Traditional productivity suites will continue to be a core part of content creation in the enterprise, but newer Web 2.0 and social networking tools will add unique options, says Craig Roth, Burton Group vice president and services director.

“Do the core authoring suites of the 1990s force us into a set of containers that are becoming outdated for many authoring needs that we have today," asked Roth during his presentation Thursday at the annual Burton Group Catalyst conference in San Diego.

He was referring to Microsoft Office and current copy cats from competitors such as IBM and others. Roth says the future is a hybrid of next-generation tools that satisfy new content creation processes and traditional tools used for specific purposes.

“If Microsoft is ever dethroned in the content creation market, it will not be because they were beat on features or marketing, it will be because of a fundamental shift in the content creation market for which they failed to adapt,” said Roth.

He says users will eventually need to add to their productivity-application mix any number of next generation authoring tools. Those tools include blogs, wiki, information visualisation and XML authoring. New work methods will include collaborative authoring with Web 2.0 and social networking tools. Users will also have to consider how to handle documents that are perpetually updated and how to strike a balance between quick publishing and edited/approved content.

“Web 2.0 and Generation Y are impacting how docs get written and it is bringing a lot of new fresh ideas,” he said.

The challenge for corporate users is that newer productivity tools are not yet prevalent in the enterprise. In addition, many of those tools, especially those with instant publishing features, are being held at arms length as corporate users consider policies and risks.

Roth says companies will eventually have to let go of that mindset and start to figure out the benefits of new authoring tools.

“Organisations that consider and respond to the [next generation] content creation trends will be in a better position to create and disseminate the information that forms the core of their businesses,” he said.