IDC

September 2021

Worldwide Content Management Systems for Authenticated Digital Workspaces 2021 Vendor Assessment

Marci Maddox

Marci Maddox

Research Director, IDC's Digital Experience Strategies program

Product Type:
IDC: MarketScape
This Excerpt Features: Beezy

IDC MarketScape Worldwide Content Management Systems for Authenticated Digital Workspaces Vendor Assessment

Capabilities Strategies Participants Contenders Major Players Leaders

Leaders

BeezyFeatured Vendor

Igloo

MangoApps

RWS

Major Players

Interact

Liferay

LumApps

Microsoft

OpenText

Unily

IDC MarketScape Methodology

IDC Opinion

The well-known enterprise portal and associated content management system (CMS) that has been the staple of employee intranets and customer portals (an authenticated digital workspace, which includes related variations — member sites, supplier extranet, partner communities, etc.) has since evolved to deliver a more modern experience on mobile, kiosk, and other connected devices. Content ownership has also expanded to include everyone in the organization, and modernization has followed close behind the external public website in adopting modular cloud-based and API-friendly architectures.

Under the hood of the employee intranet or customer portal is a CMS that manages the creation, edits, deletion and, most importantly, publishing of content (e.g., images, videos, forms, templates, pages, component, and product assets) to various endpoints. For many organizations, a basic set of CMS capabilities and a straightforward approach to publishing information to the digital workspace are all they need. For others, the ability to not only communicate with users but also surface work activities, collaboration tasks, social environments, and knowledge bases to a single, personalized user interface is the next step in delivering an exceptional authenticated digital experience.

Modern Digital Workplaces Require a Different Kind of CMS

There is a shift in employee empowerment at the office where it is important to create free-flowing, two-way communication between staff and executives. This carries over to the customer and partner portal environment where content can easily be shared and there can be an emphasis on transparency. The pandemic brought forth a velocity of distributed news, tasks, and interactions. Customers needed access to their accounts, students required online learning, and suppliers relied on the portal for inventory management. Each of these authenticated users interacted with the organization on desktop browsers and mobile devices. The traditional intranet/extranet was a top-down communication site or a place where corporate documents were pushed to the user. The modern digital workspace is an ecosystem of connected communications, business tasks, or activities. Rather than forcing people to move off their favorite app, the modern digital workspace will connect to it. The goal is to have interactive, informative, conversational, and productive activities connect to a system of knowledge, social sites, communities, and collaboration team spaces. The modern digital workplace requires a high degree of interoperability with many different systems including news feeds, image repositories, group messaging, calendars, HR, ITSM, and financial systems.

IT’s key role is to help business teams find the right balance of technology to deliver the experiences that will maximize the value realized by employees and customers. IDC has identified business outcomes key to achieving that balance:

  • Predictable communications ensure that employees and customers can give and receive information in the right form, at the right time, and via the right channel, and communications are consistent across channels and touch points.
  • Lifetime value is accrued through value exchanges across iterative customer journeys including services, information, evangelism, and other forms of value. If customers perceive imbalances, they will quickly become ex-customers. If employees perceive a loss of value, they too will leave.
  • Mutual trust is a nonnegotiable “virtual contract” between employees, customers, and businesses that governs how companies use their data and serves as a foundation for the relationship.

Types of Content Management Systems

Each CMS category can be characterized by the level of control and technical skill needed at the content, design, and administration layers. Small to midsize businesses or independent departments wanting to outsource website operations will find that single-stack applications require little to no technical skills and provide simplicity in creating content and sites quickly. Large enterprises with heavy transactional activities or multiple data sources will find that a traditional WCM platform offers the broadest set of capabilities and a robust API framework. Finally, the most developer-intensive solution, headless CMSs, is a good fit for organizations that need a fully customized front-end delivery and have strong development skills in place.

Architectural Considerations

Modern CMSs orient toward a content powerhouse that offers codeless content creation (drag-and-drop authoring and administration, intelligent content recommendations, and roles/usage-based templates), presentation design freedom, automated decision-driven workflow, and scalable edge delivery. Architectural elements of consideration include:

  • Smart data structures: Content relationships require a data structure that supports an object-level atomic design to prevent layered or circular content referencing. Every element needs to be independently assembled, allowing for reuse without dependency on the presentation and machine driven (e.g., automation, insight, and recommendations) to drive to kinetic outcomes (e.g., engagement, conversion, and learning).
  • Diverse content types: The data layer must handle a diverse set of content formats (e.g., atomic fragments of content, text, images, videos, AR/VR, and audio).
  • Accessibility support: Accessibility checkers quickly scan a website for on-page and technical accessibility issues and errors in readability or navigation based on recognized standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). With better content enrichment and presentation design, accessible websites provide an inclusive experience for everyone, optimized across devices (desktop browser, voice browser, mobile phone browser, and automobile displays) or operational constraints (noisy surroundings, limited lighting, and hands-free driving environments).
  • Microservices and API frameworks: Offering a set of small services, each running in its own process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms, often an HTTP resource API, such as REST or GraphQL, microservices are built around business capabilities that can be scaled independently by distributing the services across servers and replicating as needed with explicit remote call mechanisms.

