|Latest 7 Posts
| 7 Insights into Change Management Part 2|
Wed, Jun 1st 2016 4
| 7 Insights into Change Management Part 1|
Wed, Jun 1st 2016 3
| Canada lags behind U.S. in digital transformation, study finds|
Thu, May 26th 2016 5
| Building a Successful Change Network|
Wed, May 25th 2016 6
| Can Being Happier Help Your Work and Life in General?|
Tue, May 24th 2016 6
| How to Become a Customer Obsessed CIO #STLG2I|
Tue, May 24th 2016 5
| Infographic: 5 Customer Experience Trends You Need To Know|
Thu, May 19th 2016 6
| The UK Gets It’s First Digital Bank|
Fri, Jan 16th 2015 9
| Lessons from 2014: Healthcare and Patient Portals|
Fri, Dec 26th 2014 8
| McKinsey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Digital Enterprises|
Thu, May 22nd 2014 8
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Tue, May 27th 2014 8
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Tue, Apr 8th 2014 7
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Thu, Apr 17th 2014 7
| WebSphere Portal v8.5 First Look: Install|
Wed, May 28th 2014 7
| Digital business models and the E2E economy|
Wed, Jun 4th 2014 7
| IBM Portlets Running on Liberty Profile on IBM Bluemix|
Wed, Jul 23rd 2014 7
| Cracking the Digital Code: McKinsey Survey|
Tue, Sep 29th 2015 7
||Are Portals Really Dead?
So lately I’ve been seeing a new class of web site that leans more towards custom development than a horizontal portal. The factors influencing a custom development approach mainly fall into the proliferation of Web/RESTful services and better front end tooling in AngularJS, Bootstrap, and similar items. Both Forrester and Gartner have labeled horizontal portals dead although not as explicitly as I just stated. With continuing evolution of best practices, we have to question the place of horizontal portals with Bootstrap hitting it on one side and modern web content management systems like Adobe and Sitecore hitting them on the other side.
I’m not surprised to see that both Forrester and Gartner are pushing “portal is dead” and there is some truth to it. The reality is that a portal fills only the web site and mobile web channel and you still need a bunch of api’s to fill the other channels and do it as cheaply as possible. It’s also true that every front end guy out there loves Bootstrap, AungularJS, etc. Perficient’s eXperience Design guys are no exception. To some extent, the added flexibility in the UI justifies it. Perficient sees it as multiple clients in a healthcare, financial services, and a variety of other industries.
Where Integration / Cool UI Tools May Not Work
All that said, these approaches solve some problems while being incredibly sexy at the same time. However, they do not solve the following:
- True integration of content. This is web content although documents can easily be included. It’s hard. Portals spent a lot of time and money solving it and they do a good job of integrating content while allowing contextual search and personalization.
- Easy addition of pages and functionality. Those who love the internet of things will say this is irrelevant and in the consumer world that has a smidgen of truth. In the b2b or intranet world, it’s not true. People using laptops or desktops still think in terms of pages. Many companies still want a flexibility when adding or modifying pages. In contrast, the custom approach pretty much demands a developer for even minor changes.
- Surfacing and/or integrating with existing applications…….where no api exists. In a perfect world, every app should have api. In reality, too few have a pi’s. Bootstrap with api’s doesn’t solve this.
- Intranets – intranets have links, content, applications, sso, etc. In the case of an intranet which has to solve and service multiple use cases, I don’t see this approach working. I do see specific applications within an intranet using the Integration / Bootstrap approach though.
- Very flexible partner and customer portals. When you have to bring reports in document format and chart format, include apps to do a variety of lookups and reporting, integrate to knowledge management systems, and make the search work across it all then a custom approach may prove too costly.
- Danger of tightly coupled applications. I can give multiple client examples where custom development started out great but became a morass of code over 4-5 years. That morass meant tight coupling which meant longer development cycles …….. which raised costs. Despite the somewhat “heavy” nature of horizontal portal development, they do push you towards a loosely coupled development approach.
I cannot gainsay any company using a custom development approach.. In reality, they are building something that mostly an app and only partially like a portal. With the added UI flexibility and ease of use of these new libraries and UI’s, it makes sense to do that. Portal technology will lose these types of web sites more and more often.
So here’s what I see in the next five years:
- The horizontal portal market will shrink. Every web site that is very app like will head towards the api/cool ui driven model.
- Portal vendors like IBM, Microsoft, and Liferay will respond and build in support for the cool UI’s into their themes…….without breaking the content integration and portlet model. It will be hard but they will do it if they want to remain viable options.
- A lot of companies will flirt with the api driven model and in the case of very complex sites that aren’t just apps, they will fail and that then return to portal or at least a set of social networking tools.
- Cloud vendors like Salesforce are going to take advantage of their inherent strengths to to launch these type of app driven self-service sites quicker and the api driven model may not matter as much. Sales and Service Cloud integration to Communities is already great……. Even though no cool UI model exists like BoostStrap or Angular. Of course, with Force.com or Heroku, you could use SalesForce as a pure api provider.
