Is Adobe AEM Sites a CMS of Last Resort?

In almost any business technology marketplace, for any given era, there's a vendor whose solution emerges as the most complex and therefore typically the most expensive of the lot. In the Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) marketplace, that position is held today by Adobe with its "Adobe Experience Management Sites" (AEM Sites) offering.

Complexity is not a good or bad thing. In software, complexity augurs more opportunities and more work, and it falls to you to balance that equation. Nevertheless, a question arises for any prospective AEM customer: do we need this level of complexity?

Limitless Ambitions, Limited Resources

Digital marketers today face a dilemma. On the one hand, you have nearly limitless ambitions for richer customer engagement. On the other hand, you face internal resource shortages, and need to take more agile (read: simpler) approaches to digital initiatives to adapt quickly as you learn.

A platform like AEM seems well suited to richer engagement, since -- with enough funds and experienced developers -- you can get it to do nearly anything you want. Unfortunately, AEM is not well suited to agile approaches. It's simply too developer-intensive and requires an exceptionally sophisticated and well-resourced digital team on the business side to exploit.

Never Default, Always Test

So should you always avoid choosing Adobe for WCM? No, AEM has its place.

But in an era where you face greater risks of overbuying than underbuying WCM technology, you should only select AEM as a last resort. In other words, you should make sure that you perform hands-on tests of simpler alternatives. Then, only after having concluded empirically that those alternatives cannot flex to your needs should you zero in on AEM.

For deeper evaluations of AEM and its 35+ competitors, consult our Web CMS Report.

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Gil Côté, Partner, Cancentric Solutions Inc.
iStudio Canada Inc.

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