Several research firms have been looking into the future of digital asset management (DAM), web content management and web 2.0. In a nutshell, the future is bright -- with all three markets experiencing high growth in the next several years. We are talking millions and billions of $US. As expected, there are also many challenges that will affect the markets in the near future.

Web CMS to Hit US$ 2 billion by 2014

WinterGreen Research announced in its new study that web content management is poised for significant growth. Web content management markets were at US$ 372 million in 2007. The prediction is that they will reach US$ 2 billion by 2014. Market growth is a direct result of companies leveraging the Internet as a channel and responding to the implementation of broadband networks for video and image transmission. Web content management systems are basic infrastructure for unstructured information published to the web. Unstructured information is becoming more structured, as it is tagged with XML tags and managed in smaller components that can be re-used and repurposed. As more companies move to purchase marketing and web 2.0 based applications based on XML and integration technologies, the web CMS market will grow accordingly.

Potential Web CMS Challenges

As we all know, web content management is a central aspect of growing the business and staying competitive. Therefore, web CMS should be of importance to corporate IT and legal departments. Be it acquiring the very first web CMS or switching from one to another – organizations need a web CMS to do business effectively. Various national and international compliances dictate that web content needs to conform to mounting regulatory requirements and legislative pressure. The entry of SaaS and open source CMS players changes the market by giving web 2.0 market participants strategic advantage. Managing rich media assets is an essential component of an enterprise content platform. Increasing volumes of rich media assets also means that companies are struggling to find, manipulate and repurpose rich media content across the enterprise.

DAM to Surpass US$ 1 Billion in 2013

Sparked by the continuing explosion of digital media in all its forms, such as audio, video and photos, the global market for digital asset management solutions is expected to pass the US$ 1 billion mark in 2013. According to ABI Research analyst Zippy Aima, there are several forces driving this market to great heights, but DAM also has some significant challenges to overcome. “Large quantities of digital media content require collaboration across all personnel and departments, from creation to delivery,” says Aima. “DAM systems’ ability to enable integration is driving demand.” Until recently, it was nearly impossible to integrate rich media management with legacy and third-party applications and systems, such as ERP and enterprise content management (ECM) applications. Many today’s DAM solutions can do that. Another factor motivating organizations to implement DAM is the bottom line and DAM’s ability to demonstrate a clear ROI.

Potential DAM Challenges

There are still issues to be resolved. Firstly, it’s a lingering confusion about the very definition of digital asset management and its true capabilities. It is not a subset of ECM, but a separate system, which can and should be integrated with ECM. Other obstacles to DAM adoption include high price. According to ABI Research, the average cost of a DAM system is in the US$ 100,000 -- US$ 150,000 range. User adoption and executives’ buy-in is a challenge for both web CMS and DAM. For more research findings, check out ABI Research’s recent study ”Digital Asset Management

Web 2.0 Future Trends

According to Forrester research, we should expect US$ 4.6 billion in web 2.0 spending by 2013, as large companies continue to embrace it. Enterprise spending on web 2.0 technologies is expected to grow strongly over the next five years with better enterprise adoption of social networking, mashups and RSS. The market for enterprise web 2.0 tools will be defined by commoditization and eroding prices.

Potential Web 2.0 Challenges

Web 2.0 adoption may take longer than it should. Despite the major impacts the technology will have on how businesses market their products and optimize their workforces, web 2.0 will eventually be weaved into the fabric of the enterprise. The ROI may not be very clear for many organizations, as they keep wondering whether it is possible to make money with web 2.0. This, in turn, will keep software firms guessing whether they can make money selling enterprise web 2.0 tools.