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DXC: Digital Experience Composition Platform

Gartner’s insights on composable, headless website architecture

Digital experience composition (DXC) is a term coined by Gartner in 2022 to represent an emerging market focused on digital multiexperience orchestration in an API-first “headless", decoupled composable world.

It's a solution that enables developers to have complete architectural flexibility and create amazing digital experiences, while handing those experience over to be managed in a no-code interface by marketing and business people.

Innovation Insight for Digital Experience Composition (

DXC Conceptual Diagram

Since monolithic Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) usually offer a suite of bundled tools, it's often hard for sophisticated organizations to buy it as a complete solution due to custom requirements in one or more of the tools (e.g. the personalization engine).

The decision would be a tradeoff between compromising on some of the needed functionality in favor or being able to pick and off-the-shelf solution, or spending the resources to build an internal solution that perfectly fits the organization's needs.

In the composable world, with micro-service like architecture, it's now possible for organizations to find the most suitable vendor for each of their required tools, perhaps build the pieces that are too custom to be solved by an externally built solution, and integrating them into a perfectly fitted solution.

To make this example concrete, think of a company that is okay with a standard headless CMS as its marketing content source, but is also pulling data from internal databases, has their own experimentation framework, but can use an off-the-shelf DAM and PIM. With a composable architecture, all those tools and data sources can be integrated together into a fully functional website.

When adding a DXC like Stackbit on top, you also get visual in-context editing of all the content in the same place, regardless of its source, and the ability to orchestrate a "publish" event for example across all the separate tools.

Headless CMS are an amazing solution for separating code and content, which in turn allows each of the two to be changed individually of the other.

The problems start when the headless CMS also needs to become the editing tool for business and often less technical people, like marketers. It's form-based UI without a preview (hence the term "headless") makes for a very inconvenient tool for editing content.

For further reading on the challenges of headless CMS and how to deal with them, please read the Leader’s Guide To Overcoming Challenges with Headless CMS.

The problem Gartner points at is that without a DXC solution like Stackbit, marketers and other business stakeholders aren't really independent and rely on developers to make the changes they need on the site. This leads to processes slowing down and a long time to introduce any changes to the website, as well as frustration from both marketing and engineering teams being each others' bottle necks and not focusing on their best work.

At the end of the day, your website should be driving the impact you need for your business, be that brand awareness, leads, sales, and so forth. To get that done it means your content-ops, marketers and designers will need to make frequent changes to the website, they'll need to A/B test various approaches, write blog posts and not feel frustrated by the whole process.

Not long ago there weren't many choices:

  • You either chose a limiting wall-gardened solution, but one that would have a decent editing UI

  • Or you would architect and build an amazing technical solution that was almost inaccessible for marketers and business folks without the help of a developer, or an internally built tool

Now, you don't have to compromise anymore.

Your development team can build any custom solution they want, with absolute freedom of choice and architectural flexibility and with just one config file and no extra dependencies provide a modern UI for your business stakeholders to use.

This way each team is efficiently working on the tasks they do best (and enjoy most), producing great collaboration through this independence.

This is 100% correct... before Stackbit.

Stackbit introduces the ability to make no compromises on architectural flexibility and agility while providing extreme operational simplicity with a visual editor that can easily support any technological stack.

How does it actually work?

Stackbit supports all front end frameworks and all structured content source (headless CMS included, but it can also be your own legacy db, an Airtable file, headless e-commerce, etc.). All it takes is one config file - no extra dependencies, no payload in production, no vendor lock-in.

This means that your marketers, content ops and business people can enjoy an in-context visual editor (WYSIWYG) like a site builder, but added on top of your own custom stack and build without any restrictions.

Stackbit can be added to absolutely any modern website, and if you don't have one, we also have robust starters, built with best practices and wired to all the popular integrations to get you going quickly. If you don't have available developers, we can also connect you with a wide variety of agencies that know how to work on modern websites and particularly with Stackbit.


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DXC Benefits

A clear business case for DXC

Increased efficiency

No more navigating complex forms, content models, and schemas. Edit in context, naturally.
  • Make changes, iterations, and variations, in minutes, not months.
  • Identify the content you'd like to edit on-screen, click, type, and that's it
  • All content is sent back to headless source via APIs, ensuring authoring and editing are fast

Faster time to market

Help your clients create experiences fast from your implemented templates, presets, and component library.
  • One file configuration to unlock real-time previews.
  • Make code changes, and preview in real-time.
  • Edit content in Stackbit or headless source and preview in real-time.

Cost containment

Stackbit maximizes the investments in a composable headless stack for a lower total cost of ownership.
  • Shave 80% of the total licence fee (OPEX) from legacy DXP offerings
  • More budget for services projects (CAPEX)
  • Make your client the hero with more efficient and effective project delivery

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