It is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to manage the vast quantities of content that they have accumulated, and this results in a failure to leverage the value of that information within the organisation. Butler Group believes that there are five fundamental aspects of a Content Management solution, which address this need: Centralised Management: By centrally managing content and storing it in a single logical repository, organisations are better able to control their content, ensuring that it is available, timely and relevant. It makes it possible for content to be delivered to the point-of-need, to support better business decision making. Separation of Content from Presentation: By separating content from its presentation, the publishing bottleneck is removed, as users do not need to pass each piece of content through a design function. By using pre-designed templates, corporate standards and brand image can be upheld, whilst devolving content creation responsibility to the point of origination. Workflow: A strong and flexible workflow function is essential to help manage and control the complexities of the content life cycle. This function should be role-based so that it is easy to administer, flexible so that tasks can be distributed or re-allocated, and should provide a management overview of the whole process. Content Sharing and Re-use: Organisations are beginning to appreciate that content sharing can have a dramatic effect on their success, from transacting on-line with business partners, to delivering personalised information to customers. Traditional content creation processes encourage duplication, so a Content Management System must make it easy for content to be re-used and re-purposed for different applications. Delivery Over Multiple Channels: Content must today be delivered in many different formats and to many different devices, and a Content Management System should make this process flexible and seamless. This function must encompass traditional media such as print, as well as the Web and mobile information appliances. These five aspects form the core of a Content Management System, to which additional features such as document processing, personalisation, catalogue management, syndication, and content networking will often be added. Market Analysis It is noticeable that Content Management Systems exhibit a wide divergence between the capabilities of different vendors' solutions, and Butler Group believes that this reflects both the immaturity of the market, and the differing backgrounds of the participants. As the market develops, the larger software vendors such as IBMIBM and MicrosoftMicrosoft have been manoeuvring to establish their position, both through acquisitions and strategic alliances. Although the market is experiencing strong growth, Butler Group believes that there are too many smaller vendors to share the available revenues, and that there will be further consolidation over the next 12-18 months. The market is currently led by BroadVision, Divine, Documentum, FileNET, IBM, Interwoven, Stellent, and Vignette. We would also expect Microsoft to further strengthen its position in Content Management, following its acquisition of the Canadian vendor Ncompass, and the release of Microsoft Content Management Server. Content Management is increasingly becoming a part of the overall software infrastructure stack, being built on the foundations of an application server, and integrating with other infrastructure software such as enterprise portals, e-business platforms, and business process management tools. As this trend continues, Butler Group believes that the market will polarise into two sectors - providers of Content Management infrastructure, and providers of Content Management applications. Although the need for Content Management solutions is horizontal across most industry sectors, particular vertical markets have specific requirements from these systems, and the Content Management applications vendors will benefit from creating solutions targeted at specific industries. Early adopters have included pharmaceuticals, healthcare, publishing, telecommunications, and entertainment. Professional services are an important factor in providing a Content Management solution, and many of the vendors have either established a strong professional services division, or have partnered with the leading consultancies and systems integrators to fulfil this role. Butler Group recommends that companies should budget for between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of the cost of an overall Content Management solution to be allocated to services. Impact on Business It is important to appreciate that the people issues surrounding Content Management are critical to its success. The introduction of a Content Management System can be a significant change for both content creators and content publishers, and careful management is required. Workflow has an important role in helping to establish and monitor these new processes, but it is also essential that the Content Management System can support both groups, simplifying their respective roles in the content life cycle. Butler Group believes that an organisation should aim to select the Content Management solution that provides the best fit to its requirements, whilst taking into account future scalability. The 80/20 rule is applicable, since it is more important for the solution to meet 80 per cent of the requirements well, rather than to cover 100 per cent of the requirements imprecisely. The remaining 20 per cent may be covered by add-on modules, third-party products, or in-house development. Assessing the Return On Investment (ROIROI) of a Content Management solution is often easier to achieve, when compared to other software categories, as it has a direct impact on many content-related processes that are quantifiable. Many organisations have achieved substantial cost savings in areas such as printing, document distribution, Web site management, catalogue creation, and marketing collateral. Most of the Content Management vendors have defined methodologies to enable an organisation to carry out an ROI analysis. Conclusions Butler Group believes that some form of Content Management solution is becoming essential for all organisations, as the amount of digital content continues to proliferate. Unstructured content, such as e-mails, images, and documents, accounts for over 80 per cent of data in a typical business. Without the ability to organise this content, the information contained within it is lost, and a valuable asset is wasted. We would certainly not consider neglecting physical assets, such as raw materials or machinery, and the same should be true of information. Out-of-date content can be positively harmful to a business - for financial, legal or competitive reasons. Most importantly, properly managed content should be viewed as a competitive weapon - it allows us to create more compelling information services, to connect to suppliers and partners, and to find new market places for our products and services. Content Management is here to stay.
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