time – and allows business users to quickly modify Web content using flexible page grids and in-page image editing.

  • Extensibility and Openness

    Doing business on the Web is complicated. Modern enterprise applications typically integrate several services for a cohesive offering. WCM systems are mission critical and should provide the same ease of integration. However many WCM products provide inflexible and closed user interfaces, leading to a “one size fits all” approach. Companies need a user interface that provide robust SDKs and open API’s in all product components, including the editorial user interfaces.

By following these principles, companies can move beyond basic content authoring to really focus on enhancing their customers’ experiences. Business users need a single, flexible interface to access their complete content ecosystem and create relevant business rules to deliver contextual experiences across any touchpoint. (Glenn Conradt)

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