I had the opportunity to attend the Outsell Signature Event last week that brings together top executives from the information industry. As always, everything that Outsell does is top notch and so in an inviting setting and surrounded by movers and shakers in the industry a number of key topics were discussed, debated, and argued. The event traditionally focuses on all aspects of the information industry and provides an executive level view of the economy, business models, technology adoption, current stress points, and business and technology transformation.
Some random points from the sessions:
- The economy is going to continue to grow at a relatively slow pace for the next few years and it will be worse if the US government does not address the debt ceiling quickly.
- Many information providers are being disrupted by the shift to electronic products. Those who have adopted a more progressive business model are able to weather the storm a bit easier. Those who are stuck in their old ways are beginning to feel the significant decline of print revenue.
- Design of electronic products have evolved tremendously with users expecting a clean, functional design. No longer is it acceptable to have great content and a poor interface.
- Software vendors are also feeling the disruptions with changing software licensing models. The need to have an a la carte license model is a requirement, not an option.
- Transformation is not an option anymore. Too many variables are changing at breakneck speed and an organization needs to be ready to change or face the inevitable decline.
- Wearable technology is really cool and will take some time to be adapted but don't be surprised if you are wearing a small device (e.g., watch, pin, earring) within the next decade that is attached to the internet in some way.
While RSuite CMS was not front and center at this conference as an exhibitor, it was interesting to speak with publishers who continue to be challenged by managing a large (dare I say big data) set of disparate content.
Publishers realize that content management software is an absolute necessity to transforming their organization, and I believe executive management understands the larger problem is with their processes and culture. The culture (i.e., people) side of transformation is probably the most challenging and will continue to require a significant investment of time and money to address. The process side of transformation is a bit easier because everyone wants to make their jobs easier and more efficient. It is great to finally hear executives say that XML content management is no longer a "nice to have" but a necessity in business transformation to meet multi-channel publishing goals. Fortunately, RSuite CMS is positioned very well to help out publishers in their transformation.
I look forward to the meeting next year.