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

But there is another report that we’ve kept the wraps on, which we fondly subtitled, “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 a part 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 such as “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: 

  • A 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, a content hub acts as software to dynamically integrate — without necessarily migrating — content across repositories on-premises and the 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 it 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 sequel, 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 toward 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.