CHICAGO -- Twelve years ago, Brice Dunwoodie created a blog that evolved into CMSWire. Today, he's CEO of San Francisco-based Simpler Media Inc., the parent company of CMSWire.

"I never expected to be here after that first blog post," Dunwoodie told the crowd during opening remarks at CMSWire's first DX Summit at the W Chicago City Center Hotel here.

Dunwoodie's challenge to take a blog into a leading online technology magazine is akin to the challenges that face digital experience technology practitioners today: Stay innovative. 

For Dunwoodie, it was producing content that resonates. For DX practitioners today, it's the never-ending digital race to stay relevant in a world of channel-hopping, demanding customers.

Innovation Ain't Easy

"It's difficult to be innovative in the environment we're in today," Dunwoodie said. "We all want to be innovative. There's pressure to innovate at every level. But the challenge we face is the challenge of operations."

Dunwoodie called CMSWire a "small reflection of what everybody's going through." He discussed the challenge of knowing who should champion digital experience initiatives in enterprises and gluing together pieces of technology platforms.

"Who’s in charge?" Dunwoodie asked the audience. "How do we make things work together? How do we assemble the fabric of our digital experience that makes sense and is not embarrassing, not invasive and not annoying? That’s hard. we all know that. That’s why were here."

The DX Summit comes during early days for the industry. But it's not going to fade, said Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. In an interview with CMSWire yesterday, Schadler, one of the authors of the Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Platforms, said the DX space will see an emergence comparable to ERP and CRM.

CMSWire's own Digital Experience Customer Survey this year — conducted in collaboration with Jahia — found most companies are in the "early phase of the process" (60.9 percent). Companies are "investing a huge amount of technological capabilities, and teams are constantly learning," Dunwoodie said.

Learning Opportunities

"Let's take a step back," Dunwoodie added, "and talk about innovation. Let's think about what it takes to calm all this noise down and how we structure our teams and organizations."

Better DX Designers

Nikos Acuña, director of business strategy of Redwood City, Calif.-based Rocket Fuel, spoke this morning to the innovation challenge in the digital world. He's the author of Mindshare: Igniting Creativity and Innovation Through Design Intelligence." He champions the idea that innovation — fostered in enterprises — will help "you become better digital experience designers."

His notion of "mindshare" related to innovation includes how ideas are born, how they transform us and how they connect us to each other.

"We must redefine engagement, understand intricate patterns of innovation (micro and macros) and put innovation to work," Acuña told the audience. "How can it work across organizations and how can we innovate in our daily lives?"

Follow the DX Summit conversation here and on Twitter with the hashtag #DXS15. More coverage from the conference:

Title image by Asa Aarons Smith

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