Tech Buyer Advice

Content management systems are evolving in terms of advance functionality and a shift to cloud-native, microservice architectures. As organizations refine their cloud strategy, buyers have a choice of CMS technology options that cater to the needs of the business — whether it is with a single-stack application or a developer-savvy open source system. The modern CMS is designed to get business users up and running quickly and effectively streamline the content processes to communicate to, collaborate with, and engage the remote workforce and external authenticated users more effectively.

For buyers with a cloud-first strategy, CMS applications should provide a solid return on investment that benefits from cloud elasticity and scaled performance that align with business goals. The vendor should provide the services and support to get you up and running quickly and continue to monitor your progress to success. Training and continuous education should be available as guided tutorials, hands-on training, and a community for self-help. The need to deliver more engaging digital experiences will demand more of the CMS systems in the coming years. IDC advises technology buyers to look for the following when selecting a vendor:

  • A flexible architecture to support reusable atomic content, roles-based templates, and an authoring environment that makes it easy to create and publish content to multiple channels
  • A cloud-native architecture, cloud-first strategy, and strong representation of customers that have deployed high-traffic content sites in the cloud
  • Intuitive user interface for all users who interact with the CMS (e.g., HR, finance, marketing, sales, customer support, suppliers, and partners)
  • A modern, API-first, microservices-based architecture to ensure performance and ease of integration
  • An innovation strategy with support for artificial intelligence (AI)/ML, conversational interfaces, personalized content, knowledge management, or intelligent search
  • Innovation track record and a demonstrated ability to deliver enhancements on a regular cadence in a seamless manner, including automatic and frequent updates
  • Supported connectors to adjacent applications such as an ITSM, HR applications, or collaboration tools to minimize custom code required
  • Activity-specific solutions and templates that offer easy deployment and configuration such as onboarding, member portals, or board of director dashboards
  • Global multisite management with support for multiple languages, local points of presence or datacenters, and adherence to regulatory guidelines
  • Financial stability and ability to support future solutions as user expectations evolve
  • A strong partner and developer ecosystem for implementation, support, and technology integrations

Featured Vendor

This section briefly explains IDC’s key observations resulting in a vendor’s position in the IDC MarketScape. While every vendor is evaluated against each of the criteria outlined in the Appendix, the description here provides a summary of each vendor’s strengths and challenges.

Beezy

After a thorough evaluation of Beezy’s strategy and capabilities, IDC has positioned the company in the Leaders category within this 2021 IDC MarketScape of worldwide content management systems for authenticated digital workspaces.

Beezy offers all-in-one intelligent digital workplace built for the Microsoft platform under the product name of Beezy Digital Workplace Solution. 

Quick facts about Beezy are:

  • Digital workspace best use: Employee intranet, communications, and knowledge management
  • Global footprint: Major presence in Europe, with expansion in North America and APAC
  • Top industry areas: Financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail
  • Ideal organization size: Small to large enterprise
  • Cloud type: Single-tenant public or private cloud
  • Architecture: Single stack and 80–90% microservices based
  • Web technology, scripting, and coding languages:.Net, jQuery, Node.js, React, CSS, JavaScript, LESS, PowerShell, Sass, and TypeScript
  • Based on open source code: <10%
  • Key differentiator: Beezy provides a digital destination for employees to create, find, and engage with all the information, apps, and tools the company needs and uses — all in one streamlined professional environment, which is 100% native to Microsoft.

Strengths

  • Ease of use: Customers and partner organizations we interviewed noted the intuitiveness of the platform and its mobile app. Its socialized nature and crowdsourcing of information help employees find what they are looking for. Content authors can embed video for replay directly in the platform due to its embedded video player. Users can personalize the landing page with draggable apps and autotranslate the user interface and social items from 30 different languages.
  • Administrative templates and workflows: Beezy’s administrative tools help facilitate the configuration of the solution. Beezy provides templates and workflows for global and local branding of sub-microsites. Its hub-and-spoke model allows for bidirectional rules and roles for delegated administrative control to global, regional, and local levels.
  • Intelligent digital workspace: Beezy’s extension of Microsoft 365 ties OneDrive to its Beezy ShareBox for expanded file sharing and simplicity to organize content. Beezy Bot and Action Cards work with Workday tasks to bring actions to the user landing page. Beezy is also integrating with Microsoft Viva Topics to tap into its content intelligence capabilities.

