A decade. That’s how long we were a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management.

But web content management (WCM) in-and-of-itself is a mature, commoditized market, and Gartner has now retired the report. The reason? Well, as Gartner stated in the 2019 WCM MQ, “While WCM remains at the heart of the technology stacks that support customer experience initiatives, native WCM capabilities are expanding beyond their traditional boundaries. The ‘omniexperience’ mandate and integrations with adjacent technologies are driving expansion into the area of DXPs.”

We couldn’t agree more.

And in the recently published Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms 2020 — where we were positioned as a Leader for the third consecutive year — the analysts highlighted two market trends that are worth discussing further:

  1. “Evolution of hybrid headless CaaS to support multiexperience strategies, increase agility and shorten time to market.”
  2. “Development of a chasm between product- and platform-oriented vendors.”

You could look at these two as individual, although related, forces in the market — but we think the linkage is much stronger than Gartner lets on. In fact, we believe they reveal that organizations need to “think bigger” than DXPs if they’re going to deliver personalized digital experiences with agility, speed, and at scale.

Why CaaS matters

Let’s start with the evolution of hybrid headless Content-as-a-Service (CaaS). At its simplest, this refers to a content management system that combines a developer-friendly “create once, publish everywhere” model while retaining a marketer-friendly user interface and a content publishing experience. And, as Gartner says, “The differentiating feature is that the content is almost always componentized, granular and atomic-based.”

What’s important about the notion of CaaS is it acknowledges that content is (or should be) omnichannel in nature – that is, consumable by web pages, mobile apps, digital assistants, smartwatches, and so on. However, a vast majority of content today is authored and managed in the channel where it’s published. This often results in duplicated work streams and limited content reuse across channels, which inhibit marketers’ ability to manage content production at the volume and velocity that personalization requires.

The solution to your content bottleneck

That brings us to the growing disparity between product- and platform-oriented vendors, because the solution to this content bottleneck isn’t in any of the capabilities Gartner currently defines as part of a DXP. Rather, Digital Asset Management, Content Marketing Platform, and Marketing Resource Management applications are the tools that enable content creation and management to be handled as a clear and structured process.

This is precisely the purpose behind Sitecore Content Hub™. In one unified platform, marketers can:

  • Streamline their processes for content planning, creation, collaboration, and curation out of the channels of publication.
  • Move the curation of granular content assets out of the channels of publication, into a centralized repository accessible to the entire marketing organization — not just the web or other individual teams.
  • Define content ownership and governance, making modular content available to be published automatically to the channels where it is needed.

You need more than a DXP

So does this mean that Gartner’s definition of a DXP is wrong? No, but it highlights that a DXP only addresses the demand side of digital experience. It’s one thing to deliver content as a service to many outputs; it’s another thing to produce the increase in content required to support a wide array of products, segments, channels, and promotions.

As companies increasingly move from web-centric to more pervasive, multichannel digital experiences, it’s more important that ever to choose the right DXP as the foundation for engaging your customers with the digital experiences they’ve come to expect. However, while the scope of a DXP extends well beyond what traditional WCM, don’t lose sight of the things a DXP doesn’t offer. Complementing your DXP with a Content Hub will unite content planning, creation, and curation with experience delivery to create one connected process that sets your digital experience strategy up for success. 

Matt Krebsbach is the VP of Strategic Messaging and Communications at Sitecore. Follow him on LinkedIn.