Monday, January 17, 2005

Mid-Market CMS

EContent Magazine recently announced the 7th edition of CMS Watch's CMS Report. According to the article, one of the big trends identified by the latest CMS Report is that the mid market of CMS products has really taken off. I too have noticed an increase attention paid to mid-market CMS vendors and have attributed it largely to a rejection of the big vendor's push towards ECM. Clients that I have spoken to are starting to be suspicious of the ECM vision and monolithic architectures. They are turning to targeted, best of breed solutions. These systems can be deployed with smaller initiatives that are more closely aligned with the needs of the users and enjoy a shorter time to benefit. There is also considerable interest in ASP solutions offered by CrownPeak and Atomz. By the way, the same market forces that are helping out mid-market CMS products are also driving adoption of Open Source CMS products. Clients are recognizing the practicality and benefits of a heterogeneous CMS infrastructure and are thinking of content integration strategies rather than ECM.

In addition to being less complicated and easier to use, targeted content management solutions are considerably cheaper than ECM products. The evolution of mid-market ECM is going to be very interesting to watch. Some of these companies will be acquired by the major players. Others may turn into the next generation of ECM companies by filling out their functionality either through acquisition or organically.

If you are selecting a CMS, you should consider targeted solutions and actively manage the risk that is introduced by this market volatility. Plan an exit strategy as part of the selection. Look for open standards and interoperability that will make the solution substitutable, wholly or in part. Make sure that your content is does not get locked up in proprietary formats. Stick with technologies that you feel comfortable supporting. Spread your bets. Your content will outlive any technology choice you make today. Plan for it.