by Stephen Powers.

I recently spoke with an IT manager who came up with a great analogy for a problem I continue to see in the WCM space. He was telling me about how much customization his team has needed to do while implementing a WCM solution, and how he expected some features to be more out-of-the box, like advanced content authoring tools. He commented, “At Christmas time, the vendor sent us one of those gift baskets that vendors sometimes send. You know what those baskets are usually like – wine, cheese, candy. But you know what they sent us in this year’s basket? Brownie mix. We had to bake our own holiday gift. I wanted to call them up and tell them, ‘This is exactly what is wrong with your product!’"

To continue with the brownie analogy: 10 years ago, organizations were baking brownies from scratch, with maintenance-heavy, homegrown WCMs (some are still baking from scratch, but that’s a story for another day). A few years later, companies started baking those brownies from a mix, with WCM vendors selling them first-generation products which were essentially toolkits. Fast-forward to today: vendors who want to succeed in this difficult space need to continue moving towards delivering fully baked goods; all the IT implementation team should have to do is unwrap and serve (and maybe throw a little icing on top). At this point in the WCM product lifecycle, IT departments shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time customizing authoring tools or creating basic templates, or building functionality to perform commonplace tasks like staging multiple content items at once.

Toolkits just aren’t good enough anymore — keep an eye out for this when you’re shopping for your next WCM.