Paul Michelotti, Experience Management Practice Lead
Adobe recently announced Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as a cloud-native SaaS offering. What does that mean for you as a current or prospective customer of Adobe? While we can certainly guess that licensing and management costs will continue to become even more aggressive which will make the Adobe platform even more attractive, especially for the mid-market customer looking to move to an Enterprise Experience Management solution, there are two more notable implications concerning the ownership and management enabled by Adobe’s commitment to providing a cloud-native service.
Enabling Ownership Without the Investment
If you’re an old time AEM/CQ customer, you might remember (or potentially you’re still living in a world) where you were responsible for your own AEM hosting. This meant you could control all aspects of your AEM deployment. You could perform your own monitoring, your own log crawling, do your own scaling, create your own test environments. You had full ownership over your environment. This also meant you had to invest significant time and money in creating and maintaining internal expertise in hosting and maintaining AEM.
Next came Managed Services, a proliferation of companies offering AEM hosting services followed by Adobe’s Managed Services offering. This removed the burden of hosting and managing AEM from you but also removed your ownership. You were dependent on Managed Services for environment monitoring, for log aggregation, for tracking performance. If you wanted to deploy, you had to make a phone call. If you needed to scale you had to negotiate a contract.
Now, with a SaaS model, you are able to reclaim a valuable level of ownership without having to invest in the expertise to run the platform. As a cloud-native solution, Adobe has invested and continues to invest in the tools to put monitoring, deployment, and scaling in your hands while retaining the tasks of creating and maintaining the environments.
Always up to Date
Even more interesting, to me at least, is Adobe’s commitment to keeping the SaaS environments up to date. Historically you would plan for a month (or maybe multi-month) update project once every year or so and spot update projects for major feature packs and security patches. Now this should be a non-event for you and your team.
This represents more than a commitment to push packages to the environment, it represents a commitment to maintain stable functionality and follow clear API deprecation roadmaps so that changes are non-breaking. It also means that you need to keep on top of the Adobe roadmap and upcoming changes to functions and APIs so that you can react in a timely and appropriate fashion. Don’t let deprecated APIs linger in your code base, because you will be caught unawares when they are eventually removed. Reach out to me if you’d like to chat about what this means to you and your business process. Happy to help.