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"Hybrid-Headless" Architectures Now Predominate Web Content Management

New Real Story Group Research Finds WCM Vendors Adjusting to Diverse Enterprise Use Cases

Boston, MA -- The Web Content Management (WCM) industry is transitioning to "hybrid headless" architectures to satisfy enterprises that require both richly-curated page experiences as well as structured content-as-a-service, according to independent analyst firm, Real Story Group (RSG).

RSG evaluates 30 WCM vendors as part of its MarTech coverage.  To maintain its unique customer focus, RSG never works with or advises MarTech vendors. 

Although headless architectures -- where the WCM platform does not deliver the end-customer experience -- have grown in popularity in recent years, RSG's latest WCM evaluation research finds most vendors transitioning to hybrid architectures.

However, "hybrid" can mean different things, including:

  • Distinct headless and coupled options within the same platform
  • Traditional page and experience curation within an otherwise decoupled environment, including special editorial environments for modern, JavaScript-driven experiences
  • Other architectural variants

Not all vendors are evolving in this direction, and the pace of change has proven uneven across the marketplace. "Most headless vendors remain overly purist, while some traditional vendors are simply documenting existing APIs and calling themselves headless," says RSG Founder Tony Byrne, "So as a customer you have to do your diligence."

Among RSG's advisory base, some large enterprises have licensed both a headless and traditional WCM platform, only to struggle justifying duplication of effort and expense. "If you seek to unify the WCM components within your growing MarTech stack, then you may prefer a hybrid solution that addresses a broader range of use cases," Byrne adds.

About

Real Story Group is a uniquely “buy side” analyst firm, working solely for solutions buyers and never for vendors.

We provide research and advisory services to help customers select and optimize Omnichannel Marketing Technologies. RSG evaluates Web Content & Experience Management, Digital Asset Management, Customer Data Platforms, Omnichannel Content Platforms, Journey Orchestration Engines, Marketing Automation & Campaign Management Technologies, CRM and Office 365.