Clarivate Analytics experts reveal the six trends that will influence the future of domain management in 2020 and beyond

New MarkMonitor report highlights importance of security, budgets and dealing with regulation

Six key trends will influence the future of the domain management space in 2020 and beyond, according to a new report from Clarivate Analytics, a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation.

The trends, which include factors such as regulation and security, were identified by the MarkMonitor domain team based on its industry expertise and supported by independent research[1].

The six key trends include:

#1 More collaboration, less siloed working

Domain management needs to be a collaborative effort between departments, including a company’s board of directors. Traditionally it has been seen as the responsibility of one department, mainly IT, and where multiple departments are involved, they tend to work in silos with little communication. The research found domain management is the responsibility of IT in 46% of organizations, followed by legal (16%), marketing (13%) and a combined approach across departments (13%).   Reassuringly, boards are frequently involved with 43% stating domain management and security is a board-level issue.

#2 Drive greater value from domain portfolios

Organizations will derive greater value from their domains in the future by streamlining domain portfolios, understanding which are most important, and ensuring all domains contribute to maximizing web traffic. With just 17% of respondents stating domains are a necessary evil, this attitude could diminish even further going forward.

#3 Increased focus on security

More resources will be spent on security moving forward, especially with domain and domain name server (DNS) abuse on the rise. The research showed 23% of respondents experienced an attack on their domain in 2019. This highlights the need for increased vigilance and improved security measures, such as multi-factor authentication and domain registry locking, being more widely implemented.

#4 More investment needed for domain management

With buy-in from the board, budgets for 2020 will grow in line with the changing domain management landscape, particularly around security, risk mitigation and portfolio optimization. Domain management is an integral part of brand protection, and as such, over the next five years respondents said they would allocate their brand protection budget to address four key areas: phishing fraud (26%), implementing new technology (26%), protecting domain names and intellectual property (25%) and piracy (22%).

#5 A move away from traditional domain management strategies

Brands need to adapt their strategies to incorporate the management and security of new domains. This is especially relevant as the registration and use of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and .brand extensions become more commonplace.  There has been a 61% rise in .brand registrations in the past 18 months with 76% of these extensions currently active[2]. This growth showcases the importance of mitigating risk and ensuring organizations achieve return on investment — with 77% of respondents who had registered a gTLD stating they experienced challenges during the process.

#6 Accounting for regulatory changes

Brexit remains one of the largest regulatory issues facing domain management, with 39% of organizations admitting Brexit has affected their domain strategies and 25% re-evaluating their EU strategy.  Other regulation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will continue to impact the way brands enforce against infringement into the new year. As a result, organizations need to ensure they stay informed and can adapt to the changing legal landscape.

The domain landscape will continue to evolve and brands need to do all they can to ensure their portfolios are effectively managed, secured and delivering value to the business. MarkMonitor continues to monitor trends and regulatory changes and work with our customers to effectively manage and secure their global domain portfolios.

The research was commissioned by MarkMonitor and conducted by independent survey company Vitreous World. A sample of 700 IT, legal and marketing decision makers from five countries was surveyed to gauge their experiences and perceptions of domain management. The sample was drawn from the U.K., U.S., France, Germany and Italy.

The trends are contained in the latest MarkMonitor report: The Domain Trends Report: Challenges, opportunities and the future of the domain space, accessed here.