Is it time for IT to hand the reigns to Business Users? A New Paradigm.


Most WCM UIs were Designed for Tech Geeks.

As the Web has evolved, the demands on business users – marketers, editors, publishers, and business managers – have increased, yet the technology that they depend upon has fallen behind – leaving them struggling and ill-equipped to deliver relevant online experiences. The challenges of the social, mobile, multi-channel Web require that business users be empowered to create, manage, and optimize the online experience for their customers in a fiercely competitive environment.

These days, online experiences must be unique for every visitor and “fresh”. Traditional IT processes are not fast enough, nor are they sufficiently scalable, to meet these new requirements, particularly at a time when many IT departments are faced with resource and budget constraints. From a content ownership, customer relationship and resource perspective, these tasks are rapidly moving from the exclusive domain of IT.

Instead it is increasingly falling to business users to own the responsibility for delivering unique and personalized Web experiences. For these professionals – who typically have the greatest understanding of their customers’ real needs – the limitation of not being able to fully deliver against both their customers’ expectations and their own business’ online goals is becoming increasingly frustrating. This lack of flexibility constrains time-to-market and creates barriers to successfully optimizing their customers’ online interactions going forward.


Key Capabilities to Empower Business Users.

Frontline Web professionals require a new approach based on a flexible, integrated interface that reflects the new online reality, supports how they work and addresses the new demands required to create, deliver and optimize online experiences for their customer across all channels and touch-points.

The following checklist outlines the key capabilities that your business users need to drive effective value on the Web through a contextual approach. It addresses the five fundamental prerequisites essential for managing content in a Post PC world:

  • Create and manage content effectively

    It all starts with content – it’s the business users not the back-end CMS architecture that should set the structure and pace of any online publishing system. Content must be created, managed and delivered as individual objects rather than a single, monolithic page. This ensures the optimum reuse and accuracy of content – especially when used across multiple properties where a trivial change could occupy many people for days or weeks instead of a few minutes.

  • Get the whole picture

    Customers need to be given the whole picture, not just what is actually available in their content system. Business users expect to access content from diverse sources as a unified component in a single editorial interface without the need to learn and work with multiple applications or having to compromise by only working with content in their WCM repository. It is essential that your business users aren’t limited to inflexible Web content editors that either deny them access to relevant content, or force them to access multiple applications.

  • Design the user experience

    Creating a customized online experience involves applying predefined rules that can deliver on-demand content that matches each customer’s needs precisely. In order to create these rules a business user must be able to access all relevant content – including the information that defines a customer’s context. Factors to consider include customer segment or status, device, level of activity, or simply the keywords that brought them to your website.

  • Experience the result

    Business rules are important. However it’s also essential for business users to have visibility into the impact that these rules will have on any specific customer interaction – without relying on guesswork. They need to be able to test customer profiles within their working environment, and see the impact of different contextual information during this testing process.

  • Do all of the above – efficiently

    Creating content, providing business users with the whole picture, designing the relevant customer experience, and being able to preview the results before going live, requires an intelligent Web Content Management approach that is designed from the start with the business user in mind. Ultimately it’s about optimizing the environment where the business user designs the customer experience and ensuring that this environment reflects their reality rather than limiting it.

(Glenn Conradt)

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