Our evaluation reveals a transformed field of content management system (CMS) vendors that are hyperfocused on driving business impact through generative AI, extensible architecture, and global scalability that businesses and consumers demand today. Over the last two decades, CMSes have evolved into the central orchestrators of personalized digital experiences to directly impact new customer acquisition, time to market, and operational efficiencies. As we enter the age of AI, C-level investments in CMS for revenue growth and operational efficiencies continue to grow in prominence due to their direct impact on customer experiences worldwide. Our 26 criteria shed light on the following key areas:
- Generative AI and intuitive authoring. With generative AI capabilities abound for new copy creation and customer references validating that the CMS is the central orchestrator of their digital experiences, we evaluated new copy generation with AI alongside modular content aggregation within an intuitive interface to ensure that enterprises select the right level of fidelity in these features.
- Headless preview with turnkey integrations. With enterprises leaning into composable (“best-of-breed”) technology architectures, marketing, brand, and content teams need easy-to-use interfaces and the agility to integrate to more systems faster — especially when data and rich-media assets are spread out across departmental silos. We evaluated low-code/no-code UI integrations to adjacent systems and headless previews through any front-end framework to support this level of flexibility for business teams.
- Translated and personalized experiences out of the box. With consumers expecting personalized experiences that are also translated and localized for their geographies, enterprises need to lean on CMS capabilities to deliver on this market demand. While many enterprises expect integrations to their own customer data and analytics platforms for personalization through data, we also assessed several vendors in this evaluation that provide data and analytics capabilities to help teams provide better experiences in market, faster.
- Extensible architecture and global scalability/performance. Technology leaders lean on API architectures to drive business performance today. It is no surprise that we evaluated each vendor’s API architecture in depth to ensure agility for technology teams — today and in the future. Our evaluation also focused deeper on content delivery networks (CDNs), scalability, and performance on the edge to support our research findings.
- Strategy, community, and partner ecosystem. As consumer behavior continues to evolve, vendors in this evaluation are investing in content management capabilities by revising, tuning, and enhancing their product strategies. Additionally, healthy practitioner and developer communities and the breadth of technology and agency partnerships are indicators of the momentum behind a vendor’s product. We evaluated each vendor’s mix in these arenas to support holistic business growth in the future.
How To Determine Which Solution Is The Best Fit For Your Business
If you are assessing the content management capabilities of your organization, please get in touch with me for an inquiry or guidance session so we can explore the right technology for your business.
Forrester clients can download the full Wave scorecard (using the Excel download link at the top of the page) and dig into the wealth of evaluative information in the scores and scales. This is an incredibly powerful and customizable tool. Some of our recently released reports provide additional detail to help guide your decisions, including revenue/cost drivers, embedded solutions, and the larger CMS landscape of vendors:
- Reduce Technical Debt By Understanding CMS Capabilities Before RFP to understand how to strategically select a CMS solution.
- The Content Management Systems Landscape, Q2 2023 to understand Forrester’s evaluation of 32 CMS vendors and the major trends shaping the CMS market landscape.