Headless Architectures Promise Personalization Across Channels

Artemisa Yescas & Judith Garcia | January 14, 2022

 

Headless Architecture marks the separation between front-end and back-end services in CMS. Future-proof applications and explore new possibilities in reduced deployment times and the flexibility to release new features.

Encora’s accomplished Innovation Leaders and Senior Engineers present a software engineering perspective on the technology trends helping organizations adapt to a rapidly changing world. They have selected 10 emerging trends for 2022 that are expected to enable organizations to respond to disruption in the new year and beyond.

We spoke with two Innovation Leaders at Encora Mexico—Product Manager & QA Lead, Artemisa Yescas, and QA Lead, Judith Garcia—about 1 of the 10 trends selected: Headless Architecture.

 

 

What is Headless Architecture?


A: Headless Architecture is a border between the front-end and back-end services; basically, they are independent services that share and communicate information through an API. This is a specialization of decoupled architecture. Nowadays, we have multiple and diverse consumer devices sharing the same content source. For example, now we can consume data from streaming services in our TVs, web browsers, smartphones, and, who knows Maybe even get notifications on our smartwatches in the future... In the metaverse!

 

What is the difference between Headless, Decoupled, and traditional CMS?


A: Decoupled CMS means that the backend and the frontend are separated into two separate components, for example, the frontend can be coded in React and the backend in Java.

Coupled or traditional CMS intertwines or locks both the frontend and backend tasks.

And Headless CMS doesn’t have a defined frontend system or what we call a presentation layer. We are only thinking about the back-end as it pushes content to multiple devices and lets them handle how the data is output. We call this reactive.

 

Tell us about APIs and their role in Headless Architectures.


J: Content that is housed in a Headless CMS is delivered via APIs for smooth display across different devices.

 

Do end-users notice any difference in Headless websites?


A: There should not be any evident differences and if there are, it is not Headless.

 

Do Headless Architectures offer digital commerce a competitive edge?


J: Thanks to Headless Architecture’s flexibility, the time from implementation to deployment is significantly shorter than in traditional architectures. If combined with microservices, then you can deliver newer, bigger features while reducing the risk of seeing significant downtime.

 

Do Headless Architectures have an impact on marketing teams?


J: We think Headless Architecture is a game changer! Imagine the possibility of having the same level of personalization across channels, sharing the same information and analytics. That is exciting!

 

Tell us about JAMStack and how it’s paving the way for the web development of the future.


A: By bringing together an architectural framework that combines JavaScript, APIs and Markup reimagines the workload split between the server side and the client side. It is quite intuitive that if more could be handled on the client side, the number of requests that would be sent to the server side could be significantly reduced. The benefits of doing this is a faster web along with better security. The core idea of the JAMstack architecture is to serve pre-built optimized static pages and leverage APIs for other services that may be required in complex applications. The content for these static pages is generally cached using a CDN and is immediately served when the visitor arrives on the webpage.

There are some drawbacks to be aware of, too. New skills are required, specifically for building content as Markup. For webpages with more complex features (such as user authentication), API calls may be required and an inoperative 3rd party API in this case could bring down your webpage.

Our view is that JAMstack presents exciting opportunities for a better user experience for certain use cases with low to medium complexity. Using the JAMstack architecture for more complex webpages with heavy dependency on APIs can actually cause more risks and an inferior overall user experience.

 

How will microservices be leveraged to drive adoption of headless CMS?


J: As I shared, headless decouples the front and backends of the CMS. It is not too difficult to visualize the headless CMS as a microservice that provides access to the content repository through APIs. So, the combination of microservice architectures and APIs allows for efficient implementation of a headless CMS. Client-side applications treat the “headless CMS” as just another microservice and access it generally through an API gateway.

 

How will Headless Experiences improve eCommerce platforms in the future?


A: I think the headless architecture approach creates benefits for developers, eCommerce merchants, and users. Users get a consistent and unified omnichannel experience. Content owners have more control and can edit the content without needing deep involvement from developers. Developers save time, as they do not have to worry about tightly coupling to the backend CMS. Ecommerce merchants end up with a more scalable solution that has lower costs over the lifecycle of their web assets.

 

Will Headless Architecture become the new standard for web development?


J: Currently, we estimate that more than 60% of enterprises are implementing Headless architecture but we are still experiencing a transition period as platforms evolve to keep pace with the need for more flexible solutions. It is definitely the trend to follow.

 

What should you consider when shifting from traditional to Headless CMS Architectures?


J: First of all, having the correct team is fundamental—a team that has the technical knowledge and business vision. Next, analyze what the business needs: Do you have multiple and diverse content channels? Do you want a way to future-proof your application? Are you looking for better ways to keep your application secure? Do you want more flexibility for releasing new features? If so, Headless Architecture is most likely going to be a great option.

How can an organization choose the right Headless CMS?


A: Each architecture has its benefits and its limitations. First, analyze the context and define the pros and cons before deciding which architecture is more appropriate in your specific environment.

 

How can Encora help clients through the evolution?


A: We have a group of experts across Latin America, India, Asia Pacific, and the US who can help with analyzing and designing the right approach personalized to the needs of the client.

 



A special thanks to our Innovation Leaders from Encora Mexico—Product Manager & QA Lead, Artemisa Yescas, and QA Lead, Judith Garcia. We appreciate you two taking the time to talk to us about this evolving trend.  

Headless Architecture is one of ten trends featured in Encora’s 2022 Technology Trends. To watch the interviews or read more, visit Encora’s 2022 Technology Trends.  

“We think Headless Architecture is a game changer! Imagine the possibility of having the same level of personalization across channels, sharing the same information and analytics. That is exciting!” -Judith Garcia

“Now, we can consume data from streaming services on our TV, web browser, and smartphone. In the future, who knows? Maybe we’ll get notifications on our smartwatches... in the Metaverse!” -Artemisa Yescas

 

 

About Encora


Encora is a digital engineering services company specializing in next-generation software and digital product development. Fast-Growing Tech organizations trust Encora to lead the full Product Development Lifecycle because of our expertise in translating our clients’ strategic innovation roadmap into differentiated capabilities and accelerated bottom-line impacts.

Please let us know if you would ever like to have a conversation with a client partner and/or one of our Innovation Leaders about accelerating next-generation product engineering within your organization.

 

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