Kontent Horizons 2023: get your head around headless CMS 

  • Tech

Headless CMS was the central theme of Kontent Horizons, held in London and hosted by Kontent.ai. As a technical Kontent MVP, my anticipation for the event was high - and I wasn’t disappointed. 

The keynote address came from Farrukh Iftikhar, Sales Director at Kontent.ai. He discussed content market trends, not least the demand for fast and effective content across all different channels to maxmise audience reach.  

Subsequent sessions concentrated on growth, customer experience, the role of AI, and composable content. 

Here are five key takeaways from a technical point of view: 

1. Even if you haven’t been directly involved at the cutting-edge of new technology, you will doubtless still have heard about the march of AI. It was fascinating to discover the vast amount of AI that Microsoft has at its disposal. Much of it will be released to everyone soon, promising to speed up mundane tasks across departments, and ultimately saving time and money. It’s worth checking out the AI range and reach out to Michael Gillett - Partner Technology Strategy Manager, Microsoft - following his presentation. Michael revealed the data someone uses for AI-driven work is their own, proprietary and trusted data. This is different to other AI platforms, where the data could be shared. 

2. It’s great to have shiny new tools at your disposal, but if the customer can’t use them, it’s a waste of time and money. When it comes to costing a solution, there are lessons we should all learn. A key one is the critical need for cross-functional teams to introduce a new ecosystem, manage a digital transformation, or develop a new product.  Often training sessions, support and aftercare are too easily overlooked in the process. 

3. Developers, technical leads and other decision-makers can get bogged down in finishing a project. At that point they haven’t considered the MACH (Microservices based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless) approach, and instead can find they’ve gone down a rabbit hole with the product. That leaves the organisation vulnerable to being unprepared to replace the product if it fails or needs to be updated. For example, you might be using a headless CMS but feel the product is not the right fit - so a new supplier is needed. This requires the product to be built in a way that is ‘swappable’ by design, to reduce difficulties down the line.  

4. Composable architecture is not contained to the future - it exists in the here and now. If longevity is required as the output of projects, we must consider composable products and find ways for best-of-breed solutions to integrate and work together. This can help avoid issues like vendor lock-in, additional maintenance costs, versioned API, and so on. Making this decision in the planning phase of the build will help steer projects in the right direction, so they become more sustainable for the future.  

5.   The event offered a great balance of perspectives and advice on both technical aspects and client service, albeit at a high level because of time constraints. I wasn’t expecting to see anyone programming code, but at the same time it was pleasing to recognise the effort that had gone into some of the work showcased on the day. 

Overall, this was an exciting and informative industry event that brought together content creators, marketers, technical experts and other industry leaders. 

The message is loud and clear: we are in a fast-moving space. We must take the opportunity, and embrace new composable products, technologies and standards to build adaptable and sustainable projects, for the benefit of end users and our businesses. 

If you're looking for a Kontent.ai specialist or just exploring headless CMS options for your company, get in touch and we'll connect you with one of our headless CMS experts to discuss how we can help.