dotCMS 2022 Year-in-Review: Reflections of CEO Zain Ishaq

Zain Ishaq

dotCMS President Vadym Kononenko and I just completed our first full year at the helm of dotCMS, and we continue to be inspired by the company and culture our founders have built over the years. In getting to know our team, we have discovered a remarkable community of thinkers, creators, scholars, artists, travelers, and athletes who also build really good software!  Everyone at dotCMS strives to be better – at work and in life – and we’re building a company that supports that. 

As many companies have recalled their teams to physical offices, we’ve remained committed to being a fully-remote company. However, being remote means we place even greater value on in-person experiences to build a sense of belonging and shared purpose among colleagues. We also believe creativity is intelligence having fun and that our core purpose as leaders is to unlock our teams’ individual and collective creativity. This past September, we hosted the entire company for an off-site retreat in Costa Rica to learn, rejuvenate, strategize, and have fun. Gatherings like these are essential to building and maintaining our culture, particularly as we grow. We will continue to put a high priority on face-to-face interactions. This year we plan to hit the road to spend quality time with our customers and partners, as well.

As leaders, it’s also our job to align our organization around a shared vision and mission, and together, we’ve done just that. Understanding why we exist and where we are going is vital to the growth of our company. To that end, we have reaffirmed our mission: to empower global brands to manage content at scale. 

We’re also very intentional about ‘content management’ being the core of who we are. We’ve existed for longer than the vast majority of newcomers in the market, so while other players are being rebranded as digital experience platforms, we’re staying true to our roots. We are a content management system and aspire to provide the most scalable, agile, and secure CMS for technology teams building digital experiences. 

And it seems there is still a very robust market for great content management systems. Last year, we won 50% more enterprise customer logos and new ARR than in the previous year, despite global economic conditions that have sounded alarms throughout the tech sector. New customers spanned industries from retail, financial services, and manufacturing to telecommunications, media, and nonprofits, with a footprint that reaches across six continents. 

Here is just a sample of the prominent corporations who chose dotCMS to power their digital ambitions in 2022, names redacted due to confidentiality reasons:

  • a global multi-brand retail company named one of Fortune’s 2022 World’s Most Admired Companies
  • a century-old US-based insurance company
  • an integrated payment solutions business that provides products and services to nearly 11,000 banks and credit unions
  • a church that serves more than 100,000 people per week on four continents
  • a global sports entertainment platform that streams live and on-demand sports content in more than 200 countries and territories
  • the global pioneer in the manufacturing of climate control products for HVAC and refrigeration markets 

We’re incredibly proud of our continued growth and financial stability, but what truly inspires us is the way in which our growing team has embraced our core values– a culture of personal and professional growth, where transparency, empathy, and a healthy dose of fun drive our daily interactions, and we place the customer experience at the center of everything we do. To support our growth, we expanded our team across the organization, including key hires in security, engineering, support, professional services, R&D, QA, sales, and marketing- almost doubling our headcount since 2021.

Evidence of our heightened focus on customers was seen in the expansion of dotCMS’ support and professional services offerings, resulting in the highest levels of customer satisfaction ever recorded by the company. We ended 2022 with a net customer retention rate of far greater than 100% for the second year in a row as our customers continue to grow their usage of the product. In August, we launched a new interactive roadmap to promote transparency in product development and solicit feedback from customers, and recently formed a new customer-product advisory board. 

On the product side, our engineers made more than 600 improvements to our software across nine releases in 2022. As a result, the platform is more performant, more secure, and simpler to use. Contributing to the last point, the content editing experience received a major upgrade with the launch of the new block editor and drag-and-drop content palette. 

Looking ahead to 2023, CI/CD improvements along with new integrations and SDKs will speed development and time to market, browserless page management will bring greater agility to content editors, and marketing features like experiments and A/B testing will deliver valuable content insights. 

Customer obsession goes beyond the way we interact with and support our customers; it’s at the heart of our product. 2023 will bring countless improvements to the user experience, for both content creators and developers.

You can learn more about the product improvements and our roadmap in a recent R&D update from our CTO, Will Ezell. 

Of course, none of this would be possible without the hard work of our team, our customers, our partners, and more. To everybody who has been part of this journey, THANK YOU! 

I remain cautious but optimistic about what 2023 holds.

Zain Ishaq, CEO

Zain Ishaq
Chief Executive Officer
January 23, 2023

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