Gartner published a new Magic Quadrant for digital experience platforms (DXP). Digital experience platforms are used to manage the digital experience of customers, partners and employees.
You can use Gartner's DXP Magic Quadrant to learn about the strengths and challenges of the various vendors in this market.
DXP as the foundation of the digital experience
A digital experience platform (DXP) is an integrated set of technologies for the composition, management, delivery and optimisation of contextualised digital experiences during multi-experience customer journeys.
A DXP can deliver optimal digital experiences to a variety of audiences. A DXP helps ensure continuity throughout the digital visitor journey. It provides the orchestration of a digital presentation that brings together capabilities from multiple applications into seamless digital experiences.
Tools in the Magic Quadrant
Gartner's Magic Quadrant selects and ranks DXP vendors based on revenue (minimum USD 17 million), geographical distribution (minimum two regions) and their 'Completeness of vision' and 'Ability to execute', among others. On this basis, they are classified as 'Leader', 'Challenger', 'Visionary' or 'Niche player'.
Gartner Magic Quadrant DXP 2023
The differences from the 2022 quadrant are minimal. Liferay has gone from 'Challenger' to 'Niche player'. And Oracle and Salesforce have been removed from the list because they do not explicitly offer a DXP (anymore).
Leaders perform excellently with their current vision, according to Gartner, and are a great choice for the near future. Adobe leads the list, with Optimizely and Acquia (Drupal) close behind. Sitecore is still just in the "leaders" quadrant.
Note that this does not mean that the four are comparable. You can also see this in the 'Cautions' Gartner mentions for each vendor. Adobe is complex and costly, Optimizely is still too much a set of separate tools, Acquia is still struggling with the promise of 'headless' architecture and Sitecore has actually launched a new product that has yet to prove itself in the market.
Challengers show considerable execution capability, with strong businesses and customer bases, and products that meet current demand. However, they lack the vision of Leaders and Visionaries, and may therefore struggle to fully meet future demands from a technological or business perspective.
Of the five 2022 'Challengers', only two remain: HCL Software and OpenText. HCL Software is strong in some industries but a relatively unknown player in other segments. OpenText is also relatively unknown to parties that do not already own another - often document and records management - package from this Canadian vendor.
'Visionaries' are vendors that understand where the DXP market is heading, but they do not yet know how to shape it to their liking. Only two players are still active in this quadrant as well: Bloomreach and Magnolia.
With role management and usability are areas of focus with these vendors.
The 'Niche players' focus quite successfully on a small segment of the market or have no focus at all and do not manage to distinguish themselves from the competition through innovation or performance.
There are no less than six such 'Niche players' in the quadrant: Squiz, Kentico, Progress, CoreMedia, Crownpeak and Liferay. These six tools are quite different from each other in proposition, functionality and complexity.
Don't blindly adopt!
I still regularly see organisations literally using the 'leaders' from the Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave as a short list for tool selections. This is remarkable, because surely Gartner warns quite explicitly against blindly following the quadrant.
I quote: "(...) Don't simply select vendors from the Leaders quadrant. Consider how our evaluations match your particular needs. A Challenger, a Niche Player or a Visionary could be the best choice for your organisation."
As always, the Gartner Magic Quadrant DXP 2023 should be taken with a large grain of salt. The 'local heroes' and many European vendors go unmentioned, and the analysts often let themselves be overly influenced by what the white papers all claim.
But the report is certainly worthwhile in terms of the 'Strengths' and 'Cautions' of the various vendors Gartner mentions. My tip is to look especially at the 'cautions', keeping in mind that these cautions are generally based on reactions from, in particular, US Gartner customers from the Fortune 500.