Your organization’s content is a valuable asset and a key driver of success. How you create, manage, and use those assets, along with the tools you provide for that content to be consumed by customers, employees, and other constituents, will define your brand in this digital-first world. Customers demand personalized and consistent omnichannel experiences and are moving away from the brands that can’t provide them.
Delivering content consistently across channels requires a smart strategy and the personnel and technology to support it. For enterprise businesses, the choice of a content management system (CMS) that meets their strategy requirements while providing the freedom, flexibility, and enterprise-grade features the business requires, is essential.
With so many choices and constantly changing jargon, selecting an enterprise CMS can be daunting. To help you get up to speed on the current state of enterprise content management, we highlight the top 10 enterprise CMS platforms to consider and go into greater detail on our favorite.
An enterprise CMS is a content management system that enables businesses to create, edit, manage, and publish content at scale. For medium and large-sized companies at the enterprise level, simply managing content isn’t enough; they also need to be able to innovate and support several departments, all while optimizing the total cost of ownership and return on investment.
Here are some of the key features that an enterprise business will need:
Content Management & Publishing:. An enterprise business needs to be able to publish content to websites, mobile apps, IoT devices, eCommerce stores, employee portals, and a host of other channels. Marketers and content creators on these enterprise teams need to be able to manage that content using intuitive interfaces, without reliance on IT, making everyone more efficient.
Developer Freedom: Developers at the enterprise level are tasked with creating front-end experiences for multiple channels. They need the freedom to use the frameworks and programming languages that best fit a particular situation.
Security: Security and permissions are critical for enterprise businesses, given the amount of data contained in most systems. Features like Single Sign-On, authentication, and authorization ensure that only the person meant to access a piece of information can do so.
Extensibility: A CMS is a critical element for any enterprise business, but it isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. Companies need to be able to connect additional tools within their tech stacks such as analytics, eCommerce, DAM, ERP, and more to create a unified system.
Support & Performance: Downtime can be detrimental to an enterprise business, so your CMS must run smoothly with support available 24/7 to help manage any issues. For large enterprises needing to power dozens or even hundreds of sites, look for strong multi-tenant capabilities
Delivering content to multiple channels is a must for any enterprise CMS. As a result, a modern enterprise CMS should have capabilities that decouple the front-end display from the backend content repository and allow well-structured content to be delivered to various channels in many different formats. This is known as “headless” content management.
Businesses moving away from old traditional or legacy CMSs towards a headless architecture will find three options for an enterprise CMS that meets their needs: suite or monolithic, pure headless, and hybrid headless.
Suite or Monolithic: These all-in-one platforms provide a CMS and additional tools as part of a suite meant to deliver everything your enterprise business could need. However, they can be less flexible, limiting your choice of tools for specialized functions, and at the same time much more expensive.
Headless: Pure headless platforms remove the single-channel restrictions that plagued traditional CMS platforms and enable delivery to multiple channels. However, many headless CMSs lack visual editors and front-end designs, increasing the reliance of marketers on developer resources.
Hybrid: A hybrid CMS blends the best of worlds when it comes to headless content delivery and traditional user-friendly content authoring capabilities.
Before diving into the list, let’s meet the contenders:
Adobe Experience Manager
dotCMS is an open source hybrid-headless CMS built on Java. dotCMS empowers both marketers and developers with the flexibility of a headless CMS and the content authoring efficiency of a traditional CMS. Enterprises can produce, manage and deliver personalized content for any channel with no-code (for marketers), low-code (for web developers), and high-code (back-end Java developers) development options.
Magnolia is an open hybrid headless CMS and DXP. Magnolia allows you to manage content in one hub and reuse it across channels. It offers a WYSIWYG authoring interface and visual SPA editor for marketers and low-code development options for developers. However, Magnolia may not be ideal for complex situations with hundreds of sites.
Storyblok is a headless CMS focused on creating powerful content experiences. The platform is made for developers and marketers, as it offers a modern headless architecture along with visual editing tools and customizable content blocks. However, the learning curve can be steeper than other headless CMS platforms.
Kontent.ai by Kentico is a headless CMS for building modern digital experiences. It enables marketers to manage content in one unified hub and collaborate, while developers have the freedom to choose their own tech stack and integrate tools as necessary. However, the security features under certain conditions could be improved.
Sitecore is a digital experience platform that offers a suite of solutions including content management, digital asset management, commerce, personalization, marketing automation, and more. Sitecore is made for handling complex content needs across thousands of touchpoints.
Adobe Experience Manager is a combination content management system and digital asset management solution that helps brands launch personalized content-driven experiences. Enterprises can create and manage content across several channels such as digital screens and also draw on other products as part of the suite, including forms.
Contentful is an API-first content platform for building digital experiences. Brands can create and manage digital experiences across multiple channels and unify that content in a single hub. Contentful also integrates with numerous tools through open APIs.
