Content as Infrastructure: a Headless CMS that Works With You (Not Against You)

July 08, 2018
Will Ezell

dotCMS’s Content as Infrastructure approach — particularly the headless content management features that help to make it a force in the API era — is already benefiting global brands like Gettysburg College and TELUS.

But having a headless CMS isn’t the end game. To truly orchestrate customer experiences across touchpoints (not to mention internal employee experiences), you need a headless CMS that works with you rather than against you.

Headless CMS: A Necessity, Not a Novelty

We’re already seeing disruption in how consumers are consuming content in the IoT-era — but you don’t have to take our word for it.

According to Geomarketing, 65 percent of people who own either an Amazon Echo or Google Home can’t imagine going back to the days before they had a smart speaker. Moreover, a report in Location World stated that 40 percent of adults now use voice search at least once a day.


And let’s not forget the smart wearable market (i.e. Apple Watch, Google Glass etc.). The IDC has reported that the smart wearable market is expected to double by 2021. This itself has already created a separate paradigm shift regarding content distribution for smart wearables, in parallel with the unique content distribution method for smart speakers.

For brands to remain competitive in this IoT-driven market, they must deliver their content across those same touchpoints, from smart speakers to smart wearables. dotCMS’s Content as Infrastructure approach — with headless content management at its core — is the ideal way to stay relevant today, and tomorrow. That’s because a headless CMS enables you to deliver content to a multitude of devices through RESTful APIs, meaning your brand can cope with any new device or touchpoint without investing in new technology.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term headless CMS, you may know it as “Content as a Service”.

But Being Headless Only Takes You So Far...

Whilst headless CMS can allow brands to survive in the IoT era, it is not the perfect solution. Yes, you read that correctly!

By itself, a headless CMS offers brands no front-end delivery layer, and no way for marketers and business people to create and publish content like they normally would. Because there’s no authoring experience for non-technicals, dependence on the IT department goes through the roof, as non-technical staff have no choice but to bring in front-end developers to actually deliver content to the end user.

Moreover, many pure headless CMS solutions fail to offer dynamic and static content rendering at the same time. Needless to say, that throws a spanner or two in the works of your marketing team — lengthening your time-to-market and diminishing the quality of your customer experience.

Thus, for non-technical marketing teams, a pure headless CMS can present itself as an obstacle, rather than a helpful tool.

Speaking of the authoring experience, let’s talk about the role of user-friendliness.

If your marketers and business users enjoy using your CMS, they’ll use it more often — and they’ll use it more efficiently. If it’s confusing to use, they’ll avoid it at all costs, and get stuck whenever they’re forced into logging in.

At dotCMS, we’ve made a company-wide decision to make dotCMS the most user-friendly system in the marketplace. The upcoming release of dotCMS 5.0 is a big leap in that direction, as it brought about a cleaner UI, drag-and-drop features, and a brand new Edit Mode, offering editors the autonomy they need to create without heavy reliance on IT.

A Headless CMS With a ‘NoCode’ Approach

You see, dotCMS goes the extra mile beyond being a headless CMS. Instead, dotCMS is what we like to call a Hybrid CMS — giving brands all the benefits of a headless CMS, without breaking the authoring experience that marketers have grown accustomed to.

That’s because dotCMS wasn’t just built for developers. We understand that marketing and business users spend a majority of their time in our authoring environment, which is why we engineered a ‘NoCode’ approach to our CMS, which includes WYSIWYG editing, drag-and-drop interfaces and visual content approval workflow management.

With dotCMS’ 'NoCode' solution, marketers can deliver a consistent customer experience by creating content once, and repurposing it across touchpoints — without touching a single line of code. Plus, with globalization being an important factor, you can even translate your content into different languages via an API that does all the heavy lifting.

By working with global brands, we know that delivering a memorable customer experience is a team activity. It involves marketing, sales, customer service, operations and IT teams all working together. Our 'NoCode' approach facilitates that teamwork — and it also means brands can work freely with external agencies without scaring them off with highly-technical back-end technology.

Will Ezell
Chief Technology Officer

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