As 2010 winds down, it is time to look back at the year that was and forward to the next one.The past year's trends will continue to heavily influence the world of content management well into 2011.

SharePoint 2010, Case Management, the redefinition of Web Content Management (read: WEM) and the cloud are the trends that will continue to evolve and surge into 2011.

The SharePoint Wave Crests

This year seemed to be dominated bySharePoint 2010 at times.In reality, it was mostly hype.Many peoplewere learning more and trying to plan for the new version, but therewasn’t overwhelming adoption.

At the SharePoint Symposium in November,there were a lot of people still trying to learn about the benefits ofupgrading and how to approach the task.Among my own clients, the onlyupgrades performed were those with smaller installations.

2011 will continue a pair of SharePoint trends.The first is thecontinuation of the SharePoint 2010 theme.Upgrades will beginhappening widely as people determine that they are ready to move forwardand take advantage of the enhanced functionality of SharePoint 2010.

Theother trend will be the increased focused upon properly managing andgoverning SharePoint.As many organizations are learning while planningto upgrade to SharePoint 2010, there is a large number of sites outthere of which IT has very little awareness.As organizations prepareto move forward with SharePoint 2010, expect a lot more emphasis on thegovernance of their SharePoint system.

Case Management Distracts ECM Vendors

Youcouldn’t get away from Case Management this year if you were anywherein the Enterprise Content Management space.

Intelligent Case Management,Adaptive Case Management and Advanced Case Management were termsscattered throughout the marketplace as established content managementvendors looked to sell more focused solutions instead of pure content management.

This trend will continue in the coming year.While thevendors may pull back a little on the marketing message, it will stilllikely be their primary focus.They will all strengthen their CaseManagement offerings in the coming year.The important detail to watchfor is to see if the rest of the Content Management offerings from thesevendors suffers from lack of attention.

Learning Opportunities

Managing the Content or the Engagement?

Therehas been a lot of discussion this past year about Web Engagement Management.The addition of managing the users’ engagement/experience has beengenerally accepted, but people look at the “Web” in the term and wonderif that is too confining.On the flip side, there have been those thathave been reminding people that traditional Web Content Managementsystems still have their place.

My favorite question asked this yearwas, “Do customers want to engage with you?”Many people just wantquick information.They are turning to the web and their phones forthat information.They don’t want an experience, they just wantcontent, now.

In the next year, I expect this discussion to continue. This won’t be just a change in the term, but a realization that WEMand WCM are distinctly different.Some vendors will focus on one or theother, but others will try and tackle them both.Only time will tellif those vendors tackling both will be able to succeed.

The Cloud Gains Form

Anotheryear brought us another load of hype about the cloud.The differencenow is that people are beginning to become aware that there aredifferent ways to use the cloud.The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)approach to the cloud has begun to regain its own identity.This willbe very important in the content management space as consumers startlooking past simple hosting to the full benefits of SaaS.

Thosebenefits are crucial to realizing the full benefit of the cloud. Organizations have been offloading their systems to hosting sites foryears.The benefits that they really want are the automatic upgrade ofsoftware and the flexibility to quickly scale up or down their systems based upondemand.SaaS offers those benefits, so it will be interesting towatch those offerings mature and become widespread in the marketplace.

Another Year

Thesetrends will shape the content management market in the year to come,but to the everyday person, the problem will remain the same, “Have content, need order.”Like all trends, the ones cited above are justmeans to achieve the ultimate goal of managing content.New trendsemerge every year.It is important to not get swept away by any trendand to keep focus on the ultimate goal -- making content available tothose that need it, when they need it.