Reasoning for Innovation
Mehta thinks that a CMS is an extension of the human need to collaborate with each other. “First, we had fax machines, and then email came into play,” he says. “But people soon found email had limitations, as didWeb 1.0. The Web 2.0 movement is an evolution in the process for the best and most enjoyable way to collaborate with any business partner, including your own co-workers who might be in different geographies.

“As more people have access to content, the greater the risk for data breaches and security problems. “The more interactive the site, the more code is used,” says McLaughlin from Siteworx. “The more code, the greater the risk for bugs. Undoubtedly, there will be more security problems.”

Mehta says multiple levels of security are necessary. “The first level is a username and password. A second level is limiting access to project levels so only appropriate people can get certain information.”

One of the challenges Thunderhead has tried to address is the consistency and content of communications with customers. “We find that, especially in regulated industries, there is specific information that has to go into customer correspondence, such as disclaimers or legal documentation,” says SVP Chris McLaughlin. “What we want to do in those situations is to produce a very personalized communication, but at the same time provide a level of control for the organization that compliance, regulatory, or legally required content isn’t taken out of the communication.” Thunderhead’s software can lock down some aspects of the communication while still allowing personalization of the information. This eliminates the risk of accidentally releasing sensitive data.

So what will the future bring? Rogers thinks that websites will transform into mashups that pull data and functionality from other sites into one location, and visitors will access and interact with that content and functionality as well as add their own content and functionality. In fact, he says, “No one will be able to sell online without social functionality such as commenting, ratings, reviews, and other forms of consumer interaction.”

Information is on overload, says EMC’s Tidmarsh. “The reason content management exists as a technology market is because companies got smart and said they didn’t want all this important information stored on desktops and hard drives, but [they] wanted it [in] a more centralized place with more security,” she says. “What’s changed is now everybody is a contributor.”

Keene thinks the future will bring a greater move of CMS to mobile devices. “With things like the iPhone and Google’s Droid, the phone experience has gotten more sophisticated. Everybody always seems to be on the go. I think there will be more use of apps to do day-to-day tasks.”

“This will enable companies to properly communicate and service their customers,” adds Thunderhead’s McLaughlin. “The service will be highly individual, no matter what medium the customer chooses to engage with. The number of touch points between business and client will only increase in the future.”

Companies Featured in This Article

Ektron, Inc.
EMC Corp.
eTouch Systems Corp.
Siteworx, Inc.