In a previous post, I talked about Gartners prediction of a “seismic shift” in the portal market. In one of the last session of the Gartner Portal, Content & Collaboration 2011 Summit, Gene Phifer spoke about the future of portals. Gene is convinced that the portal market (and mashup market) will be “subsumed” by a new User Experience Platform market around 2015. There are plenty of reasons to see these markets moving to this new UXP market:
- Organizations are demanding better user experiences in their portals.
- They see consumerization driving other products and want it for their portals.
- Mobile devices and the need for context-awareness are being demanded by users
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What about cloud-based portals – is that in our future? It certainly is! Many vendors are starting to offer cloud-based portal systems. But beware! The very nature of the portal is that it typically connects to a whole bunch of other systems in your organization behind your firewall. So for a cloud-based portal to be effective, you will need to open up your internal systems to the cloud vendor and have some serious networking pipes. On the other hand, a cloud-based portal would be ideal to integrate your other cloud-based applications.
2015 is still a long way away, so what is happening between now and that future? Here are the seven things that Gartner sees trending in the portal market over the next few years.
- Analytics need to be implemented to help gauge the effectiveness of the portal. There has been a recent flurry of acquisitions in the Web Analytics market by traditional and newer portal vendors
- Portal-less Portals – there are several vendors beginning to offer portal type systems without claiming to be true portals. Backbase is considered one of those vendors. Adobe’s CQ5 could also qualify.
- Portal ubiquity – portals will become more ubiquitous as unbind their services
- Exploit context across more user attributes (aka enhanced personalization)
- Widgets are becoming more important and portlets less-so
- Mobile is becoming a key first consideration
- The User Experience Platform begins to emerge as a set of cohesive, pre-integrated, highly user interactive services rather than a bunch of products loosely coupled together.
Finally, in terms of vendors, we have basically three major portal vendors today: IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft. Close behind are our open source friends Liferay and JBoss. As the market begins to move toward this UXP concept, we are going to see lots of other vendors emerge with UXP offerings. Firms from the content management space are beginning to move toward UXP, as are firms in the Social Software, Mashups, Portal-less Portals and other Markets.
Here are some vendors to keep your eye on over the next few years:
IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Liferay, Redhat JBoss, Backbase, Adobe, Cisco, Google, Apple, United Planet, JackBe, NetVibes, Pageflakes, Fatwire, Extron, Automony, Drupal, DotNetNuke, Plone, Jive, Atlassian, Telligent, SocialText.