Five Reasons Your Composable DXP Needs to be True SaaS

13 May 2021
Posted by Crownpeak
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The market is looking for Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) to meet consumer expectations for highly relevant, visually arresting content. To deliver such experiences over the complete customer journey, content management systems (CMS) must have the flexibility to integrate different frameworks and languages and support omnichannel delivery.

In a previous post, we highlighted why assembling a "composable DXP” is the right move for most enterprises: Composable DXPs may take a little more research upfront, but they set you up for long-term success, no matter how the market shifts and develops, and are increasingly the analyst-recommended approach.

If you are building a composable DXP with an eye toward the future, it is critical that the component technologies are what we call "True SaaS". In this post, we’ll look at why not all SaaS solutions are created equal, and the five key advantages of True SaaS DXPs for your composable strategy.

Read more about composable DXPs in this Gartner Report .

Future-Proof Your Tech Stack with a Composable DXP Strategy

What is True SaaS?

Most next-generation marketing technologies today are SaaS; however, many of the leading players in the Gartner MQ for Digital Experience Platforms started out as monolithic, on-prem CMS and are still playing catch-up. It will take years for them to fully realize all the components of their packages as True SaaS.

Most vendors trying to sell a packaged DXP have at least one key piece that is not SaaS. Indeed, the vast majority of vendors who may offer SaaS components, such as Personalization, DAM, eCommerce, Analytics, continue to offer their core content management solution either on-premises or as a managed service.

When evaluating DXPs, it’s important to realize that SaaS means more than just “Cloud” or “Managed Service”. Even if a solution is hosted in the cloud, that doesn't mean that it's built in, deployed to, and delivered solely from the Cloud. For example, a vendor might boast that they offer cloud functionality, when in reality they are merely providing a legacy on-site solution that is installed on a cloud server.

Unless a system is “multi-tenant SaaS,” meaning that its design enables a single instance of the vendor’s software application to serve a multitude of tenants (customers), it is not True SaaS, and can boast none of the efficiencies and economies. A multi-tenant approach enables the vendor to deliver their core software application to all clients, without any requirement for individual customers to manage the underlying hardware, software or network.

This design, used by True SaaS CMS solutions such as Crownpeak, frees customers from having to invest resources in the overheads associated with traditional CMS. True multi-tenant SaaS solutions allow your IT staff to focus on strategic priorities rather than devoting time and effort to dealing with the maintenance, upgrading, deployment, and testing associated with non-cloud native systems.

How can you tell the difference between the two types of solutions? This post has eight questions to ask to help you get started.

Following are five reasons the components of your composable DXP need to be True SaaS:

1. Upgrades and scalability

A major challenge with traditional on-prem software solutions is the issue of upgrades and scalability. Aside from the security risks and functionality limitations posed by unapplied upgrades, software that must be upgraded on the client side can present a host of other difficulties, including the cost, inconvenience and downtime associated with applying an upgrade.

Given that software tends to inevitably add features as upgrades are propagated, the initial installation of an on-prem solution may require significantly more computing power over time. This can create scalability problems if your IT system doesn’t have the resources necessary to handle the upgrades.

SaaS systems avoid these issues:

  • SaaS is built to scale; you don't have to add and configure new servers to handle more users.
  • You don't have to manage upgrades.
  • You get new features as soon as they are released.

2. Security

A primary factor in many security breaches is unapplied updates. When customers are required to set aside the time and devote the effort to updating their CMS to process upgrades, failure to do so in a timely manner leaves them open to security issues that have been patched in those updates.

SaaS CMS, by contrast, automatically apply security patches so enterprises can be confident that they are protected at all times. With unapplied updates consistently a leading cause of security breaches, True SaaS solutions offer a clear advantage in this regard.

3. Connectivity and integrations

The ability to easily integrate with other solutions is a strength of many SaaS CMS: While this is not necessarily because they are SaaS, it is often due to their underlying decoupled or headless architectures. Indeed, most SaaS technologies are built to be flexible and facilitate integrations, and are better suited to work with the modern web. Given the fragmented nature of the modern content design and delivery landscape, harnessing the power of a variety of frameworks and languages is crucial to meeting consumer expectations for a compelling customer experience.

When a non-SaaS technology releases a new version, it often breaks your integrations, so in addition to the pain of upgrading, you have to rebuild connectors. SaaS technology using APIs for content delivery, on the other hand, can typically accommodate multiple upgrades while retaining the ability to send content to a number of channels via the APIs.

4. Emerging technologies

Building on the above point, most SaaS CMS are designed to be a composable part of a best of breed DXP. The concept of DXP is changing; what is needed and included for one buyer does not always match what others need, even in the same industries. Because of this, flexibility is at a premium to enable systems to offer a variety of design and delivery tools and keep up with changing content and delivery needs.

In this environment, it doesn’t make sense to get locked into a platform that isn’t equipped to handle evolving technology standards and delivery methods. Don't pay for technologies you don't need and from which you are not set up to benefit.

Even the core DXP technologies are changing. For instance, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are a staple now, but it took time for the single-vendor stacks to acquire or build them, while a composable DXP is set up to add one as-needed.

Bundled technologies are never best-of-breed. Single-technology vendors have more incentive to innovate and stay ahead of the market; if a piece falls behind, you aren't locked in. You can swap it out for a partner that better fits your needs and goals.

5. Support and customer success

Another major advantage of SaaS solutions is that their vendors rely on renewals for income. As a result, they are incentivized to be partners, not just providers.

Customer success and top-quality support are essentials for a successful SaaS company. If customers aren’t seeing results, they can simply terminate their subscription.

SaaS solutions are built to help you reach your goals. This, coupled with their ability to deliver frequent updates, means that these systems are designed to work as customer success partners, serving as an extension of your IT development and management efforts.

A DXM you can build on

Crownpeak Digital Experience Manager (DXM) is the perfect base to build your content management efforts around. DXM features:

  • True SaaS that scales with you
  • Engineered to facilitate integrations
  • Offers a stable of best-of-breed partner technologies
  • Strong commitment to customer success

Want to see Crownpeak's DXM in action? Request a demo today!