WCM Insights: What Web Content Management Will Look Like by 2017
How different are websites now than they were three years ago? Hard to imagine then what they will look like in another four years, but we've got some fearless predictions on WCM and what Web content management will look like in 2017.

Form to the Formless

Building the tools that build other tools like websites is indeed fraught with the unknown, and advancing technology is only making things murkier. Do organizations need to have the most up to date tools given the state of Web technology today? Or will things be so different in just a few years that there really is no wrong way to manage content.

"I believe that the future of WCMS is more about moderation capabilities than about content management," Perttu Tolvanen, Web and CMS expert and partner at North Patrol consultancy wrote for a recent project on developing the WCMS of the future.

Tolvanen's comments were part of the 2017 WCM Forecast by developers at TYPO3 CMS, an open source vendor.

"We have to have a system that helps us control, filter and moderate our content feeds from different sources," he added.

The 2017 WCM Forecast included thoughts and comments from about 20 different practitioners, experts, designers and, of course, developers on what the near future holds for content management. There's deep thoughts, off the cuff remarks and noble predictions, but all agreed the future is an exciting thing to think about in the burgeoning digital age.

Strategic leadership and business skills from the customer perspective seems to be finally arriving in a web content management marketplace that has long been unnecessarily complex, confusing and crowded to vendors, analysts and customers alike," Janus Boye, J. Boye, founder and managing director of The International Community for Web & Intranet Professionals said.

A Question of Mobility

Other commenters certainly picked up on Tolvanen's thoughts as far as having content coming in from different sources. Picking and choosing the most relevant items out from someone's so called feed is only helped along by things like personalization and customized experiences. Both of those subjects were popular with commentators, but perhaps the most common thread was that of mobility.

Adapting content, but also workflows for mobile audiences and producers was more or less top of mind for many. Among the TYPO3 contingent, the theme was around a proper interface, and building structured content that could act as a more abstract element. One that would allow content to be repurposed for a variety of uses, without having to worry about the format or any templates that would complicate such use.

Of the more far out ideas was that WCMSes in 2017 will be totally revolutionary, and something we couldn't imagine.

"Four digital years is like 100 ordinary years," Martin Goldbach Olsen, Web editor at FTF, a confederation of professionals in Denmark said.

The back end site tree as we know it is dead. Users will have tasks and apps. Intranets will be big again, and emerge in a new shape and form with video and virtuality as the driver, virtual meeting rooms and all imaginable social media features."

Whatever WCMS looks like in four years, it will be good to have these comments just to see who was right. Feel free to peruse the slides below for detailed comments from the entire project.