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Umbraco’s predictions on changing trends for CMS platforms in 2022

Kim Sneum Madsen, CEO of Umbraco, shares his thoughts on the future of CMS platforms and what CMS providers should be keeping in mind as they innovate further.

Ahead of the start of 2022, let’s take a look at the upcoming trends that will have a significant impact on the CMS space in the coming year.

Content is not enough anymore, and it hasn’t been for a while. A digital solution requires more, especially more interaction and transactions. 

We’ll see the rise of DXPs (Digital Experience Platforms) even for smaller companies and organisations. There are basically two ways to achieve this, through acquiring martech tools, or - the route we're going - making out-of-the-box integrations with many martech tools. This lets the customers or users pick and mix their preferred tools and thereby customise their digital experience journey without any vendor lock - we call this composable DXP.

Other trends include: 

  • A strong movement towards empowering marketeers and editors to do more on their own. This low-code/no-code strategy is going to continue with full force for years to come.
  • Privacy expanding on the global agenda. We’ll see that customers, especially in the United States, want to have a large chunk of data, if not all data, hosted within their own borders. This makes granting more control over cloud hosting a requirement. 
  • Developer experience, which is and will remain, an important driver for adoption. The better the developer experience, the more likely it will be adopted. The same goes for editors.
  • Headless CMS will evolve and grow, although traditional CMS solutions will still have a head-start over headless used for web content - as these are built to handle content in a structured manner, clearly visualising content relations and content hierarchy, all things which editors intuitively use when delivering content. Whether headless is the new normal is yet to be seen.

To summarise, in the CMS space, flexibility and ease of use, including third-party software, is key. To demonstrate that flexibility from the Umbraco side, we recently moved the platform to the latest version of .NET, providing a robust and future-proof platform on the most relevant modern technology familiar to - and expected from - today’s web developers.

The growing impact of AI on CMS platforms

There’s still much to be seen regarding the impact AI has on CMS platforms, but there are some obvious benefits it can bring. 

AI can help drive better - and to some extent automatic - decisions on what content to present to your audience, and can help you understand what content you have available and tag it automatically. 

While some say that AI replaces the need for structure and system in the way things are done, it’s still too early to say. The same applies to whether AI can help create original content, or will result in conformity and uniform, boring content.

Best CMS practices in 2022

It’s all about the users. They are the ones delivering content, so build for them. Make sure to see them as the most important stakeholders. The users of the tool need to be in control and have simple easy-to-use tools. 

Also, low friction and short time to market is super important, so enabling marketers and content editors to try things out on themselves with little or no development is important.

Umbraco’s view on the future of martech

We expect to see a big increase in the amount and specialisation of martech tools. 

The sheer number of tools available, some of them very niche and covering very specific areas, is a convincing argument for the continuation of this expansion. 

Our second point is more hoped for, rather than a prediction. We expect to see more and more open-source software coming on the market in different forms or shapes of models, such as open core. There should also be easier integrations from one software to another. As a software vendor of a martech tool, you’ll need to look at your neighbours and complementary platforms and make as many plug and play solutions as possible. 

Finally, there will be continued importance on time to market, with simple platforms preferred.