In a webinar I led earlier this week, I talked about the latest developments in WCXM (Web Content & Experience Management) marketplace and trends. Not surprisingly, one of the topics hit a nerve with many and spurred a slew of follow-up questions. The hot trend was around how SaaS/Cloud Web CMS vendors continue to struggle, with rare exceptions, despite broader organizational adoption of cloud-based technologies in the enterprise.
Plain and simple: the promise of SaaS CMSs kicking up a big storm and a “big shift” in the marketplace never happened. The expansion of SaaS WCM vendors seems to remain comparatively limited vis-à-vis nearly all the other mid-market players. The vendors are generally lagging behind not only in innovation (for example, on the premise of the latest trend du jour of experience management), but also just in general content management product development. Customers seem to perceive that the risks and disadvantages of SaaS are not getting balanced out by the multitude of technological and organizational advantages. To add to that, many traditional on-premise vendors are also offering various flavors of managed/hosted/cloud services for their Web CMSs, thus muddying the waters of the "true SaaS" market even further.
The bottom line: For enterprise customers -- especially larger enterprises -- the future of cloud in WCXM is likely to revolve around managed services rather than multi-tenant offerings. Of course, not all vendors are created equal, and some are navigating the market landscape more successfully than others. For now, though, the Cloud CMS ship seems fairly anchored in the otherwise active waters of the WCXM marketplace.
On a related note, you'll find more details on the SaaS CMS marketplace in the latest update of our WCXM research report, where we evaluate in great detail some of the major SaaS CMS vendors, including site.com from Salesforce.com, former Clickability (now with Limelight Networks as “Limelight Dynamic Site Platform”), OmniUpdate, and CrownPeak.