Despite the hype of marketing clouds, the full suite of software found in digital experience (DX) platforms has been slow to move to the cloud. Fortunately, digital experience platform vendors like Acquia, Adobe, EPiServer, and SAP hybris are now embracing the cloud to deploy and operate their software. Cloud DX stalwarts like Automattic, Crownpeak, and DNN are growing rapidly. Disruptive players like Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace are zooming up from the bottom to empower practitioners. And service providers like Deloitte, Razorfish, and SapientNitro have repositioned their managed hosting options as more cloud-like DX platforms.
But what cloud benefits do vendors and service providers actually deliver? That's been tough to nail down. In a new Forrester report, we clarify the scary terminology for digital experience platforms in the cloud, articulate the benefits that come from each cloud model, and prod the vendors you rely on to simplify how they talk about their cloud services (see Figure 1). With this report, we also announce our deeper investigation into how the cloud will disruptively improve digital experience platforms.
  • It's time to bring your digital experiences to the cloud. Companies can run a chunk of their digital experience platform in the cloud and deploy new sites in weeks or days. Deploying that same functionality on-premises can take months or years. If you are a marketer or developer with an immediate need — and if a decent cloud solution is available — you'll take the cloud, thank you very much.
  • Look past marketing labels to decode vendors' cloud confusion. Digital experience platform vendors use terms like managed service, on demand, PaaS, and SaaS to describe what they're doing. But what do these terms mean? To make smart choices, demand clarity on what vendors really offer: Who's responsible for what, where does it run, and what do you have control over?
  • The future of digital experience clouds will be disruptive. Firms must respond to the ever-rising expectations of customers by rapidly deploying the best and latest software. They must rank business agility first. The cloud is the only way to do this. Therefore, over the next five years, you must make the cloud the foundation of your digital experience platform strategy.
Figure 1 Understanding The Characteristics Of Cloud Deployment Options In Digital Experience Platforms