Content Management Trends – Growing upward, outward and onward…

It is no wonder that content management (CM) growth remains strong with a booming market for applications that promise great cost savings and productivity for companies that invest in them. According to a Deloitte report on Enterprise Content Management, CM cuts labor costs associated with authoring and design by 50% in both online and print endeavors.

Not surprisingly, the need for managing and understanding information in order to effectively impact job performance will continue to grow. Content management systems (CMS) will continue to enjoy sales growth as companies deploy new systems or revise current ones. The CMS industry will follow its trend of consolidation by acquisition, merger and partnerships to provide deeper services in managing content. And more workers can be classified as “knowledge workers” whose performance requires efficient access and use of information.

We’re dealing with more information than ever before and most of it is in digital format. “Only one third of one percent of content today makes it to the printed page. Thus, although digital content takes less space, it will require focused effort to devise appropriate management systems,” says Peter Lyman & Hal Varian of UC, Berkley, School of Information Management Systems, authors of “How Much Information”.

Growing Upward: Sales and Deployment

Purchase plans for content management systems are expected to increase 15% this year according to a Forrester study. An earlier study by The Yankee Group predicted a 35% growth in sales from $900 million in 2000 to $3 billion by 2004.

And its not just new growth, 27% of companies that have already deployed a content management system will start over, according to Jupiter Research. However, evaluating and deploying a CMS is fraught with risk. As the 27% statistic reveals, many companies are not doing their due diligence when assessing and selecting a CMS.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of due diligence and strategic planning before implementing any technology,” says Toby Ward, President of Prescient Digital Media. “There are hundreds of CMS products on the market and not all are created equal; what works well for one company may not work well for another given varying cultural and business requirement considerations.”

One prominent financial services firm (that wishes, for obvious reasons, to remain anonymous) purchased a CMS for about $1.5 million. The CMS limited the number of publishers, it limited the number of pages that could be stored and published, and it proved unstable. Worst of all, the company that supported the product went out of business, leaving the client with no support. A little more than one year after they implemented the CMS, they decided to scrap it. One wonders if the outcome would have been different had they properly addressed requirements and constructed a thorough content management plan.


Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a flexible standard for storing and sharing data and information regardless of the system storing or accessing the data. Unlike HTML, XML describes raw data without describing design and layout properties.  Therefore XML enables content to be scaleable, reusable and adaptive.

XML is becoming the de-facto global standard with an estimated 60% of all content lifecycle products being XML enabled by 2008, according to a ZapThink study. The study goes on to state that spending for technology, not including personnel and training, will be $11.6 billion by 2008.

Growing Outward: Integration

Gartner reports that 25% of all end-user spending through 2005 will be driven by enterprise content services, a combination of portal, content and document management, knowledge management and collaboration products. Companies in the content management business are recognizing the value of providing a full range of software and services.

In the past few years we have seen the purchase of NCompass Labs by Microsoft; Documentum by EMC to combine content management and storage solutions; Divine bought OpenMarket, and then subsequently declared bankruptcy; INSCI and Venetica partnering to combine content management and content integration; Plumtree Software’s purchase of a smaller CMS vendor followed by the integration of Yahoo Messenger; and IBM acquiring Candle, an infrastructure management company. Digital asset management companies have been purchased by Enterprise content management companies over the past few years and that trend is expected to continue.

Growing Onward: Knowledge Workers

It is clear that the technology will be reshaped with the adoption of XML and vendors will offer a broader range of services as the CMS market grows, but what about the knowledge workers, the users of the technology?

If organizations are to leverage the real value of CM and put the information to good use then the focus needs to be on accessing it – by the right people, at the right time, and in a timely manner.

McKinsey Quarterly estimates that some 48 million of the 137 million workers in the United States can be classified as knowledge workers; a single company can employ 100,000 or more.

Some analysts such as the Delphi Group’s Hadley Reynolds estimate that knowledge workers spend up to 30% of their time searching for information; if the average fully-burdened salary (including all operation costs) is $60,000, then information searching could cost the organization $18,000 in productivity per knowledge worker per year – which amounts to more than $1 billion in total productivity costs for the U.S. economy. No matter what the “real” figure is, the example highlights the critical importance of managing information and attributing importance to the knowledge employees require to perform competitively in the information age.

It is no wonder the need and market for content management systems is growing; it is a vital component in organizing, contributing and accessing the information and knowledge used by workers to perform their jobs and directly impacts profits and performance.

To engage Prescient for help in selecting the best CMS for your organization, please see our

CMS Blueprint

service or

contact us


Prescient Digital Media is a veteran web and intranet consulting firm with 10+ years of rich history. We provide strategic Internet and intranet consulting, planning and communications services to many Fortune 500 and big brand clients, as well as small and medium-sized leaders.