Top Four Ways To Prepare For The "Headless" Revolution

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February is Jahia’s month of Headless! Each week, we will be sharing a new blog post dedicated to helping you navigate the rocky seas of Headless technology and capabilities.

We’ve written about the benefits of creating headless experiences – and how going headless can help shape and transform your business – but one of the things that’s often missing from these discussions is how your organization is supposed to prepare for the onslaught of changes and systematic quirks that come with implementing a whole new system for delivering content.

For that reason, we wanted to do a countdown of the Top Four things you need to do to ensure a successful transition into Headless content delivery!

4.  Study, Study, Study!

Admit it – how much do you really know about Headless, other than that it’s a seemingly inescapable phrase that’s on nearly every CMS blog, analyst report, and whitepaper put out in the last couple years?

We don’t have enough room here to go into the basics of what “Headless” is (that’s for next week’s blog – hint hint), but we encourage any organization looking into these solutions to really take a deep dive into the “Headless” world, whether through various Gartner and Forrester reports or just through some good ol’ fashioned Google-fu. That way, when you’re ready to make the transition to talking to companies (like Jahia – hint hint) about their Headless solutions, you can better communicate what you need and what you want.

3.  Go For A Headless “Test Drive”

Headless is a big commitment. As such, a growing trend in the market has been to bring in Headless technology for small projects – focused on either niche-use cases or a specific content channel – and use that to gauge the functionality and usage of the tech versus what the business’ aspirational goals for it are.

Point solutions for mobile, native, or web applications are perfect examples of this. While many headless providers can manage all your digital touchpoints, this allows you to validate the tech with a real use case, introducing an additional CMS on top of what you’re already using. After all, it’s not written anywhere that you can’t have multiple CMS systems running at once, and a properly-flexible CMS like Jahia actually provides content aggregation capabilities to reuse a lot of the content sitting in your current CMS.

Especially if you’re uncertain about the Headless trend, or if you, say, want to try out an exciting young company that’s poised to be the next big thing in pure Headless and Hybrid DXPs, small projects are a great jumping off point!

2.  Get A Great Implementation Partner

The best technology can die upon bad implementation, and Headless is no different. A great implementation partner, to help walk you through the entire process and ensure that you are prepped for success before and after integration, is invaluable and can ultimately be the difference between long-lasting, sustainable content management and an untimely tax write-off.

One of the biggest draws to Headless is the freedom from vendor-specific implementation resources and firms. With that said, you still need the right strategy and implementation process for success. If your goal is long-term flexibility (one of the main draws of Headless), content architecture and planning are tantamount. You need someone who has good front-end developers as well as a history of creating complex content infrastructures that take advantage of things like content sharing, personalization, and optimization scenarios that focus on both current and future “experiences” across devices and applications.

You should ensure that your chosen partner can staff your project with experience system architects, information architects, and front-end and back-end developers. And this is just the start – everyone’s specific needs are different!

1. Make Sure Going Headless is the Right Decision for your Business

A bit too on-the-nose? Sure! But with how buzzworthy and omnipresent the concept of a “Headless CMS” has become, it's worth taking a deep breath and stepping back from the deep end of the pool, lest you realize after jumping in that no one at your company ever got swimming lessons.

There are a lot of questions to consider before bringing the idea of Headless into play. What are your business drivers and goals right now? Do you have the budget and internal resources to make this successful? How are you already managing content, and what issues are you facing with it? And, most importantly, is this something you can live without right now?

At Jahia, we are all-in supporting Headless for personalized and optimized experience management…but it’s not for everyone. Many of our customers still prefer a templated experience management solution (also known as coupled), based on their resources, skillset, and needs. Others prefer Hybrid solutions. if you’re a young organization still trying to understand what you need and where you need it, Headless might even be a solution for a few years down the road, rather than tomorrow.

Ready to get started on your Headless journey? Jahia is one of the top CMS vendors on the market, and the only pure Headless DXP available! Excited yet? Let’s have a conversation.