January 24, 2022 The Digital Experience Platform and Enterprise Content Challenges Many enterprise organizations struggle to distribute content across multiple platforms. A digital experience platform solves those challenges. Paul Sanders MentorMate Alumni You probably hear the terms DXP, digital experience platform, and content experience platform more and more these days. But what is a digital experience platform? What’s a content experience platform? How can these platforms help solve challenges with creating, distributing, and managing content at an enterprise scale? Let’s explore exactly that. Digital technology is all around us. It’s in our pockets, wrapped around our wrists, adorning our countertops, and along for the ride in our cars. We use it to track our workouts, finances, and general well-being. It knows our daily habits, our schedule, and even our voice. Digital technology is integral to living our lives and conducting our business. And at the center of it all is content. You’ve no doubt heard by now that “content is king” — that’s been true for some time. But people no longer just interact with content on their phones or laptops anymore. They also interact with it on virtual assistants, smartwatches, and a whole host of IoT devices. This content is often localized for language and locale, personalized for specific audiences, and intended for distribution in many different ways. As technology shifted and digital ecosystems became more complex, so too have the methods of distributing and managing that content. Simply put, the concept of content management is no longer sufficient to address the challenges that enterprises face in creating, governing, and distributing digital content. Enter: the digital experience platform. What is a digital experience platform? According to Gartner, who is largely credited with coining the term, a digital experience platform (DXP) is “an integrated set of core technologies that support the composition, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences.” More plainly, DXPs are a solution to create, host, and distribute digital content and experience across multiple devices and channels more efficiently. Many teams correctly view a DXP as a technical solution to content management. But DXPs also provide clear benefits for how complex organizations manage the governance of content operations. Content continues to become more personalized for diverse audiences and more devices. DXPs enable organizations to better accommodate that diversity and the increasing number of unique requirements across marketing, product, and IT. The Demands of Expanding Digital Experiences The complexity of modern digital experiences requires highly specialized technology to meet the unique needs of enterprises. Marketing technology (MarTech) has exploded to meet these needs. According to chiefmartec.com, there are over 8,000 cloud-based marketing technology providers, and the average marketing organization uses about 120 of them. This level of specialization did not exist when content management systems were initially developed. As digital experiences became more central to customer lifestyles, digital transformations forced businesses to adapt. Whereas a website might have been managed entirely by a marketing team just a few years ago, stakeholders now include product, IT, sales, data, and customer support worldwide. With stakeholders spread across the organization, content operations must govern and manage the broad range of processes and systems that manage content. This is often new territory for teams that have recently grown to the enterprise level. In an enterprise, dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of people can create, manage, and publish digital content. It becomes extraordinarily difficult to collaborate across an organization in a structured way if the content management system cannot enable an effective governance model and utilize automation to manage it. For enterprise content programs to succeed, the organization first must acknowledge and address that content is an enterprise-level challenge. How a DXP Implementation Can Address Enterprise Challenges As a technical solution, DXPs evolved to work within the infrastructure of a modern enterprise. Designed to utilize automation, data, and publishing capabilities, they help scale content development, optimization, and deployment within the digital experience. At scale, an enterprise content operation simply can’t be effectively managed with previous generation CMS technology. The architectures of DXPs are better suited to enterprise challenges than previous generation CMS technology. Content is typically managed as an object within a DXP and published via APIs using REST. This process differs from traditional templating systems that are bound to the content. With a DXP, the content is managed with logic and deployed to any platform or device. A massive challenge that enterprise organizations face is the governance of their content. At such a large scale, determining how all content gets created and published is no easy task. DXPs use artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist with the governance and management of digital experiences at this largest scale. These approaches will increasingly be required to manage highly personalized sites in large organizations. A key concept driving the adoption of DXP solutions is the concept of “composability.” This means that organizations should be able to choose the best technology solutions for their business. Using microservices and APIs, DXPs can integrate a wide variety of content services into the publishing workflow. Things like translation services, digital asset management systems and analytics can all be integrated into the content management process, and organizations can choose from a variety of different vendors. The discovery process of a DXP implementation presents a unique opportunity for an organization to address the underlying complexity of an enterprise. The demands of stakeholders in marketing, IT, and product are real, as are customers’ expectations. Suppose a business has become profoundly challenged by content operations. In that case, a DXP implementation is a way to unwind the requirements across the organization and the digital experience it provides. Using a DXP, the business can architect better, more scaleable ways to either reduce or manage complexity. Often, content challenges must be solved holistically and not discretely. Should Your Organization Use a DXP? For enterprises with complex content operations, the clear answer is yes. A DXP is a content management system evolution designed to address the business and user experience challenges enterprises face as digital experiences scale. Moreover, a DXP implementation can be the opportunity to truly understand how your enterprise manages content and how it can be better. But what if your organization isn’t an enterprise? Maybe it’s a startup or a business just launching a new website, and your current content management system seems to meet your requirements. It’s still advisable to consider a DXP to give your organization the flexibility to scale and adapt to new content opportunities. Additionally, a DXP implementation ensures that your content infrastructure can grow with your business and adapt to unforeseen challenges and opportunities. Photo by İrfan Simsar on Unsplash Tags Design StrategyDigital Transformation Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Fulfilling Users’ Needs Adopt a design thinking mindset and ship digital products that win. Download Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Sign up for our monthly newsletter. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.