The Top 10 Content Management Trends for 2020

As we’ve headed into a new year and decade, the evolution of the content management industry and its associated tools continues apace. Myriad technologies are increasingly coming into play in this sector, transforming the landscape of how businesses manage their content in terms of the systems they use and the integrations they employ.

Zaneta StyblovaPublished on Feb 19, 2020

We spoke to Petr Svihlik, Kentico’s Head of Developer Relations, and Martin Michalik, Kentico Kontent’s Product Manager, to get their expert insight into the major trends that we expect to see this year. Here are your top 10 content management trends for 2020:

1. Progressive Web Apps

No matter what platform your customers are consuming your content on, progressive web apps (PWAs) are designed to deliver the best possible experience for the user, akin to a regular app. There’s no denying that PWAs are set to play a huge role in 2020 and beyond, shaping the way companies think about publishing their content.

As Petr says: “They are lowering the barrier for reaching mobile. I’d say maybe 80% of apps could be now rewritten to PWA. The capabilities reached their native friends and there is usually no reason to develop a native app. It’s a great way of building apps and it standardizes the mobile landscape.”

2. Video

“As it has every year, video content will continue to grow,” says Petr, and it’s hard to disagree with that assessment ahead of 2020. For example, 92% of internet users in China watched video content online as of January 2018. In India and the United States, that figure is lower, but still stands at a huge 85%. Publishing engaging video content will continue to be a huge part of businesses’ digital strategy, so having the right system to support that push will be paramount.

3. Automation

This trend, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), offers organizations a wide range of benefits, not least the ability to respond to user queries through the medium of chatbots. Here at Kontent, we’re of the opinion that companies will continue to harness automation for a greater variety of functionalities to help reduce the time and costs associated with certain workflows. “I personally believe that we will see a rise in automation of the most time-consuming tasks,” says Martin, “whether that’s content creation or analytics.”

4. JAMstack

Offering thus-far unrivalled performance, JAMstack is an innovative way to build websites and apps that has found a useful ally in the headless CMS, where the front and back ends are separated. It uses familiar languages and frameworks, so developers are not having to get to grips with brand new software, while it has great scalability and proves a cost-effective option. 

5. More Companies Moving to Cloud Platforms

Migrating to the cloud makes sense for a whole host of reasons. It offers businesses the opportunity to operate more efficiently and with greater scalability, while it can enable you to simplify your content management in a way that will prove cost effective over the long term. Taking all of these factors into account, it stands to reason that more and more organizations will migrate to the cloud.

Gartner is the world’s leading research and advisory company. A recent press release predicts that “by 2022, 75% of all databases will be deployed or migrated to a cloud platform, with only 5% ever considered for repatriation to on-premises, according to Gartner, Inc.”[1]

However, we believe this trend does pose a different challenge for businesses in terms of moving and storing personal data while remaining GDPR compliant. Further to that notion, the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM) predicts there will be “more country-specific regulations and restrictions related to the cloud and privacy than there are now”, which could see national governments imposing their own regulations and making businesses’ data storage processes even more complex.

6. The Headless CMS

The headless CMS has introduced an entirely new way of publishing content—a development that was much needed in order to keep pace with the way customers consume content in the modern world. By eliminating the front end, a headless CMS delivers content through the API, enabling it to do so in any format and on any device.

This option provides greater flexibility, scalability, and security, and means you can write your sites or apps with the tools that suit you, offering you complete control without the possible disruption of CMS code to hold you back. The headless CMS is fast proving a popular alternative to more traditional content management systems and it provides the foundations for Content as a Service, which allows content to be created and stored on a central hub before being published across numerous channels, thus streamlining workflows and increasing profitability.

7. Content as a Service

As alluded to above, Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) solutions allow companies to plan, create, publish, and customize their content all from one unified core. Although the basis for CaaS lies in the headless CMS, the latter on its own is limited to overcoming the technical inadequacies of a conventional CMS, and therefore CaaS can offer far greater flexibility.

Enlisting CaaS means there’s no need to utilize several different types of CMSs for all your separate sites and projects. Instead, CaaS is a cloud-based offering where employees at all levels of the business can gain access to your content via a universal hub. Furthermore, the software is managed by the vendor in return for a subscription fee, eschewing the requirement for on-site CMS maintenance or the possession of one or more licenses.

8. Quality Remains Key

Even with so much rapid change in the sector, there are some constants that remain, and one of those centers around quality. Having slick, efficient, and effective content management is all very well but counts for little if the standard of content is poor—a point emphasized by Petr: “There is so much content now that the search engines and social media need to be even more strict about what’ll appear in search results or on peoples’ walls,” he says. “Quality content is what will make the difference.”

Martin adds: “This is more of a projection for several upcoming years, but I think inevitably companies will start discussing the quality of content they produce. They can no longer just produce any content and hope it’s going to work. They will need to focus more on research, more on content strategy and evaluation.”

A developing trend that may begin to form a larger part of said strategy is enabling customers to consume their content in a completely different way. For example, the emergence of services such as Blinkist—an app which condenses non-fiction texts into 15-minute summaries—are allowing consumers to become informed without intruding too much on their time. As of 2018, Blinkist had raised $35million of venture capital funding—a sure sign that the concept is proving successful and could shape how some businesses are made to think about the way they deliver their content.

9. API-Driven Capabilities

As Petr succinctly puts it: “If you don’t have a great API, you are dead,” and that sentiment certainly seems set to ring true in 2020. That’s because an API’s ability to connect different software components enables faster innovation, allowing businesses to reach a wider range of platforms and expand into new markets, which in turn increases profitability. With APIs set to play such a vital role in how companies tackle their content management architecture, developers need to consider which API—the RESTful or GraphQL structure, for example—best fits their systems’ needs.

10. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI technology has already had a huge impact on the way companies manage their content, and it will continue to do so through 2020 and beyond, according to Martin, who wants to see AI improve workflows and therefore generate more time for creative processes. “I think we will see more tools that utilize AI to power personalization, segmentation, cohort analysis, reporting, recommendations, and more,” he says. “I hope that AI will focus on areas that allows marketers to do more with their time.”

Petr, meanwhile, thinks we could soon see AI utilized in a revolutionary way, as a means to analyze the quality of content: “I’d also like to see models trained to recognize whether some piece of content is good or bad,” he says. “It can be achieved by analyzing content performance and merging the data. Thinking about it, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it implemented anywhere yet. Combined with a recommendation engine, this would be killer.”

So, those are the 10 trends to watch out for in 2020—a combination of new, innovative concepts and the evolution of already well-established notions.

But what about trends that could experience a downturn in popularity in 2020? Let’s leave it to Martin to have the final word: “I think we will see less and less website-first practices as I believe the web will be pushed to the background,” he says. “We will see fewer all-in-one solutions along with a rise of solutions that focus on specific content management challenges.”

For further detail on how these content management trends could impact on the role of developers, visit our page and find out more.

[1] Gartner Press Release “Gartner Says the Future of the Database Market Is the Cloud,” 1 July 2019.

Written by

Zaneta Styblova

As Content Manager, I create and repurpose content in various forms to communicate with a global audience of clients, agencies, partners, and employees. I could be described as a bookworm and language enthusiast who never stops learning.

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