CMS trends to watch (or you’ll be left behind)
Published April 28th, 2022
Competition in the online world has never been tougher. And, the bar for content experiences is being set (and reset) higher and higher, with every digital visit.
Communications Specialist at Tiny
There’s continually high expectations for publishers to create innovative content, with a low threshold for error… so competition is fierce. Every time you see something different, you want it, and often users are demanding that you create your own version of ‘the latest feature’, tomorrow.
All this rapid-fire change makes for the perfect storm of pressure on both your Content Management System (CMS) and your development team – to be able to handle the necessary speed of change.
However, it really doesn’t matter who takes the next, first or last step in the CMS race, or provides the latest great experience. Why’s that? Because regardless of who made the first (or next) move, once it’s been made and adopted by others, every publisher and CMS has to provide the same capability. Right now. Because, if you don’t, you’re left behind.
So, what are the CMS trends to watch, and where did it all start?
CMSs arrived close behind the birth of the internet. They started with simple, static text-only based blogs and have since evolved into today’s complex WYSIWYG rich text editors with advanced rich media embedding capabilities.
Content is no longer simply bold, italics or underline – much more is required.
The CMS market continues
It’s in no way an overstatement, that we’re dealing with more information than ever before, and the vast majority is in a digital format. As a result, the need for content management tools and software has dramatically risen.
Three key factors driving the growth are:
- An increase in demand for digital marketing solutions
- A growing digital retail sector
- Increasing consumer demand for omnichannel experiences.
With all three factors converging during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CMS market (and its subsets) has seen staggering growth.
Global CMS market size
According to a 2018-2026 forecast released by Zion Market Research, the global Content Management Software (CMS) market was valued at approximately US$35,903 million in 2018 and is expected to generate around US$123,500 million by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 16.7% between 2019 and 2026.
The report states: “The exponential growth in digital content across various enterprises is one of the major factors likely to fuel the growth of the content management software market globally over the forecast time period. Businesses across different industries are going through digital revolutions due to the various benefits of digital content, such as better customer relationships, innovations in products and services, cost savings, and enhanced decision-making capabilities.”
Web content management software market
It’s also important to consider a subset of the overall CMS market – the global Web Content Management (WCM) market – which includes related tools such as content analytics, digital asset management, and editing tools.
Market Watch projects the WCM market to reach US$10,380 million by 2028, from US$5,688.3 million in 2021, at a CAGR of 8.5% during 2022-2028.
Web experience management and digital experience platforms
While CMS is the umbrella name, both web experience management (WEM) solutions and digital experience platforms (DXP) now account for a growing portion of the market.
So what's the difference between CMS, WEM and DXP? TechTarget define them as:
DXPs fit into a hierarchy of functionality with content management systems (CMS) and web experience management (WEM) platforms.
A modern CMS provides a foundation to maintain shared content collections. A WEM platform adds capabilities to that foundation to help produce web-based experiences, such as publishing content to web browsers and mobile applications. A DXP, in turn, extends these web-centric capabilities to different digital environments that control content flows for business results.
A DXP includes content management and WEM capabilities. Similarly, a WEM platform includes content management capabilities and uses a CMS within its core platform.
Because of the similarities between all three, every development, product and marketing team face a multitude of choices – buying, building or using prepackaged components, customizing functionality in a platform or developing their own purpose-built application.
Similarly, rich text editors (who play a key role in every CMS, WEM and DXP), can be either bought as out-of-the-box components, adopted as open source and customized with premium plugins, or taking the more costly route of developing your own CMS editor in-house.
CMS market share
As of March 2022, Buildwith.com tracked there were almost 75 million live websites that use CMSs, but not all of them use the same CMS. A comprehensive breakdown of the CMS market is beyond the scope of this article, but Review42 have a comprehensive list of market stats and W3Techs historically breaks down both CMS usage statistics and CMS market share as follows:
|CMS (1 Apr 2022)||Market Usage||Market Share|
*33.3% of the websites used none of the CMS monitored by W3Tech
Five trends shaping the evolution of CMSs
It’s without question that content management software provides efficiencies, as well as tools to manage and enhance your content creation, distribution and collaboration. Then on top of that, there’s the benefit of accessing effective analytics to better judge your content’s ROI.
Teams are able to build more cost-effective and performance-enhancing activities, improve the management of their content production and increase their decision-making efficiency. But how can they anticipate how CMSs are evolving, and what forces are driving that change?
