The Future of CMS is in Delivery: Deane Barker at JBoye12

Deane Barker is one of my favorite folks in web content management industry. Always insightful, and truly committed to the craft of CMS.

He’s also got a blog post for everything. It’s become somewhat of a running joke between us, but seriously, try writing something about CMS and chances are he’s covered something related on his prolific Gadgetopia blog.

He just gave a whirlwind presentation at Jboye12 that made the case for the future of CMS shifting from management to delivery.

Here’s the premise:

Content Management is a solved problem. We’re rapidly entering the post management era.

“The dividing line is the point of publish” he says. “The management side is all the really boring stuff like workflow and access. The content delivery is the really interesting stuff.”

He sees the following areas under the umbrella of delivery:

  • Campaign measurement
  • User generated content
  • Multi-channel delivery
  • A/B testing
  • Visitor segmentation

In the spirit of a Philadelphia-based talk, he compares the function of content management to the training regime in the Rocky movie. Delivery is when you actually take it to the ring, he says.

He did an informal survey of seven CTOs of CMS vendors and found they all unanimously agreed (7-0) that their product-roadmap focus is on delivery and they aren’t spending much time (if any) evolving the repositories and management unless there are new delivery functions that demand it.

It was hard to disagree with anything Deane said. There’s been a massive shift toward content delivery capabilities and an explosion of point solutions competing for mindshare with traditional CMS vendors.

The next few years are going to be very interesting in seeing what bets CMS vendors make on the delivery side and whether their efforts are “good enough” to compete and win against best of breed solutions.

It was a great talk by Deane, and I’m also excited to be able to finally tell him that I have a blog post on that topic as well from way back in 2008. I believe that marked the start of this shift, and now four years later we’re actually seeing it play out in the marketplace.

What do you think: Is Content Management a solved problem?

About the Author
Jeff Cram

Jeff Cram is Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Connective DX (formerly ISITE Design), a digital agency based in Portland, OR and Boston, MA. As the Managing Editor of the CMS Myth, Jeff is passionate about all topics related to content management, digital strategy and experience design.

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One response… read them below or add one.

  1. John Eckman says:

    Love it – thanks for the recap.

    I see this as another way of looking at the trends that elsewhere gets called “Web Experience Management.” In the talk I gave this week at CMS Expo, I described WEM as a shift from a pure focus on “publishing” as the core activity towards one which is focused on the impact the content has on audiences.

    It’s no longer enough just to gather content from editors and deliver it to devices.

    I’ve been calling this “Truly Responsive Design” – where Ethan Marcotte’s original inspiration for the “responsive web design” label was responsive architecture (buildings which interact with and adapt to their inhabitants) we seem to have lost the end user (and the content!) in our focus on responding to the devices themselves.

    Both “delivery” and “web experience management” share a focus on restoring the importance of the impact the content has on the user and the business.

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