Let's look back at key trends in Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) technology for 2018. On the surface, nothing really big happened...no big acquisitions or flameouts. But underneath, some important themes persisted.
1) Complexity Conundrum
WCM platforms have become incredibly sophisticated, in some cases almost website management cockpits. This is great for full-time digital site managers, but remains a chronic issue for workaday authors. It's one of the main reasons some enterprises will push the limits of WordPress...because whatever its limitations, it remains easy to use. The bigger lesson, I think, is maybe you don't need a super-complex WCM platform.
Just remember, though, that scalability always matters.
2) Getting Simpler
Continuing a bit on this riff, we're starting to see some customers de-complexify (made that word up!) their WCM environments, exchanging complicated systems for simpler alternatives. RSG continues to do a fair bit of TeamSite divorce counseling, but questions linger about Sitecore's strategy as well.
This trend isn't ubiquitous, of course, but I think hints at a coming wave where larger enterprises in particular continue to shift logic, decisions, and core information lower in their stacks. And as a result deploy simpler WCM platforms.
3) Fragmented marketplace
The WCM marketplace has always been fragmented. Still is. I have some theories about that, but the broader point is that you have a lot of choices, and choice is good.
This is a static view of the market that's shifting a bit and is characterized by intense competition, almost a Game of Thrones situation. Or for a lighter alternative, you can judge a WCM platform as you would taste a fine wine (or not)... Just don't call it a "DXP," because those don't actually exist.
4) New Players, Old Tricks
We're constantly modifying the list of WCM platforms we evaluate, but some things don't change. For example, vendors aren't always 100% candid. Certain topics keep recurring in our education sessions with RSG subscribers, like the difference between versioning and version control. In the end, maybe you should just think of your CMS as a big, clumsy dog.
Looking Ahead to 2019
What does the year have in store for WCM? I don't expect a lot of M&A activity, but you can expect vendors to reposition and continue to go up-market. We'll be keeping a special watch on Microsoft, which has gone AWOL in this space, and IBM, which has just sold off its legacy WebSphere platform to HCL.
That said, I expect the pure-play WCM vendors to predominate, as they always have.
At the end of the day, which WCM choices are best for you? You can find the right answers in RSG's hard-hitting evaluation research, or see how a decision-support tool like RealQuadrant can quickly get you the right short list for your unique needs.
If you're an RSG subscriber and wish to discuss this further, feel free to schedule an advisory session with one of our analysts.