The Pandemic: a major driver for Cloud-First Headless Content Management
Over the last year we have been bombarded with information about how the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed numerous business functions, right from supply chains to customer service. Organisations have quickly been able to see which areas of their business are able to accommodate remote working and those which demand rapid digital transformation. One of these is Content Management.
Due to lockdown restrictions, marketing managers and software developers are no longer operating under one roof. Moreover, consumers are increasingly demanding a more personalized service which traditional content management is not built for. This dual push to transform content manage has increased the redundancy of on-premise content management systems which do not suit the modern digital ecosystem or remote workplace practices.
On-Premise CMS: A Lagging Technology
Prior to the Pandemic, the Content Management Market was already evolving quite quickly, but the global crisis has now seen an steep increase in the adoption of cloud-first CMS’ due to its accessibility and flexibility. On-premise Content Management had numerous drawbacks that were evident even before the demand for remote working came in. Here are just some of them:
- High costs for customizing, hosting and licensing
- Maintenance and storage of Hardware and Networking equipment
- Need for robust and expensive digital security measures
- Limited Scalability
Many organisations could afford these systems but were facing rising costs due to the ongoing expenses of maintaining and upgrading their on-premise CMS, the physical infrastructure, and the staff employed to manage it. Now, as remote working has almost become second nature for companies, the lack of accessibility and flexibility of on-premise CMS makes it even more outdated. So what’s the alternative?
The solution: Cloud-First Headless CMS
The critical selling point of a Cloud-First CMS, which has become particularly important in recent months, is its remote management capabilities. It also reduces storage and maintenance costs of the physical infrastructure as the vendor manages all of its clients on one standardized system. Vendors such as Umbraco incorporate nearly infinite scalability so that your content management grows with the size of your business, Moreover, its robust security and universal accessibility enables international management to enable the global expansion of business operations.
So where does headless come into it. A headless CMS refers to the capability to separate the complexities of managing the CMS from the client’s needs. The CMS is able to remove these complexities with the help of API’s (Application Programming Interface). This is where the term API-First has evolved from and is often used interchangeably with “Headless”.
An API behaves like a waiter in a restaurant as they simplify the transfer of information much like a waiter simplifies information between the kitchen and the customer. The waiter shields the customer from the complexities of the kitchen such as its stock management system, recipe design and napkin folding techniques and provides the representation of this information in one delicious meal. They can then replicate this process with numerous customers with only slight modifications. In much the same way, a headless CMS separates the content from how it’s eventually going to be displayed so that it’s ready to be published to any device or channel at any given time.
This has become particularly important since the pandemic, not just from a content management and developer point of view, but also to satisfy user needs. The time spent enclosed in our homes has driven a surge in the adoption of a variety of digital assets, channels and devices, ranging from websites, mobile apps to VR, voice assistants and chatbots. 90% of consumers expect the content from the same service to have the same usability, look and feel across these devices. Therefore, the most commonly mentioned benefit of a headless CMS is its omnichannel publishing capabilities which otherwise would be very challenging. A headless CMS also puts the consumer first with content personalisation features and top level security.
The impact of a Cloud-First Headless CMS’ on business
The adoption of a Cloud-First Headless CMS has been advantageous to organisations for a number of years, but now it’s necessary, not just from a management perspective, but also to engage end-users.
Positive customer experience is central to the success of a business. Talk of enhancing customer experience (CX) is becoming more and more common. Whilst this blog focuses on CX in the context of your digital presence, it is important to understand that it encompasses a lot more than this. Inspired by our day at ‘Technology for Marketing 2022’ and a talk on ‘5 Tips to Maximise CX in Your SMB’, we will explore some important digital do’s and don’ts.
The 2022 edition of Technology for Marketing, the UK’s most important marketing technology event, was hosted in person for the first time since 2020, at Excel London. The conference spanned over two days (28-29th September), featuring over 300 exhibitors.