Web content market bifurcating into ‘features arms race’

Products and platforms present different risks for content management technology customers

BY PAUL QUIGLEY

ECM Plus – The web content management market is dividing into two distinct segments – platforms and products – which is presenting different risks and opportunities for customers, according to new research by independent analyst firm Real Story Group.

In their latest findings, RSG said that platform-orientated CMS tools now needed more development time and resources, but yielded more power.

Meanwhile, product-orientated offerings can be launched more quickly, RSG’s research stated, but lacks long-term flexibility.

When it comes to platform-orientated WCM vendors, the researchers found that platform-orientated CMS vendors were now engaging in an escalating “features arms race” to adopt more new media functionality and maintain higher price points against substantial pressure from an increasingly impressive set of product-oriented WCM vendors (see next section).

“There are some key exceptions here” said founder Tony Byrne. “The largest ‘enterprise’ vendors continue to be distracted by broader Document & Records Management ambitions and their CMS tools tend to exhibit slow innovation and update cycles.”

Source: The Real Story Group

The ‘Web Content Management 2011 Cross-Check’ charts represent four key dimensions – size, focus, vendor evolution, and product development – that customers can use to supplement functional and cost/value analyses in any major procurement decision.

For product-orientated WCM vendors, the major themes for such players are now profusion and steady progress. Most of these vendors are doing well in the marketplace, which contributes to the highly fragmented nature of this space.

“With respect to risk, these tools tend to have less turbulent product updates” added analyst Apoorv Durga. “Customers are more likely to face institutional/vendor risk here, as these represent mostly smaller companies or open source projects undergoing transition.”

“Each buying organization must balance its appetite for change and risk against a vendor’s orientation. “What represents a high risk to one customer may represent a chance for innovation and a competitive advantage to another” noted analyst Adriaan Bloem. “Alternatively, what represents a staid and slow-moving product set to one customer may represent stability and low risk to another.”

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Filed under Analysis, Web Content Management

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