Web Content Management is the foundation of a brand’s digital transformation. Brands who are winning, regardless of industry/B2B/B2C, are those that take advantage of digital to craft new product/services and business models. At the heart of this is a new generation of customer experiences made possible by companies who are able to source the most compelling content, harness meaning from vast pools of data and have powerful tools and machine learning algorithms to deliver personalized experiences in the context of the customer in the moments that matter.
For a 7th year, Adobe is a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management we believe because of our relentless focus on product innovation, partner ecosystem and the success of companies who have invested in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM).
Over the past year, the demands on web content management have exploded. I’ve quickly seen companies who originally used AEM for their responsive websites now expand their use across mobile and IoT channels, and beyond marketing to other parts of the customer journey where digital experiences have become paramount.
On a personal level, 2017 is also the year I think consumers are feeling the impact of these trends. My parent’s entire irrigation system is connected to the Internet and they can control the water timing from their iPhones. A visit this weekend to a birthday party was orchestrated by an Amazon Echo playing the music and keeping track of a pie in the oven for 15 min. All these screens, voice activations, integrations between digital and physical are seeping into our lives…and the pace is accelerating. A marketing moment, a customer service moment, a sales moment all are blurring. The traditional functional lines defined by organizational structure is being disrupted by the worldview of empowered consumers who see everything as part of relationships that bring greater joy and value, or pain and inconvenience.
Simple to Start Now, Scales to Meet Future Needs
While Adobe continues to innovate AEM as a digital experience platform that can source compelling content from greater sources and serve contextually relevant content to any owned, earned and paid touchpoint, we continue to make foundational experiences such as responsive websites and landing pages simple. The UX and engineering teams continue to push the limits of AEM’s user interface to make it evermore intuitive — an area that Gartner has noted in this latest MQ. A web content management solution is only as valuable as the number of people who are able to use it across business and IT developers. In the last several years we have also introduced the ability to preview and edit on a responsive grid, business user template authoring, initiative UI to define targeted experiences to an audience and core components. These innovations included in our AEM Managed Services offering, paired with customization services offerings by partners and Adobe Global Services, make it highly accessible for companies to get started quickly with AEM and have the confidence in a foundation that will continue to adapt to the growing needs of the business for years and decades.
You don’t want to start with a web content management foundation that is “good enough”. If there is anything this disruptive digital era has shown is that the transformation is accelerating and, in the long-run, most of our estimates on the scale of technology impact is grossly underestimated. As Amara’s law states, “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
Engaging Content Fuels Great Experiences
Given Adobe’s heritage, we have a strong culture and appreciation that it takes great content to fuel great experiences. Each time I visit an art gallery or peruse a portfolio on Behance, I am reminded of the powerful nature of content that presents new ideas, invites strong emotions and tells memorable stories. Digital now makes historical and current content much more accessible and engaging. Adobe has invested to ensure AEM is able to source and curate the necessary content across both brand-created assets, such as images and videos through the Adobe Creative Cloud, to user-generated content from social networking sites such as Instagram or Facebook. With content insights, organizations are able to understand the most impactful content to further optimize a content and personalization strategy.
Fluid Experiences, the Modern Answer to Headless CMS
According to Gartner there are 8.4 billion connected things in use worldwide as of 2017. This is up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Brands are already using AEM as an omnichannel content hub today. For instance, Hyatt uses AEM to manage their loyalty program (World of Hyatt) through central booking engine and combines the traditional workflow of researching hotels with editorial content to augment to traveler’s experience on their digital channels. In this case, AEM provides a flexible way to manage the content for the primary web channel yet supports the ability to push content out to parts of the site that are more customized and less traditional.
We continue to make it easier to use AEM as a content hub for emerging channels and applications including single-page apps. Adobe enables organizations to realize this vision with Fluid Experiences, which supports both developer and marketing/business needs: content that flows and adapts to the interaction context. Investments in content fragments, experience fragments and content services, in addition to the machine-learning framework, Adobe Sensei, make this possible at an even greater scale. This is not your grandfather’s headless content management system that only provides APIs. AEM has always had APIs to deliver content as a service. However, with APIs alone, organizations will quickly face the same IT bottlenecks of the past. Fluid experiences is Adobe’s innovation that gives IT developers and business users the ability to address the goals of headless, in a way that meets the demands across business operations and goals.
Adobe’s investment in web content management is focused on helping companies become leaders in digital transformation, now and well into the future. We’re fortunate that we are in a unique position to do this, not only because of our leadership in web content management, but also our leadership into a family of solutions, as part of the Adobe Experience Cloud. We have received Gartner leadership recognition in other critical components of an Experience Business including Multichannel Campaign Management, Digital Marketing Hubs and Digital Marketing Analytics.
Yes, digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. I’m proud to work with leading companies and partners who have been on the journey with us for over a decade, and to welcome the new companies who have invited us on their journey. The vision is clear, the commitment is strong. Adobe’s leadership in Gartner Magic Quadrants, including this latest one for web content management, only underlines Adobe’s commitment that we will continue to work to make sure all of you continue to be leaders in your respective industries.
I invite you to take a look at the latest Gartner MQ for Web Content Management and understand how Adobe Experience Manager can be the foundation of your digital transformation.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management, Mick MacComascaigh, Jim Murphy, 26 July 2017.
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