What is Content Delivery as a Service (CDAAS) ?

As-a-Service is a computing model where services and technology are made available on demand over a network to a consumer. All enterprises that are undergoing a digital transformation are trying to get ahead of the competition by adopting an As-a-Service business model for improved business agility, speed to market and to gain a sustainable competitive advantage.

Typically content services involve three stages: creating or acquiring content, managing or processing content and delivering or publishing content. For the purposes of this discussion, we can define content as structured content like news articles, product catalogs or blog posts as well as file-based or unstructured content that includes digital assets and static files such as documents, images or videos. Since such content can come from various sources, let us limit the scope of this discussion to original content that is created by a business for various purposes.

Let us take a closer look at the delivering/publishing aspect for original content using an As-a-Service model. A CDAAS solution would provide at least the following capabilities:

  • Content API for searching a content repository and reading/fetching various types of content in a modular fashion.
  • API services like throttling, security policies, rights management, independently scalable calls, response transformation capabilities etc.
  • Caching, CDN support for file-based content delivery and webhooks/triggers to refresh cached content.
  • API discovery, documentation, SDKs and a developer portal for API.
  • Content analytics, reporting and real-time monitoring of API with alerts based on usage trends.
  • Functionality to support monetizing the delivered content using pricing rules, metering, usage etc.

Who would benefit from a CDAAS system ?

The target audience for CDAAS could be internal customers of a business who need to build content-rich web, mobile, chatbot, IOT or other applications, partners or customers who need syndicated content for their own systems or an API team that builds out content-based microservices for various business initiatives.

A CDAAS provides the following benefits:

  • Allows customers to develop, run and manage content-rich applications easily and to mashup content with data and other services.
  • Future-proofs the content delivery system so that it can be easily incorporated into newer channels.
  • Delivers content in a context-aware manner for personalization.
  • Improves agility and simplicity in both provisioning and operation.
  • Makes it very easy to syndicate and monetize content to various internal and external stakeholders in a modular fashion.

There are still some questions that need to be answered:

  • Should you decouple the Content Delivery system from your API management system ?
  • What about the process of creating content and managing content for a CDAAS ?
  • Does the type of content delivered (large payloads, structured vs unstructured content vs user-generated content etc) affect a CDAAS ?

We can take a deeper look into these and other aspects of a complete Managed-Content-as-a-Service (MCAAS) later.