After months of research, I am excited to publish our evaluation of the market (Forecast, NowTech, and Wave). Thank you to all the folks who worked so hard to make this happen! I firmly believe enterprise customers need these solutions to be their partner and platform to build, deliver, and optimize amazing experiences on channels like web and mobile.

But there is another report that we’ve kept the wraps on, which we fondly sub-titled “It’s The End of Web CMS As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”. This forward-looking piece builds on much of the research I have been apart of over the years, specifically our Digital Experience Platform architecture research. And we give a concrete view of where practitioners need CMS to go: agile content curation and orchestration. We’ve dubbed this emerging category ‘Agile CMS’.  

This figure shows the past evolution of CMS, starting with web CMS, moving through to experience CMS, and finally to headless CMS. Today, AD&D pros need a new CMS model for all content and all users.

The CMS landscape is rife with new labels like ‘decoupled’ and ‘hybrid’ that need to be dissected to better understand the benefits. However, two labels bear closer examination because adding them together and overlaying with a unified planning tool comes fairly close to our definition of Agile CMS: 

  • Content hub unifies access to other content repositories. Building a content back-end historically involved point-to-point integrations and legacy content migration (e.g. ETL) and integration standards (e.g. CMIS). Today content hub acts as software to dynamically integrate — without necessarily migrating — content across repositories on-premise and cloud to provide practitioners with a unified content access point.  
  • Content-as-a-Service’s content syndication adds practitioner tools onto delivery APIs. CaaS categorizations have accelerated with the refocus on microservice architectures that underpin cloud deployments, but a good summary of CaaS is {content authoring + management + API delivery}. CaaS is similar to Agile CMS given the channel-agnostic authoring, but lacks the omnichannel orchestration aspect that will be a game changer for digital experience pros.  

While these two categories can act as stepping stones to the long-awaited , Agile CMS, that doesn’t mean that the recent Experience and Headless “movements” don’t have a path forward as well. We’re excited to help clients pick the right flavor of CMS as they move towards the goal of assembling a more flexible, yet durable digital experience stack. I’d love to share more about this vision and the outlook for individual vendors, via an inquiry if you’re a Forrester client. 

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