Whilst the rise of the headless CMS is well and truly underway, it is no secret that many of us are still struggling to get to grips with the idea of adopting such a platform.

Kentico recently published its State of the Headless CMS 2018 report, which tells a set of revealing insights based on a survey conducted by Kentico earlier this year.

Amongst the most pertinent is that many companies only consider headless CMS from a technical perspective, rather than viewing the business challenges that it could address. If we can shift the focus to how headless can address operational or omni-channel requirements, the decision for companies to go headless will no doubt happen a lot faster. Kentico currently predicts the adoption of headless CMS to double by mid-2019.

However, Headless CMS is not a new technology. It even pre-dates digital as we know it. A good example to illustrate this is an eCommerce CMS solution designed in the late 1990s for a national UK pizza franchise. The company’s ambition was to be the first to offer online ordering across all of its stores, with customer orders being directly delivered into those stores. In addition, they wanted their solution to work across all channels.

At that time, the options for off-the-shelf CMS and eCommerce platforms were relatively limited. So the company built its own.

Headless with Kentico

From the outset, the presentation, logic and data were decoupled from one another (for reasons that could warrant a whole other blog post), as is the case with a headless CMS. Put simply, the headless approach used by the pizza company meant that pizzas were not only able to be sold via a web browser, but also via mobile (pre-smartphone territory), on various satellite and cable TV platforms and affiliate channels.

The company was then able to quickly launch new channels, with just a small amount of work on the presentation for each specific one. It was also important to ensure that the order source was captured to effectively measure channel performance and related fees. So, for this client, going headless not only allowed it to be the first to market, it enabled it to dominate the digital pizza ordering market for several years.

Headless CMS is not a new concept across digital.

However, the differentiator now is that CMS vendors such as Kentico provide a platform that empowers organisations with a low-cost, cloud-based solution, which in turn can offer increased flexibility and agility in their digital presence.

While a large proportion of us aren’t sold by going ‘headless’ just yet, we must not limit ourselves by what we only know at present. The benefits of a headless platform for Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications, for example, are not to be sniffed at. Recent reports have suggested that there is a lack of platforms that are able to manage content for AI services – such as chatbots like Amazon’s Alexa – making AI services costly and time-intensive to improve or update from a content perspective.

However, with content managed on an omni-channel headless platform and integrated into a text-to-speech service, AI services should become very straightforward to manage.

The real question we should be asking ourselves is: why aren’t we going headless? Why limit ourselves?