Digital Experience

What is a Headless CMS?

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What if your content management system knew your content? Learn more about cognitive content and Watson Content Hub here.


The new term going around is “Headless Content Management System” or “Headless CMS.” But what exactly is that? When I first heard this term I was a little confused because it reminded me of the saying “a chicken with its head cut off.”  Which makes me think of disarray and confusion. Why would anyone want a system like that? However, after further research, a headless CMS is actually beneficial for companies because it provides much more flexibility. Let me break it down for you.

A traditional CMS provides a set way to deliver and present content.  The business uses presentation templates to update and manage content to push to websites. A traditional CMS was  great when websites were the sole channel to reach customers. But now with customers receiving and expecting offers on multiple channels, be it their mobile phone, tablet, or smart watch, content needs to be able to be stored in multiple forms and flexibly deployed to different channels. This is where headless CMS comes in.

A headless CMS provides a way for companies to separate content storage from content delivery. It acts as a central content repository that can store all content types, including videos, images, documents and even specific text copy. Then, using APIs, content can be pushed out to multiple channels and devices and integrated with marketing automation or commerce software to include in campaigns or eCommerce sites.

The headless CMS can also be referred to as a “Content as a Service” offering; the two names are interchangeable.

This increased flexibility provides businesses with the opportunity to deliver in-context experiences for their customers on all channels.  With content in one place and easily scalable in the cloud, there is a lot of potential for brands to exceed customer expectations. I can’t wait to see what happens!

Learn more about the IBM Watson Content Hub, a headless content management system.



Content Marketing Manager, IBM Watson Customer Engagement

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