The beginning of a new year ushers in the opportunity to look ahead to what’s new and what’s next. Although 2017 was a big year for IT digital teams with new and improved technologies launched in the marketplace (like the growth of decoupled Drupal, for example), we predict 2018 will be even bigger and better.
Here are a few trends to watch for as your IT digital teams progress into the new year:
IT wants to get out of the basement
Times are changing and IT digital teams are no exception. Their focus is shifting from a behind-the-scenes function to being key players in building innovative customer experiences. IT is becoming a business partner with the entire organization.
As IT digital professionals to shift their time and focus away from hardware management and traditional IT digital tasks, we predict even more companies and organizations will move to some sort of managed hosting or managed service platform this year.
For vendors and solution providers looking to appeal to this audience, focusing on innovating technology and services within your offerings that ease tedious hardware or task management overheard will be imperative.
Governance, governance, governance
Governance and management is a growing trend among IT digital leaders looking to achieve more operational efficiency. On average, organizations manage 268 digital properties, according to a report co-produced between Acquia and Forrester. Some manage thousands.
With a growing number of digital properties, gaining visibility and control while standardizing technology and processes is becoming an imperative for organizations looking to stay ahead of the chaos. Vendors and companies that are able to offer products and solutions to drive greater control, visibility, and management should see an uptick in interest.
Meeting in the middle
IT digital teams and marketing teams are increasingly reliant on each other for success, and their common technologies need to serve both groups. Gone are the days of IT digital selecting a technology without heavy input and involvement from its marketing and business partners.
As teams become more interdependent, adopting more efficient workflows and technologies that serve multiple groups will be the challenge (and the opportunity).
This means selecting products that address IT digital’s concerns of control, ownership, and security, and meeting marketing’s creative flexibility and ease-of-use needs. Ensuring IT digital and marketing teams are lockstep with each other’s goals will make technology selection easier.
Nestle Purina is a great example of an organization that successfully selected and implemented a new technology with the help and input of several different departments within its organization. Watch their presentation about how to bring about innovative change to your company.
Best-in-breed technology wins
IT digital leaders are interested in more flexible, modular, future-proof technologies that compliment their existing investments. In other words, organizations want the ability to bring in new technologies and solutions without being forced to change or get rid of all of their existing (and fully sufficient) technology and products just to make new purchases play nicely with one another.
Organizations want the ability to choose the products that best suit their needs and goals, regardless of what company made them. Solutions and companies that require a “rip and replace” approach should plan for pushback from the marketplace.
Flexibility and modularity is the name of the game for 2018.
Security and compliance
This one is a no brainer considering the hard legal requirements and high-stakes penalties on the table. With the General Data Protection Regulation deadline (May 25), there will be continued and added focus on information security and compliance, especially around protecting personally identifiable information.
Vendors offering solutions that help customers strengthen user consent protocols and protect personally identifiable information will come out on top.
Better definitions around DXP and WCM
Looking ahead, terms like DXP (digital experience platform) or WCM (web content management) that were thrown around almost as if they were interchangeable will get better definition.
With a more crowded and mature marketplace, the need for clearer definitions will become even more important as companies look to differentiate themselves against their competitors, especially as it relates to labels like DXP and WCM.
We not only predict clearer or more concise definitions of DXP versus WCM from analysts like Gartner and Forrester, but also greater growth in each of those markets.