Sunday, December 31, 2017
For many years, Janus Boye has maintained an international network of digital professionals and has built his expert reputation on decades of working with CMS. Before the turn of the year, we wanted to know more about his insights on digital trends in 2018, challenges and growth opportunies.
Janus, your business network is all about digital work, current trends and development – which also includes content management systems. What is it that fascinates you about this sector?
2018 marks my 20th year working with CMS and what continues to amaze me is the ever increasing scope that we try to cover. First it was about managing chaos which often basically meant moving traditional old Microsoft Word files online. Later we moved onwards to managing websites, then we focused on experiences, multiple devices and digital transformation and who knows, perhaps managing content will finally make it to the top priority in 2018.
In what way has the marked changed over the year 2017?
Artificial intelligence is the big thing. When Google said AI-first, things started moving quickly. Now with the widespread adoption of Amazon Alexa, Google Home and similar devices, the expectations to build smarter solutions are only going up. With or without artificial intelligence, innovation happens quickly and new vendors are emerging with prebuilt apps which hold the promise to dramatically reduce the implementation time, complexity and cost. This is much needed so that customers can finally get more value from their digital investments. Almost all customers are very cost-aware, but truth be told, CMS has also been flying below the radar screen in some organisations. As the required investment in technology and resources only tends to go up, scalability is becoming a frequent theme at J. Boye group meetings. How do we ensure that our digital solutions really scale to meet our demands?
© Boye & Co.
What does this mean for the CMS market and its challenges in the digital world?
It means that the game is changing one more time. Just like the introduction of mobile, which fundamentally turned digital projects upside down, the introduction of AI holds even greater potential. Just to provide an example: Today every CMS is essentially a forms-based system, some of which are based on decades of legacy code. With conversational and smart forms, we have the opportunity to offer a much better editorial experience and this might really change how a CMS looks and feels.
Do you have any predictions for 2018? Which topics will be in focus for our everyday work, which challenges will become even more important?
We need to really stop managing websites and instead focus more on managing content. There are new and emerging channels, like chatbots and voice, which require more focus on better content. Having said that, why do we need to have humans write all the content? Machines can already do grammar fixes, word changes and much more. And then there’s GDPR with the big day happening in May which is forcing organisations to get rid of some of the worst digital marketing habits and think more about data protection.
When visiting the recent Umbraco-Festival Germany, you spoke about the huge importance of growth for CMS and software. How do you think growth happens in a world that is as digital already and what do CMS vendors need to do to get there?
Today you would probably struggle to find an organisation who is not online. The big potential lies ahead of us in the next wave, where digital is a part of the DNA of every new project and every new initiative. But the change is bigger than just digital. We are already seeing the emergence of new ways of collaboration and new ways of organisation. We need vendors who can meet these changing requirements and understand to build digital solutions that scale and deliver value.
In what way does this also influence relations between different digital fields, such as content management and eCommerce?
The intersection of content and commerce is a huge opportunity. Again, good content is required and makes a huge impact towards potentially increasing sales. CoreMedia and Sitecore seem to have been riding this wave for a while, but naturally also SAP and Hybris to just name a few in a crowded marketplace.
In conclusion: What does a CMS or framework need to do to be future-compliant?
More so than trying to predict the winning features in a CMS of the future, my experience has shown that relationships and the ability to change and then execute towards your goals are the key factors that determine whether you stay alive or not. It's rarely fun for customers to change from one CMS vendor to another, but it happens from time to time. There is plenty of room for improvement in all the products and frameworks I have taken a closer look at. Still being where your customers are, and truly trying to understand their concerns and their plans would be my best recommendation. Based on this, you can get useful input for the product roadmap and probably also get to keep the customer a bit longer.
In 2018, byte5 continues to focus on systems that grow, develop and consciously perceive what is happening in the digital world. For us, these are content management systems like Umbraco and Kentico, frameworks such as Laravel, but also eCommerce solutons like commercetools or uCommerce. With our expert teams we can assist you on any level. Contact us now!