Industry Insights

Web Content Management (WCM) Market's Drivers and Challenges

There has been a significant growth in the adoption of web content management (WCM) solutions such as web experience management, mobile and social content management, and content analytics. In fact, according to the recent report published by MarketsandMarkets, the WCM Market is expected to grow from USD 3.89 Billion in 2016 to USD 8.25 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 16.2% during the forecast period. This article discusses the main drivers behind this unprecedented growth and the market challenges.

First and foremost, the rising web-based activities and accelerated penetration of online marketing have encouraged organizations to implement WCM solutions and services. With increasing usage of smart devices, the need for mobile content has also emerged rapidly, so much so that mobile strategy has shifted from afterthought to forethought. 

Another major factor driving the market is the growing demands for the seamless digital experience. Generating and sharing content can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. To make it a blessing all the time, organizations should eliminate redundant content and, instead, deliver specific personalized user experience to their customers. To that point, they need to implement the right WCM technology that can help them optimize their web content production. 

The market is also expected to be driven by the wide adoption of newer opportunities like cloud-based technologies. IT is moving significant processing to the cloud with 85.9% of web content management, 82.7% of communications, 80% of app development and 78.9% of disaster recovery. The WCM solutions are deployed either on-premises or in the cloud. Now that cloud-based technologies are more scalable and cost-efficient, cloud-based WCM adoption has also been remarkable, garnering traction in recent years. Reducing the total dependence on the public or private cloud has improved the adoption of integrated cloud solutions in WCM industry. In the coming five years, this trend will create huge opportunities for growth in the space. 

The rising demand for WCM technology and its solutions have also motivated various industry verticals to implement WCM solutions and services, including retail and consumer goods, Banking & Financial Services (BFS), education, healthcare, travel & hospitality, government, high-tech & telecom, and media & entertainment. Due to the growing need for website management, online marketing, and web-based customer engagement activities, the media and entertainment industry is predicted to contribute a significant percentage of revenue to the WCM market in the coming five years, according to MarketsandMarkets. 

Geographically speaking, while North America holds the largest market share with 57 percent, APAC is growing at the highest rate in comparison to other regions in the web content management market. The reasons are the increasing advancements in mobility and cloud adoption as well as the efforts in enhancing customer relations and loyalty, according to the report published by MarketsandMarkets. Europe is the second region that holds the highest market share with 29 percent in the space.  

Challenges and Solutions 

The most common challenges in the WCM market are: 

  • The high cost of solutions and services offered by WCM providers 

  • Time-consuming implementation 

  • Fear of losing data while migrating the existing content from legacy systems to newer WCM systems

  • The internal communication to come to an agreement on the right platform 

  • Content management may not be the priority 

Now that we know what the challenges are, let’s discuss the solutions by addressing the pain points listed above. First things first, implementing a WCM solution is not an inexpensive undertaking. However, the opportunity cost can easily add up to be more than your total cost of having the right technology in place. Also, there is a misconception on the cost of web content management technology implementation. To put that misconception into perspective, I would like to share the chart by Forbes below that illustrates the impact of the publishing system on the cost and complexity of content operations: 


At the end of the day, WCM technologies are not a fad but an immersive for all businesses in today’s marketplace where organizations need to have the web content management solutions that provide intelligent content frameworks, as well as scales the volume, cost, and complexity of content personalization in place. In addition to the common pain point of monetary cost, as you may recall, CMS-Connected interviewed Forrester’s Senior Analyst Mark Grannan, to discuss why WCM version upgrades are so important. During the interview, Grannan said that the cost of missing out on potential benefits could actually outweigh any hassles you may incur on a tactical level.

Let’s move onto the second challenge which is time-consuming implementation. Now that we know a WCM deployment or replacement is unavoidable, the growing demand for the WCM solutions creates a real sense of urgency, and procrastination in this initiative increases the risk of missing out on opportunities for customer engagement by capitalizing on new advanced technologies, such as the ability to do personalization through dynamic content. Also it is important to note that sometimes what makes it time-consuming is not the implementation of the technology itself but the lack of skills within the organization or the implementation partner, which also leads us to the third pain point listed above: a fear of losing data while migrating the existing content from legacy systems to newer WCM systems. 

The migration process can be easily automated or you can opt for the manual route if your site is less than 1,000 pages. Either way, it’s crucial to have the right players and plan in place. Therefore, it is important to truly understand if the internal skill-sets would be adequate for this project or you will need a strategic partner to work with. If the data and content migration is one of your challenges to replace or implement a WCM, I highly recommend reading the seasoned Content Strategist Suzanne Baran’s splendid piece entitled How to Master Your Content Migration.” 

Again, during the interview with Mark Grannan, he told us the WCM implementation decision should be made based on the organization's priority. However, coming to an agreement on the priority level can be harder than it sounds: “It is amazing how political and emotional those conversations about who gets funding and budget and when can get between various groups.”

Speaking of the difficulties of internal communication, the departmental needs are not always the same as the organizational objectives. Therefore, implementing a content management system may not be the priority. At this point, Grannan suggests we use the customer journey to make these priority judgment calls. The reason for this is that the new features and capabilities that come with the new versions may address the customers’ pain points. Taking an outside-in approach does not only help organizations in making priority judgment calls but also takes a lot of emotion out of the internal discussions that we just went over. 

How the WCM Market Shapes the Future 

In its latest Magic Quadrant report for Web Content Management, Gartner offered the vendors some suggestions based on the direction the WCM market is heading: 

  • Customer engagement should embrace the lifetime experience of that customer. 

  • Outbound and inbound communications will be powered by WCM to make sure they are fruitful and relevant. Conversations that start earlier in the customer relationship will evolve with the ongoing journey of that customer.

  • Cloud-first strategies will win the day in the space. 

  • ​Microservices with a high level of interoperability will enable WCM elements to be coupled with different sets of third-party technologies. 

​For businesses, it’s imperative to have the right technology and plan in place. Considering every organization has its own unique needs and goals to meet, today, every vendor has something to offer. Now that you know the importance of the WCM technologies and the solutions addressed to the common pain points, why not to check out one of CMS-Connected most recent articles entitled 6 Enterprise Tech Trend Predictions for 2017 and Beyond to stay on top of the latest technology trends.

Venus Tamturk

Venus Tamturk

Venus is the Media Reporter for CMS-Connected, with one of her tasks to write thorough articles by creating the most up-to-date and engaging content using B2B digital marketing. She enjoys increasing brand equity and conversion through the strategic use of social media channels and integrated media marketing plans.

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