Challenges

  • Microsoft dependency: Built on top of Microsoft SharePoint, Beezy leverages the Microsoft 365 ecosystem with apps such as PowerAutomate for workflow. Customers that feel constrained by the underlying Microsoft capabilities can use the Beezy API to custom connect to apps outside the Microsoft realm. It is important for Beezy to position itself clearly where it adds value above the standard Microsoft offerings and illustrate how the company will extend the new Microsoft Viva platform going forward.
  • All-in-one limitations: As a single-stack application, Beezy limits customizations to its browser and mobile application outside of what is on Beezy’s road map. Capabilities such as automatic tagging of content, user accessibility features, offline access, and inline help are gaps in the platform to which Beezy will need to ramp up development to address.
  • Partner ecosystem: Beezy has a small partner ecosystem at its current stage, with all sales being led by Beezy. Implementations are completed by Beezy and a select group of regional partners. Beezy has a small but growing install base. Its geographical expansion and customer growth will be in direct correlation to Beezy’s success in developing a partner program and support.

Consider Beezy When

Consider Beezy if you are a midsize to large enterprise looking to extend your Microsoft investment with a single employee intranet solution. Consider it if you need to manage communications and knowledge at both a global and local scale with a single provider that does not hand the application off to third parties.

“Consider Beezy if you are a midsize to large enterprise looking to extend your Microsoft investment with a single employee intranet solution. Consider it if you need to manage communications and knowledge at both a global and local scale with a single provider that does not hand the application off to third parties.”

Marci Maddox, Research Director, IDC’s Digital Experience Strategies program

Methodology

IDC MarketScape Vendor Inclusion Criteria

The vendor inclusion list for this document was designed to accurately depict the vendors that are most representative of any given cloud-based content management system buyer’s selection list. Vendors were then surveyed and further investigated to ensure that the offerings qualified with both capabilities and strategies related to the CMS market.

Critical to this research effort was for the vendor to meet the inclusion criteria. Any vendor participating in this IDC MarketScape had to showcase that it met the following:

  • Market presence and momentum based on IDC inquiry and three years’ positive revenue growth
  • Generate a minimum of $10 million in cloud-deployed annual recurring revenue (excluding professional services) in calendar year 2020 from a commercially supported business packaged offering
  • Deployment in the cloud as managed hosted private cloud, PaaS or SaaS in a public cloud
  • Targets and scales to meet the needs of large to enterprise size organizations supporting 1,000+ employees with approximately 50% of customers in this range
  • Has revenue attributed to multilanguage public websites and multichannel digital experiences in at least two of the following regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East/Africa, Japan, China, Asia/Pacific
  • Had customers in production in the cloud for at least 12 months as of January 1, 2021
  • Provide capabilities to create and manage websites or authenticated workspaces with support for the following capabilities: content creation, design presentation, personalization, content library services, security/permissions, analytics/reporting, interoperability to adjacent technologies
  • Provide customer and partner references that have been in production for at least one year or more and can rate the vendor on its support and product performance in usability, interoperability, customer service, strategy, and cloud provisioning

Reading an IDC MarketScape Graph

For the purposes of this analysis, IDC divided potential key measures for success into two primary categories: capabilities and strategies.

Positioning on the y-axis reflects the vendor’s current capabilities and menu of services and how well aligned the vendor is to customer needs. The capabilities category focuses on the capabilities of the company and product today, here and now. Under this category, IDC analysts will look at how well a vendor is building/delivering capabilities that enable it to execute its chosen strategy in the market.

Positioning on the x-axis, or strategies axis, indicates how well the vendor’s future strategy aligns with what customers will require in three to five years. The strategies category focuses on high-level decisions and underlying assumptions about offerings, customer segments, and business and go-to-market plans for the next three to five years.

The size of the individual vendor markers in the IDC MarketScape represents the market share of each individual vendor within the specific market segment being assessed. For this IDC MarketScape, vendor size was determined by IDC’s 2021 Software Tracker and validated by each vendor on their revenue in the market. For details regarding the vendors and size of the CCM market, see Worldwide Persuasive Content Management Applications Market Shares, 2020: Market Leaders Shift as Cloud-Based Solutions Gain Traction (IDC #US46252521, May 2021).

