Stefan Schinkel
Chief Revenue Officer

WCM to DXP: Why Gartner and dotCMS Believe in Digital Experience

Aug 31, 2020
By: Stefan Schinkel

Changes within the CMS market have been commonplace over the years. Now, digital transformation is shaking things up even further. In 2017, Gartner, the IT and finance global research firm, foresaw the changes in the sector and renamed their Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management to Content Service Platforms.

Also, in early 2020, another shift came when the research firm retired the Magic Quadrant Web Content Management and instead decided to double down on the Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms. In a recent interview for CMSWire, Irina Guseva, lead analyst for Gartner, and one of the authors of the Magic Quadrant said that the shift to DXPs:

Is not the death of WCM. It’s the birth of WCM to a new definition of a content management system. Because now it’s not only the web, obviously, that we need to tackle when you have Alexa, chatbots, and different devices, modalities, and channels. Content is not dying. It’s just turning into an original idea of a content management system that’s intended for different content types and now for different channels.

So, it’s not that content management is dying. On the contrary, it means that to thrive in the overcrowded digital ecosystem companies need to make the leap and go beyond WCM and embrace the new realities and benefits that DXPs bring to the table.

Omnichannel content delivery, simplified content authoring, and headless architecture are now increasingly important for companies who want to capture the attention of their audiences, and the truth is that WCM platforms aren’t nimble enough to cater to the new needs of users.

At dotCMS, we believe that DXPs are the future of content management and we’ve futureproofed our platform to make sure that we’re part of the change. In this post, we’ll show you why we believe in DXPs and how dotCMS is ready to lead the change.

What Is a DXP?

A DXP doesn’t focus only on content management; on the contrary, it enables companies to follow the best-of-breed approach, which is the business strategy of selecting the best product for each purpose and integrating them all into a centralized solution instead of picking a single inflated suite solution.

Gartner defines DXPs as: “an integrated set of technologies, based on a common platform, that provides a broad range of audiences with consistent, secure and personalized access to information and applications across many digital touchpoints.”

WCM systems, on the other hand, focus only on web content, which makes them unsuitable for delivering content to the myriad of channels that today’s users use to consume content.

Digital experience platforms represent the next logical step in terms of content management because they integrate subsystems that enhance their capabilities. They combine and coordinate apps, including content management, search, personalization, and collaboration. Also, DXPs go beyond the web, delivering unified digital experiences to IoT devices, mobile apps, websites, and even smartwatches.

DXPs are at the center of an extensively interconnected digital ecosystem allowing both marketers and developers to work in sync in their quest to deliver the best digital experience possible.

Read More: DXP and CaaS: What is CaaS and Why is it the Foundation of a DXP

Why Does Gartner Believe DXPs Are the Future?

While web content management isn’t dead, the reality is that WCM platforms as we used to know them, are no longer competitive unless they disrupt themselves to go beyond mere web content delivery. In its report, Gartner stated that customers’ growing expectation for digital experiences had changed the market landscape, making the DXP, and its integrative capabilities, a necessity for companies who want to scale their operations.

For companies using a CMS, this means that change is necessary in order to avoid roadblocks in the future. In fact, according to Google, 39% of smartphone users are more likely to browse or shop a company or brand’s mobile app because it’s easier or faster to make a purchase. This means that users of today aren’t only looking for products and services on their computers. They’re using any device at their disposal and not going omnichannel can hinder a company’s potential to scale.

To Gartner, the growing trend of content as a service, API-driven architecture, and omnichannel delivery has changed the way companies create content to feed customer demand. This change calls for modular solutions that can integrate with existing tech stacks rather than replacing them entirely. At the same time, cloud-native systems are also opening the door to private and hybrid cloud services that are easily scalable and personalizable using API-driven integrations.

However, the decision behind retiring the magic quadrant for WCM platforms doesn’t mean that WCM systems will disappear. Conversely, it’s possible that WCM will be absorbed into the all-encompassing definition of Digital Experience Platform, and become a fundamental part of it.

How dotCMS Goes Beyond WCM

Undoubtedly, new touchpoints are now constantly emerging. This brings new opportunities and challenges to the customer journey, allowing companies to innovate and delight their audiences by engaging with them in places other than brand websites.

While a traditional CMS supports web content, dotCMs provides seamless, omnichannel content delivery from a single source, plus a layer of features that include digital asset management, marketing automation, and personalization.

dotCMS goes beyond content management; it helps companies make their entire digital offering accessible to everyone in every device, uncovering opportunities and opening new markets. Here are some of the features that help dotCMS go beyond WCM to give users the ability to deliver superior digital experiences.

Hybrid Architecture

A hybrid DXP like dotCMS gives both business and technical users the best of both the headless and the traditional CMSs. A hybrid platform offers users the technical benefits of a headless solution while also enabling marketers to build digital experiences with a set of frontend tools designed to make things simple and reduce the need for additional code. At the same time, the hybrid architecture permits building omnichannel experiences.


Interoperability refers to how easy it is for one system to integrate with a third-party. Interoperable software makes communication with other systems easy by standardizing interactions, sharply reducing compatibility challenges. An interoperable DXP can pull data and content from third-party systems while also delivering content and experiences to other frontend apps. dotCMS enables developers to integrate to data sources and interfaces using lowcode API tooling; this makes it simple for developers to choose the frontend that’s best for the job.

GraphQL APIs

GraphQL was created to go where REST cannot, giving developers more flexibility and efficiency, especially when it comes to data fetching. Using GraphQL, users can send a single query to the server, and the server will return JSON with all the requirements fulfilled, sharply reducing the unwanted metadata that querying with REST produces. dotCMS’ support of GraphQL enables developers to perform a query across the entire content repository, and all with no Java code required.

Edit Mode Anywhere

Edit Mode Anywhere represents another step in dotCMS’ journey towards a 100% NoCode experience for marketers and business users. With Edit Mode Anywhere, our single page application visual editor, non-technical users get a centralized, undisrupted editing experience. With this feature, users can edit their content without relying on the IT department, empowering marketers to create contextual experiences faster.

Is This the End of Web Content Management?

While the era of the traditional, monolithic CMS might be coming to an end, that doesn’t mean that the need for WCM has reduced. In fact, companies still need to manage their web content, yet, they have to go beyond that because one channel won’t cut it anymore.

For companies, this means asking the dreaded question of ‘Can our CMS support what we want to do next?’ It means looking for ways on how technology can support content and how implementing different architectures or integrating third-party tools can help them operate faster.

DXPs haven’t killed WCM, but they represent the next logical step for organizations who want to create, manage, and deliver omnichannel experiences. DXPs give companies the tools they need to scale and are the foundation of a solid content architecture that unifies and integrates a myriad of tools.

If you want to learn more about DXPs and how embracing an omnichannel approach can help your company, read our whitepaper ‘How dotCMS Enables Interoperability & Extensibility’ or contact us for a demo.

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