Contentstack is a content experience platform that enables brands to create content experiences quickly and efficiently. The CMS supports omnichannel content delivery and allows enterprises to compose their technology and tools to fit their unique needs.
Hygraph is an API-first headless CMS that provides an instant GraphQL API for delivering content across platforms. These robust GraphQL APIs are meant to boost developer productivity and empower marketers and content authors to deliver content experiences.
Sanity is a flexible platform for launching data-driven content solutions. The platform enables developers and marketers to collaborate in real-time to deliver engaging digital experiences. Sanity is scalable, performant, and offers support for growing enterprises.
In the race for a spot on a magical quadrant or to ride an agile wave, many content management vendors have forgotten about managing content. Despite talk of omnichannel digital experiences, composable DXPs, CDPs, etc., organizations still want and need a solid enterprise CONTENT management system– one that meets the needs of all your stakeholders.
Headless content management is not a new paradigm. dotCMS was built 20 years ago as a hybrid CMS, embracing the idea of decoupled, structured content (headless) from its inception. Why? Because to manage content at an enterprise scale in a way that supports both your business and IT needs, you need a mix of traditional and headless tools. One without the other is only half a solution, which most monolithic and headless CMS vendors are now starting to realize.
Here’s how a hybrid platform like dotCMS goes beyond the monolithic and headless capabilities of other enterprise CMSs:
dotCMS is an open source platform, meaning that you can customize and extend the CMS as you see fit, including with help from the expansive community of developers. You can download it for free and evaluate the functionality and source code for yourself. You can even request a free 30-day enterprise trial license to experience the full functionality of the platform. Some enterprises such as government entities and financial institutions are required to use open source technologies. For these organizations, dotCMS is the ideal choice.
Enterprise software can be expensive and content management systems are no exception. With monolithic suites, you may pay for much more than you need, as these platforms can’t separate the CMS from the additional tools within the suite. Those costs escalate even further as you add users and sites.
On the other hand, SaaS-based headless solutions may seem really inexpensive, but that introductory pricing will balloon exponentially for enterprise implementation, not to mention the ongoing developer costs to support marketing and build front-end “heads”.
dotCMS doesn’t put a limit on CMS users, websites & applications, content objects, content types, languages, custom workflows, and API requests per second like other CMS platforms. And dotCMS’ hybrid capabilities can help lower your total cost of ownership and provide a better return on investment by empowering business users and freeing up IT resources to innovate.
Marketers need to be able to create and edit content easily. dotCMS’ visual editor enables them to do just that with drag-and-drop template builders and layout designers, visual content editors, powerful image management, and no-code content modeling. Content authors can build content types and edit content easily without technical expertise.
dotCMS’ multitenant capabilities enable enterprises to manage hundreds of sites using a single instance and interface, ideal for organizations with multiple brands, franchises, local branches, or agents. They can leverage dotCMS as a centralized repository for content assets to maintain consistency and control while providing local editors the flexibility to customize content for their locations and sites. See how Canada’s largest telecommunications company uses dotCMS to support more than 400 retail outlets and how one of the world’s largest nonprofits powers hundreds of regional websites with a centralized system.
Managing content at the enterprise level takes some doing. Luckily dotCMS allows non-technical users the ability to create custom multi-step workflows and content governance models. In addition, dotCMS offers four-eyes approvals which require two or more approvals for any action. This is ideal for companies that can’t afford any mistakes.
dotCMS is built on Java which offers more security than many other CMS platforms built using PHP. In addition, dotCMS is SOC 2 Type II compliant which helps to ensure greater control over security, confidentiality, and availability.
Many enterprise CMS platforms today are SaaS-only, which can limit performance. dotCMS on the other hand is built for enterprise performance and allows customers to choose the best hosting option for their needs– private or public cloud or self-hosted. Unlike alternatives like Storyblok, Contentstack, and Contentful which impose technical limits, dotCMS has no rate limits and no throttles on API requests. Their content delivery network (dotCDN) is scalable by design, with powerful routing optimization and integrated cache management. And with scaling in Kubernetes using Postgres pub/sub cache transport, dotCMS allows you to autoscale your delivery tier and respond to changes in load quickly and reliably as your needs and traffic change.
Enterprise companies can’t get everything they need out of one box. An enterprise CMS needs to be extensible and interoperable but many competitor CMS platforms can’t offer the same level of plugin support for custom plugins as dotCMS does. dotCMS’ marketplace provides plugins for many best-of-breed tools across automation, eCommerce, and more. And it’s easy to extend or customize dotCMS functionality with your own OSGi plugins. Learn more about how dotCMS enables interoperability and extensibility.
Want to learn more about dotCMS? Contact us to speak with a content management expert and discuss your organization’s needs.
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