IDC MarketScape Methodology

IDC MarketScape criteria selection, weightings, and vendor scores represent well-researched IDC judgment about the market and specific vendors. IDC analysts tailor the range of standard characteristics by which vendors are measured through structured discussions, surveys, and interviews with market leaders, participants, and end users. Market weightings are based on user interviews, buyer surveys, and the input of IDC experts in each market. IDC analysts base individual vendor scores, and ultimately vendor positions on the IDC MarketScape, on detailed surveys and interviews with the vendors, publicly available information, and end-user experiences in an effort to provide an accurate and consistent assessment of each vendor’s characteristics, behavior, and capability.

Market Definition

Digital experience applications curate, manage, publish, and deliver editorial, image, rich media, and product content for omni-channel experiences including websites, mobile apps, social networks, digital signs, IoT apps, and conversational interfaces. IDC categorizes persuasive content management software into four website solution commercial packages:

Web content management (WCM) platform, the most seasoned website solution in the market, is referred to as a full-stack platform that provides both a content engine and a presentation layer to create, edit, and publish digital content such as text, images, audio, video, and interactive graphics to websites and mobile web apps.

SaaS-based website building solutions simplify the website building process by using theme-oriented templates to create and publish content to the web without the need to hire designers or developers. These solutions are full-stack applications that allow for minimal front-end custom branding and developer-built plug-ins.

Website managed hosting solutions offer SaaS or managed private cloud options for open source CMS solutions such as Drupal and WordPress. Taking on the website operational tasks of cloud infrastructure deployment, software upgrades, and website maintenance, these solutions minimize IT involvement and maximize the creative content and web design functions within the organization.

Headless CMS is a back end–only application to manage, store, and track content; the front-end presentation layer is removed. Front-end web developers use APIs to send and retrieve content and apply presentation logic (e.g., localized language display or accessibility controls for text size or closed captioning) or personalized preferences (e.g., style themes or shopping recommendations) to dynamically generate the digital experience.

CMS solutions can be either open source or commercial with an architecture that can be characterized by how the front-end presentation and delivery connects to the back-end content engine. IDC identifies the CMS architectures in this document in the following ways:

Single-stack platforms provide a single application that tightly couples the back-end content management engine to the front-end presentation design and delivery engine to create, edit, and publish digital content such as text, images, audio, video, and interactive graphics for websites and mobile web apps.

Decoupled solutions act as a single application but are designed with separate back-end and front-end services that communicate independently through an API framework allowing for flexibility in data management and event handling.

Headless solutions provide a back end–only content engine leaving the presentation layer to be designed and custom developed using a front-end framework and accessing the content and back-end services via APIs. The architecture is often associated with microservices for large, distributed networks such as cloud environments.

CMS solutions can also be deployed on premises or in multiple cloud configurations. IDC defines its cloud taxonomy with the following:

Multitenant software-as-a-service applications (SaaS apps) services are based on a service composition and delivery model made up of a utility computing environment in which unrelated customers share a common application and infrastructure resources that is managed by an independent software vendor (ISV) or a third-party service provider.

Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions are designed and offered as private cloud–ready solutions; IT assets are typically owned and managed by the customer and dedicated to a single customer. Whether designed for public or private cloud, all PaaS, at a minimum, must conform to IDC’s eight basic cloud characteristics: solution packaged; shared/standard services; elastic resource scaling; self-service; elastic, term-based pricing (no perpetual license); ubiquitous (authorized) network access; standard user interface technologies; and published service interface/API.

Single-tenant software can be deployed in either a public or private cloud where each instance of the software is dedicated to a single customer for an extended duration.

Public cloud services are shared among unrelated enterprises and/or consumers, open to a largely unrestricted universe of potential users, and designed for a market, not a single enterprise (e.g., AWS, Azure, GCP).

Private cloud services are shared within a single enterprise or an extended enterprise, with restrictions on access and level of resource dedication, and defined/controlled by the enterprise, beyond the control available in public cloud offerings. (e.g., vendor or partner dedicated cloud).

Related Research

Operational Considerations of a Modern Content Management System (IDC #US48196521, September 2021)

IDC TechBrief: Website Software for Public Brand and Consumer Digital Experiences (IDC #US47327121, June 2021)

Worldwide Persuasive Content Management Applications Forecast, 2021–2025 (IDC #US46252421, May 2021)

Worldwide Persuasive Content Management Applications Market Shares, 2020: Market Leaders Shift as Cloud-Based Solutions Gain Traction (IDC #US46252521, May 2021)

IDC’s Worldwide Software Taxonomy, 2021 (IDC #US47588620, April 2021)

Delivering Multichannel Digital Customer Experiences: Shifting Preference for Interlocking Cloud Technologies (IDC #US46252321, March 2021)

 

IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Content Management Systems for Persuasive Digital Experiences 2021 Vendor Assessment

Provides an assessment of the principal content management systems used for authenticated digital workspaces