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IP, managing digital rights and content - RTD problems and opportunities - El.pub Analytic No. 10

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The uncertain legal situation of IP
Expanding digital content - growing IP problems
Content ownership versus content consumption
DRM development
Are current fears realistic?
Researching the market not the technology
Content management
CMS and knowledge management
CMS users and personalisation
Requirements for managing knowledge
Directions for CMS RTD
References and further recent information
Comment on this issue of Analytic

Requirements for managing knowledge

None of the solutions tie in very well with the aims of Knowledge Management (KM) which are to provide knowledge at the time it is required and in a useful form for the recipient, and include controlled knowledge sharing between experts in the same group. These concerns are of particular importance in a working environment inside some organisation or collaborating group.

The software products that support content management tend to focus on specific functionality or vertical markets. Thus there are packages devoted to web site management, to document management, to news service support, to search functions on intranets, to enterprise and other portals, to digital asset management, to subscription services, etc.

Although the integrated packages from the leading vendors were initially seen as the way forward, in the past year they have been getting more critical reviews. A recent Jupiter Media Metrix report [7] found that companies were overspending on CMS systems bought in, because of the degree of customisation and integration required, and that companies moving to home grown systems were having more success.

The view echoes a 2001 report by Forrester and a recent survey of STM publishers [8] that found that the more an organisation spent the less they were satisfied with the results. The survey also found that different departments in the companies surveyed had different expectations of the systems.

Directions for CMS RTD

The idea that CMS may need to be tailored to specific company methods of working and objectives is similar to KM generally. Where does this leave CMS RTD?

The (at least) partial failure of current commercial packages to meet user needs, opens the way for projects that either re-assess user requirements or survey the failures/successes, to arrive at a new appraisal of requirements and a redesign of CMS to new specifications. If the assessments by commentators are correct it should not be difficult to find companies with under-performing solutions to buy into such a project, perhaps in conjunction with an existing vendor. There is also the possibility that a better solution would be to create products designed for niche markets. Here again requirements analysis is a good starting point followed by prototyping of a new design.

As there are extensive differences between the needs of users in government, public service, publishing, broadcasting, industry, e-commerce and the consumer market, there is plenty of scope for creating projects that look in depth at a particular group of users and try to determine and meet their specific needs.

I have not mentioned XML and metadata in the context of CMS. I think the problems in metadata and other standards are common to a wider range of applications than CMS and IPR and I will leave that discussion to a later Analytic.

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