Blog / Content Management

5 reasons cloud-first headless CMS is changing the game for digital agencies


by Petr Palas

Dec 6, 2016

What is the business impact of a cloud-first headless CMS? Should digital agencies pay attention? Read this blog post to learn why we believe a cloud-first headless CMS is a game changer for digital agencies and their clients.

In the previous blog post, we explained the architecture and technical benefits of a cloud-first headless CMS. While the term may sound very technical, there are many tangible business benefits behind it. 

We see a great opportunity for digital agencies and their clients to increase the ROI of their digital initiatives, become more agile, and gain a competitive advantage through a true cloud platform.

1) Focus on the business, not the technology

Running a traditional CMS, whether on-premise or in the cloud, requires significant effort as someone needs to: 

  • configure the hosting environment
  • install the CMS
  • apply hotfixes and upgrades 
  • take care of security
  • ensure proper backup 

You may be spending hundreds of hours per year just babysitting the CMS. All of this eats into the client's budget for the actual project and takes away precious time that could be used to deliver a higher value and more successful projects.

Benefit

The cloud-first CMS allows you to focus on delivering business solutions instead of "CMS projects" and increase the value for your clients.

2) Increase agility and shorten time to market

With digital transformation impacting many industries, agility is no longer an advantage—it becomes a necessity

Businesses need to be able to launch new digital initiatives and test new ideas much faster. They expect that their agency should be much more flexible and help them launch in a matter of weeks. 

With traditional CMSs, you typically need to take your static HTML prototype and then convert it into the template format used by the CMS. 

With a headless CMS, you can launch the static website and then start making the website dynamic step by step—you can begin with your blog or news section, continue with a product catalog, and finish with making your Contact us page content editable.

Also, the cloud-first CMS approach provides a better separation of the CMS and custom code which enables continuous deployment and other agile development techniques that shorten the time to make changes to the website and roll them back if needed.

Benefit

A headless CMS enables customers to go live without waiting until their CMS is fully implemented. 

3) Unleash creativity and design innovative experiences

With a cloud-first headless CMS, you can easily go beyond the website
It opens up all kinds of new possibilities: 

  • mobile applications 
  • bots
  • virtual reality
  • interactive in-store displays
  • digital assistants
  • wearables or Internet of Things

You can easily combine its API with any development technology, including modern JavaScript frameworks, such as AngularJS, React, or Ember. 

Benefit

Headless CMS means more opportunities for your agency to design innovative digital experiences that help you stand out from the crowd.

4) Recruit and retain happier employees

With traditional CMS productsyou're limited to a single development platform. You need to hire developers who know a specific programming language and, ideally, are familiar with the development process in a particular CMS. 

Given today's job market, hiring such a person may be similar to finding a unicorn. So you're more likely to hire a developer without specific expertise and spend several months to help them become fully productive. Even then, they won't understand all the hidden details of the system.

With a cloud-first headless CMS, your developers can use any development platform. They can use their favorite tools and the development and deployment processes that are most efficient for them. Since they develop standard applications, rather than CMS-specific templates, they can be fully productive in one day. 

Less dependence on a particular technology and shorter training time also make it easier for you to move developers across projects and increase the billed time. You no longer need to think "What do I do with these five PHP developers when I only have .NET CMS projects for the next month?" Instead, you can quickly train them on the cloud-first CMS and have them develop the next project in PHP.

When you talk to professional developers, you will often hear they hate CMS projects. They want to write the code their way, using the best practices and latest technologies, instead of being pushed to a certain development model. Cloud-first headless CMS offers exactly what they want.

Benefit

With a cloud-first headless CMS, you can make your team happier which means easier hiring and increased employee retention. 

5) Bottom line: Increase your profits and productivity

Profitable projects are the ultimate goal of every digital agency. With a cloud-first headless CMS, you can increase your productivity and profits in several ways:

  • Shorter implementation and deployment time—it's generally much easier and straightforward to use a cloud-first headless CMS which results in shorter implementations. Moreover, you save plenty of time on deployment and configuration of the CMS as it's provided as a cloud service.
  • More predictable projects—with a cloud-first headless CMS, you have more control over the whole solution, which means your developers won't get stuck with something that can't be done, wasting precious project budget.
  • No more painful, low-margin upgrade projects—most clients hesitate to invest into upgrade projects, and these projects are often barely profitable or net loss for the agency, not to mention that everybody hates these projects.

Benefit

Your projects will be more profitable, less risky, and you avoid doing work nobody wants to pay for.

Don't wait for your competitors to try this first!

No matter how many benefits I describe, I understand you need to go and experience it for yourself. You need to gain the confidence that a cloud-first CMS is what you want to offer to your clients. Take some project and build it with Kentico Cloud. 

Just don't wait too long—the cloud-first CMS wave is coming, and the ones who jump on it first will gain the competitive advantage!

Try Kentico Cloud today or learn more about our Kentico Cloud Early Partner Program for digital agencies.