Thought leadership

 1. Businesses will continue to shift investments away from Facebook and back to on-domain communities

In 2013, businesses that had previously shifted marketing funds away from their traditional dot-com domain towards Facebook will reverse that trend. Research from Forrester Research, Inc., and other leading analyst firms continues to validate the need for organisations to invest in their own websites and community experiences. Why? Consumers have different expectations and behaviours in consumer social media and branded communities.


2. Social will become more deeply embedded in how we work vs. a destination that we visit

This is becoming most apparent on the consumer side today, but businesses will also quickly follow suit internally. I believe that social isn't a destination, but rather a set of experiences. By this I mean that social experiences need to be present within existing work streams from traditional document management systems, such as SharePoint, to existing applications like email. Social will become the glue that enables employees to collaborate through a variety of different technologies (email, web based forums, blogs, etc.).


3. WCM and Social will converge more quickly

"Big Data" comes from a number of sources, two types of which are structured content systems and unstructured content systems. Enterprise 2.0 was all about wrapping unstructured activity (e.g. blogging, forum discussions) around structured content (e.g. files stored in document management systems). The same is going to take place with web content management platforms for public-facing websites. Social won't be a separate set of activities within the site, but will instead be merged with structured content. As organisations seek to better understand consumer behavior through the use of Big Data analytics engines, the convergence of social and WCM will facilitate creating the broader perspective that helps businesses better understand their customers.


4. Data ownership will become a concern

For the past six or seven years, consumers have let information flow freely. Google, Twitter and Facebook have been three of the biggest beneficiaries of this consumer-driven content bonanza. Now, businesses are recognising that the real value in social and Big Data is who owns the data. I expect that, in 2013, we will see businesses take a more active role in controlling who owns the data created in their communities and in their social media channels.


5. CIOs will regain influence

The importance of the role of the CIO has waned over the past several years. I anticipate that, in 2013, the CIO’s influence in the organisation will regain importance. Trends related to data ownership, the convergence between public (customer-facing or external-facing) and private (employee-facing or internal-facing) communities, and bring your own device (BYOD) to work will force businesses to rethink critical security, content ownership, and other aspects of their digital businesses.


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