There are no sane reasons not to take your digital experience to the cloud

The short version

Cloud computing is far from a new phenomenon and it has seen a wave of vendors changing the game in their respective industries, such as disrupting CRM and Zendesk doing the same to customer service.

The simple idea is that you don’t need to install and maintain the software, whether in your own IT datacenter or at a hosting provider. Instead the software lives in the cloud and is updated by the vendor, effectively removing the need for tasks like upgrading, maintaining and generally worrying about keeping the solution up and running.

If you are a customer looking to acquire a digital experience solution, content management system or similar, now is the time to look for cloud-based solutions. We drew a line in the sand between 3 and 6 months ago, and I would no longer recommend customers to look at traditional on-premise solutions.

Consider options like Cloud CMS, CrownPeak, Solodev and Umbraco as examples of solutions that enables you to build great websites using cloud-based solutions.

The resistance to cloud tends to be irrational as enterprises have widely adopted cloud in other business-critical areas witnessed also be the rising popularity of Office 365.

If you are looking to upgrade, then read: How most customers get the digital platform upgrade painfully wrong.

The cloud changes the game for the digital experience space

The longer version:

For some strange reason the entire digital experience marketplace with leading vendors like Adobe and Sitecore has remained on the good old on-premise approach and has so far offered little in terms of cloud, except the occasional mention of cloud in their marketing.

To be fair, some leading vendors have adopted cloud as a storage option, but that doesn’t really count as it still requires on-premise installed software

On a weekly basis and at each and every J. Boye group meeting, I hear about how customers are stuck on older versions, such as an old Drupal version, an old Sitecore version or what have you, and are now struggling to move to a new version. Upgrade projects are rarely fun and usually risky and expensive.

The old paradigm was either proprietary software with a fixed price to acquire or open source. Either way, it was on-going costs, both in terms of maintenance and support as well as resources required to keep the systems running and upgrading when necessary.

As a customer you’ve been faced with many infrastructure tasks that a vendor handles for you when you go cloud.

Some of the resistance, I’ve encountered has been along the lines of:

The impact is profound as you have a mature offering like Amazon Web Services, which offers basically all the infrastructure features you would expect. At the same time you have hot start-ups like Contentful for a developer-friendly API-approach to content management and GatherContent to provide a cloud-based interface that makes editors happy. This could lead to an entire new generation of home-grown web platforms after we’ve just spent a decade migrating from home-grown to standard vendor offerings.

Learn more about cloud content management systems

A sure sign that this is happening is the Forrester Research report from March 2016: The rise of the headless content management system.

Magnolia is a Swiss-based software vendor and they launched Magnolia Now at their annual conference earlier this month. Magnolia Now is a cloud-based digital experience platform.

Attend the J. Boye Aarhus 16 conference in November and meet with digital leaders who have made the decision to go cloud.

Join our CMS Expert Groups in Europe and North America to meet analysts, vendors, services providers and customers in person to continue the conversation.