In ‘The Five Key Trends That Will Shape Your 2021 Content Services Strategy’ report released by Forrester Research in April 2021, it noted five drivers that are shaping CMS usage and new developments:
The increased adoption of intelligent content services, like AI and machine learning (ML)
The rising need to support post-pandemic flex workhe increased adoption of intelligent content services, like AI and machine learning (ML)
Growing support for making external stakeholders’ participants in essential processes
Renewed interest in knowledge management
The emerging future of documents.
Given these five trends play out across a few areas, it seems likely that everything to do with content and business documentation (not just CMSs, but also DMS and workflow and collaboration platforms), can anticipate massive, fast changes.
It also means that your CMS should ideally keep your content sorted, sharp, and adaptable.
Its centralized storage system must maintain your data and assets in a structure that’s organized, yet easily accessible. That’s especially important for industries that are undergoing digital transformation – like healthcare, banking, and insurance.
At its best, your content management software should enable greater workplace collaboration, through the integration and management of company documentation and digital assets – by widening access and breaking down the traditionally siloed approaches to information hoarding.
Growing importance of CMS across companies
Ten or 15 years ago, the biggest IT challenge for most companies was delivering a great web experience. That's no longer true. It’s now said that when it comes to enterprise knowledge, 80% of it is scattered across siloed and disparate information repositories.
The challenge ahead is understanding how to get the most value out of your unstructured information. What’s the answer?
An adaptive CMS that’s sophisticated enough to unravel the complexity, but is easy for your editors, writers, knowledge experts to use, and developers to build.
A great CMS allows for continual innovation, extensions and improvements. It must answer the changing expectations of customer (and content) experience and widen the opportunities for interaction and collaboration.
To achieve that, there’s tremendous pressure within companies:
- To transform their content (both internal and external facing) so that it’s more accessible on more devices
- To accelerate their speed-to-market
- Build an infinite loop of brand purchase, love and loyalty – without raising their costs.
Sounds like a tough call.
Perhaps looking back at those five trends can provide some answers.
The 5 CMS trends your CMS needs to keep up with
1. Intelligent content services = automated responses
Companies continue to automate functionalities to help reduce costs and the time associated with certain workflows. The rise of AI has meant that chatbots, voice search, and other forms of artificial intelligence are everyday experiences and as our needs change, their availability and flexibility will likewise alter.
AI and ML are also being used for content marketing tasks such as analysis, optimization and A/B testing. But most companies still can’t keep up so better tools to plan, schedule and execute their content will be needed.
2. Post-pandemic flex work = intuitive interface
Flex or remote based teams won’t necessarily have a breadth or depth of experience with CMSs, and you want them to hit the ground running. Therefore a simple, intuitive interface that makes sense for everyone – not just the digital mavens – is essential.
Editing tools should be easy-to-find or delivered via user-friendly actions like drag-and-drop functionality. While additional features such as spell checking, clean copy-paste and @mentions, all deliver more efficient workflows and increased productivity.
3. Device agnostic = better personalisation
Ideally, your team shouldn’t need in-depth coding experience to use the CMS. Instead, it should have a simple WYSIWYG rich text editor (what-you-see-is-what-you-get), so they can preview content before publishing.
If you plan to personalize your content, look for a CMS that allows your team to preview how it will appear to different audiences, on their favored platforms and individual devices. An added bonus is the ability to export the content – for internal sharing, approval and review – prior to publishing.
4. Knowledge management = accurate standardization
Once upon a time, the trend was to decentralize a company’s archives – different departments used different systems and had different protocols for updates, compliance and communication. Companies are now centralizing their archiving solutions – especially in compliance related work areas – thereby ensuring that important information is standardized and centralized.
That means information silos are now passe and are instead replaced by improved interdepartmental accuracy and faster workflows.
5. Future of documents = accessibility
Some analysts estimate that knowledge workers spend up to 30% of their time searching for information. That’s a lot of lost productivity. Traditionally considered boring, document management is finally getting its moment in the sunshine.
With the explosion of knowledge workers comes increased importance on managing information – so that teams can competitively perform their jobs – and a better understanding of how efficient document management directly impacts profits and performance.
Keeping up with the ever-changing digital universe is hard. It’s constantly evolving.
While there are hundreds of CMS products, what works for one organization may not deliver the same value for another, especially given the possible differences in culture, growth trajectory and business requirements.
The best advice is to find a CMS that deeply considers your content creation and development teams, by making their jobs easier without unnecessary workarounds or learning new skills.
The right CMS makes it intuitive for them to succeed.
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