Portal is not dead………. But it’s not heading into a huge growth curve. The maturation of integration services and the introduction/use of UI tooling will shave off a set of sites previously in the horizontal portal realm. Frankly, it will make business sense to do that. But this development approach will not fulfill all the use cases for a variety of internal and external sites. Horizontal portals will remain viable but they better continue to evolve.
Jun 30, 2014
| Recent Blog Posts
7 Insights into Change Management Part 2|
Wed, Jun 1st 2016 7:51a Chuck Bach
At the 2016 Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) 2016 Conference, one of the talks that caught my eye was called Top 7 Insights, Taking ECM to the Next Level by Jacqueline Iny. This post represents part 2 of 2.
5. Let the client do the work. I had to really think about this one for a minute and then it hit me when the presenter said “stick with your expertise”. I must admit, I am quite guilty of this from time to time. In an effort to move things forwa
7 Insights into Change Management Part 1|
Wed, Jun 1st 2016 7:49a Chuck Bach
At the 2016 Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) 2016 Conference, one of the talks that caught my eye was called Top 7 Insights, Taking ECM to the Next Level by Jacqueline Iny. While at first glance, many of these 7 insights seemed a bit off to me and with the limited presentation time, you were left to draw some of your own conclusions, after hearing the whole presentation and thinking about it that evening, I have found that many are really good.
Canada lags behind U.S. in digital transformation, study finds|
Thu, May 26th 2016 10:35a David Sheets
Many U.S. businesses still have miles to go on their digital transformation journeys, but Canadian businesses appear to lag even further behind.
According to research by International Data Corp., just over 2 percent of Canadian businesses surveyed on digital transformation readiness considered themselves “digital disruptors” – aggressively exploiting digital technologies and innovating to create new business models. More than 60 percent were “digital resisters” struggling to define the
Building a Successful Change Network|
Wed, May 25th 2016 9:49p Chuck Bach
Building a Successful Change Network
One of the most valuable tools at the disposal of a Change Management Consultant is the Change Champion and Change Agent Network they create at the beginning of an engagement. When stood up properly, this group can make your change effort a success in so many ways and can also lead to sustainment of the change within the client organization for years to come. During a recent engagement with a large manufacturing company, I was fortunate enough to have creat
Can Being Happier Help Your Work and Life in General?|
Tue, May 24th 2016 9:30p Chuck Bach
I recently attended the opening session of Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) yearly conference and was immediately drawn to keynote speaker John Achor’s thoughts on “The Happiness Advantage” and how positive thought can not only make you happier, but can provide a myriad of other positive impacts in your life. Not only can it have an impact on your life, the “ripple effect” of your happiness impacts everyone around you as well.
I think the first mistake that people
How to Become a Customer Obsessed CIO #STLG2I|
Tue, May 24th 2016 12:49p Mariana Huber
David Meyer, VP and CIO of Graybar, sat down with Perficient’s Managing Principal for Strategic Advisors Mike Porter to discuss customer centric IT trends inspired from Forrester’s 2016 predictions, “With digital now reaching deeper into the domain of business operations and products, 2016 will be the tipping point where a new breed of Customer-Obsessed CIO becomes the norm.” This fireside chat, held during the Gateway to Innovation conference, focused primarily on how to leverage tec
Infographic: 5 Customer Experience Trends You Need To Know|
Thu, May 19th 2016 9:29a Kate Tuttle
Customer experience, or CX, is the sum of all interactions a customer can have with a brand. What a customer thinks of a brand becomes the overall brand perception and trumps the company’s view of itself. For more and more organizations, digital transformation is the process that drives customer experience advancement. Digital transformation is a means of modernizing the systems used to create, deliver and sustain meaningful customer experiences, and to ensure the business is attuned to its m
Digital Transformation: Understanding Where You Are|
Thu, May 12th 2016 2:04p Kate Tuttle
Digital transformations are journeys, not destinations. Adopting a means of modernizing the systems used to create, deliver and sustain meaningful customer experiences, and at the same time ensuring the company is attuned to its most digitally savvy customers, takes time and determination. A clear digital vision shows everyone in the company the path toward constant revitalization and renewal.
The path has two levels: one populated by companies that choose to pursue excellent customer experience
Digital Transformation: Crafting a Vision for Change|
Wed, May 11th 2016 9:40a Kate Tuttle
Digital experiences change expectations among business customers. Companies see this and strive to do something different, something unique to retain and gain those customers. But where should they start? What must companies do different to meet those changing expectations?
Simply put, they must create products and services that have value. Meeting customer expectations gives a company’s products more value. However, companies must be aware – from the top down – how to create that value, a
Vision Best Practices with Digital Transformation|
Thu, May 5th 2016 10:21a Michael Porter
Vision comes up a lot and I’ve had many chances over the years to work with companies in defining their digital vision. There are a variety of ways to go about it but regardless of what tools you may use, here are a few things I would suggest:
1. Align Your Digital Vision to Company Strategy
Every company should have a strategy. It should have a niche and a way in which it intends to compete. Company executives usually set and communicate the strategy although you’d be surprised