Twitter LinkedIn

5 takeaways from Umbracos 2022 strategy statement

  • By 3chillies

January is the time when many of us are considering our plans and priorities for the coming months. Tech vendors and CMS providers might reveal their strategic roadmap for the year and beyond around this time, providing a useful resource for digital teams who want to align their own plans with the platform they use.

Umbraco, the open-source CMS and digital experience platform, recently released a post called “Umbraco 2022 and onwards” - a short but striking strategic statement about the company’s direction and priorities for the next five years. In this article, we’re going to cover some of the takeaways from the statement and what they mean for both organisations using Umbraco, and the wider Umbraco community.

Here at 3Chillies, we’re keen advocates of Umbraco. It’s a highly flexible and robust content management system with an excellent admin experience, yet is still great value for money. It also provides a thriving and highly supportive global developer community. We’ve used Umbraco for numerous successful projects – even creating a corporate website in five days!

In the strategic update, Umbraco’s CEO Kim Sneum Madsen covers the platform’s mission and values, which haven’t changed. The platform is still focused on delivering “delightful experiences by making Umbraco simpler, friendly and social”. However, there is more detail revealed in a new four-point vision covering the next five years up to 2027, as well as seven key goals for 2022 which all reflect this vision.

A new phase for Umbraco

The new strategy comes at the start of what could be an exciting new phase for Umbraco. In August 2021, Monterro, an investment vehicle that has previously been involved with Episerver (now Optimizely), acquired a majority stake in Umbraco. Although Umbraco says it is not fundamentally changing its strategic direction, the investment should help fund more growth and development.

In terms of platform advancement, the release of Umbraco 9 also represents something of a new beginning, with an easier upgrade path, new frequent release cadence and better cross-platform capabilities. All this should encourage the community to upgrade to version 9 and provide a more uniform starting point, making Umbraco’s evolution more sustainable and predictable. The “day one” approach of the new release and Monterro’s investment means Umbraco is effectively future-proofed for the next few years.

Let’s explore five takeaways from Umbraco’s new strategic statement.

  1. Umbraco recommits to its target market 
  2. The CMS and DXP market is highly competitive, and platforms are fighting for market share. In its first strategic aim, Umbraco states that it wants to be the “preferred CMS for partners and mid-market to lower enterprise customers by continuing to be #1 in editing experience and the most loved CMS by developers”.

    This statement is a reaffirmation of Umbraco’s appeal to its current target market - not necessarily the global enterprises that might want the full marketing tech stack of the higher end DXPs, but the medium and smaller organisations who want a sophisticated CMS that is easy to use. The statement also refers to the developer community across digital agencies who enjoy working with Umbraco. We believe this shows Umbraco is comfortable with its market position and platform strengths, and wants to continue extending its value to this group, rather than trying to compete head-on for huge enterprise customers with the likes of Sitecore, Adobe and Optmizely.

  3. Umbraco emphasises headless
  4. Headless CMS capabilities have been around for years, but perhaps have not achieved the scale originally envisaged. Headless decouples the front-end experience and back-end CMS, providing more flexibility and agility for digital marketing teams with a greater ability to quickly repurpose content in an omni-channel world across different experiences, such as a corporate website, a mobile app and an e-commerce catalogue.

    Headless is expected to grow in the future, as reflected in the current high levels of investment in headless CMS providers as well as in established DXP and CMS providers stressing their headless credentials. It’s not a surprise, then, to see Umbraco emphasising its headless capabilities: committing to a “strong headless offering” as part of Umbraco cloud and aiming to “solidify Heartcore as an offering in the headless market” in 2022.

    As headless adoption is likely to increase in 2022, it’s good to see Umbraco keeping up with market developments and competing with other offerings.

  5. Joins the composable DXP train
  6. The “composable digital experience platform (DXP)” is a term that was increasingly mentioned during 2021, and we think it will get even more attention this year; in fact, it’s one of our predicted digital customer experience trends for 2022. A composable DXP is essentially an ecosystem of best-of-breed solutions that work together seamlessly through APIs to act as a single digital experience platform. The argument is that this provides teams more flexibility than a monolithic platform, and allows them to use their preferred solutions from different vendors.

    Platforms such as Sitecore are stressing their composable credentials by offering individual parts of their platform on a SaaS basis to make up a composable DXP. It’s interesting to see Umbraco joining the composable DXP train, providing a commitment to “enable customers and partners to compose their preferred tech stack by simplifying integrations – Composable DXP”, and stating the introduction of the “Composable DXP” as a goal for 2022, whereby organisations can “build a tech ecosystem around Umbraco”.

    Although we still think it’s a little early to see whether the composable DXP will truly take off, it’s good to see Umbraco opening up the use of the platform to work along with other solutions, and we think it will be an interesting area to watch.

  7. Umbraco continues to support the community
  8. One of the strongest features of Umbraco is undoubtedly its loyal and supportive global community, a factor that makes the platform a pleasure to work with. One of the strategic aims for 2022 to 2027 is “continuing and innovating Umbraco CMS together with a growing and thriving Umbraco Community ensuring true outside-in perspective”. This community commitment is also reflected in two of the key goals for 2022:

    • To “grow and expand” community activities, especially in the US, and hold the largest Codegarden event to date
    • To continue to “innovate and develop the CMS together with the community”.

    It’s encouraging that Umbraco has gone out of its way to emphasise the continuing role of the community, as this could be a grey area if Umbraco becomes more commercially-minded as it grows.

  9. Umbraco strengthens global support and coverage
  10. The Umbraco community is global, although, as with any CMS platform, it will have stronger penetration in some regions. The new strategy seeks to strengthen Umbraco’s global presence while also providing more support in key regions, stating that “the Umbraco organization has global coverage (24/7/365) with national / regional offices covering our key markets”. More specifically, there are plans to strengthen Umbraco support in the US, UK, Nordics and Netherlands in 2022.

    Having more of a global presence and structure will help Umbraco remain competitive as a CMS across the world, and may indicate where some of the funds from the Monterro investment are being directed.

Umbraco in 2022

We think the future is looking good for Umbraco, and we expect the platform to go from strength to strength this year. If you’d like to discuss your Umbraco project or how you can leverage the power of the platform, then get in touch!

scroll back to the top of the current web page