Assessing Gartner's 2017 Magic Quadrant for Web CMS

Aug 03, 2017

Gartner released their annual Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management (CMS or WCM) last week. Let’s unpack this year’s version.

What We’re Seeing

There’s little change at the very top. Gartner sees Sitecore and Adobe continuing to lead the way on both vision and execution, with Acquia following close behind.  

Sitecore and Adobe have introduced managed service cloud offerings and increased machine learning capabilities (via Azure and Adobe Sensei respectively). Meanwhile, Acquia’s Lift personalization tool saw version 3 released, which more tightly integrated Drupal content management tools into the product.

Episerver’s slow march toward the top stalled a bit this year, but they maintained their positioning. One of the big issues Gartner brought up was the responsiveness of Episerver to their clients, which would seemingly be driven by the growing pains of winning more market share and integrating new acquisitions into their platform.  Those new acquisitions in machine learning-based personalization and omni-channel campaign management have exciting prospects for the future.

gartner-magic-quadrant-cms-2017

Top Takeaway – Machine Learning

Every year seems to have a theme in the analyst reports.  Recently you’ve seen cloud, commerce, and personalization. This year it was clearly machine learning.

Biggest Surprise – No Additions or Removals

The only change of vendors was simply the acquisition of Hippo by BloomReach. Other than that, the provider list saw no change for the first time in recent memory.

Big Mover: BloomReach (Hippo)

BloomReach purchased Hippo last year and merging their two capabilities pushed it up into the leader quadrant. Hippo doesn’t have a large market share and has a small partner network, so there’s still work to do to move beyond their current position. Their Java based platform may also pose a challenge for the .NET and PHP dominant market they are entering.

Other CMS to Note

Automattic: made a big leap in ability to execute, even while taking a step back on completeness of vision. There’s still a lot more work for them to do to get to the leader quadrant. Not the least of which is getting enterprises on board with the idea of WordPress as an enterprise solution.
IBM and Oracle: stopped the slide of falling backwards. It wouldn’t have been a terrible surprise to see either or both of them to fall out of the leader quadrant. The continued emergence of IBM’s Watson platform (here using the Watson Content Hub) and Oracle’s cloud strategies (with their Content and Experience Cloud) have augmented their content offerings to be more in-line with other Leaders.

Final Thoughts

Each of the players in the leader’s quadrant are doing a lot around machine learning and we’re seeing cloud offerings no longer be a differentiator, but more of an expectation from these providers. This year’s assessment was far more static than previous years, in our view, due to the maturity of the existing CMS providers to the market needs. This is actually good news for customers, as there is more certainty in the market regarding the best platforms to choose from.

It will be interesting to see if any of the upstart SaaS, API-based CMS providers can start breaking into the Gartner Magic Quadrant next year or whether Gartner might introduce a new report in regards to those platforms.

If you’re in the market for a CMS and need some expert advice, email us at contacts@wearegenuine.com.