Thoughts on Gartner’s WCM 2010 MQ – Day of the User

I finally got around to reading the 2010 Gartner Magic Quadrant for WCM. It was a little difficult for me because it is no secret that I dislike WCM and this page turner didn’t change my opinion. The WCM market for all of its churn is more mature than we like to admit. Even Adobe’s acquisition of Day doesn’t particularly excite me for WCM as I believe it has a more significant impact in the broader ECM sense.

One comment did leap off the page at me. The report calls out three capabilities that now differentiate the space. Access, Experience and Optimization. Specifically, for experience the report says

“The user has replaced the content as the most important focus.”

It struck me this is what is wrong with our entire business. For all our talk of user experience we often care far more about the data than the people that read it. I suppose the behavior is understandable. Data doesn’t complain.  This shift in caring about the people though is so evident and significant that the team felt the need to call it out in the defacto annual report of the industry. 

Even when we have addressed the user we too often fail to note the ambiguity of the term. For the better part of content management’s history it is the content creator as user that held the power in requirements because they had the budget. WCM and eCommerce shifted that to the marketeers who actually cared about the REAL customer. Still it has taken a ridiculously long time for Experience of the User/Consumer as opposed to Experience of the User/Author to be so acknowledged.  

So now with Gartner’s blessing we can finally declare this is the Day of the User for WCM. I wonder if the rest of the content management pantheon will learn the lesson. I suspect those that are still growing and innovating figured this out already.

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