If you’ve seen Richard Fleisher’s 1973 science fiction masterpiece Soylent Green, then you might know this trivia tidbit: the film was set in New York City in the far-off year of… 2022.
In this imagined dystopia, it’s not a good time for the residents of the Big Apple. The population of the boroughs has reached a staggering 40 million, and at one point, Thorn – the central character played by the late, great Charlton Heston – observes that there are “20 million guys out of work in Manhattan alone just waiting for my job.”
Along with being a cultural meme, Soylent Green is a cautionary tale, one that examines the worst traits of human greed, corporate profiteering, and, well, cannibalism. And while the prognostications were thankfully off (in fact, populations appear to be slowing on a global level), the actual 2022 was still noteworthy.
No doubt, it was a year of immeasurable tragedy. As the people of Ukraine continue to struggle against the onslaught of Russian imperialism, climate catastrophes abounded with floods wreaking havoc in Afghanistan and Hurricane Ian decimating South Florida. Meanwhile, China is in the throes of yet another Covid outbreak.
On the economic front, the worst inflation in decades dragged on both consumers and stocks while Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX pummeled crypto into nuclear winter. As signals of a recession continue to strengthen, businesses appear to be pulling back in anticipation of a softer 2023.
But hey, it wasn’t all bad. James Cameron gave us another Avatar film. It’s spectacular, by the way.
And in the CMS world, 2022 still managed to surprise us – and, at times, even deliver a little shock and awe. To be sure, there were no proclamations on the order of “Soylent Green is people,” but it was nonetheless a year filled with exciting product developments and releases, multimillion-dollar investments, mergers and acquisitions, and more.
At CMS Critic, we covered so many stories in 2022. We monitored and reported on the growth in MACH and composable, and how headless commerce continued to drive more digital transformation. We were also fortunate to hear from leading experts on what they see ahead for CMS and the broader digital stack.
As we do every year at this time, we’ve assembled a month-by-month account of what we’ve tracked. We hope it’s scroll-worthy and gives you some context. If one thing is clear, CMS is proving to be as relevant and newsworthy as ever – and there’s ample reason to be excited about the future.
The first big CMS news in 2022 kicked off with the Gartner-leading DXP Optimizely announcing the integration of its B2B Commerce Cloud and Content Cloud products. The integration brought the best of both products together, making it a dream for users to access B2B-specific features in the Commerce Cloud while using Content Cloud CMS to manage all the pages, templates, content, and assets of their website.
Other January news included powerhouse AWS joining the MACH Alliance as an Enabler Member. With the cloud leader throwing its weight into the mix, the Alliance became a more validated force in the market.
Also in January, Siteimprove – a leading digital accessibility and SEO platform – announced its enterprise platform delivered a 275% ROI through a Total Economic Impact (TEI) report produced through an independent Forrester study.
The first big story we covered during the month of love showed that there’s actually not a lot of love lost between enterprise CMS and omnichannel content experiences. In a study conducted by headless CMS Storyblok, there were low adoption rates of enterprises wishing to deliver content to IoT devices, instead continuing to focus on websites and mobile apps.
Investors did show some love to Elastic Path – the company secured $60 million in funding for composable commerce growth. Bloomreach expanded on that energy, announcing the company was now valued at $2.2 billion following an investment from Goldman Sachs (that beats the chocolate candy most of us celebrated with on Valentine’s Day).
And in the last corny pun we will be making about love, Optimizely and Google formed a beautiful (strategic) partnership when Optimizely moved its experimentation solutions to Google Cloud. Aww! We love to see new connections.
Contentstack was a headless lion in March, launching a new marketplace focusing on composability and announcing its platform would now be available on Microsoft Azure, along with AWS.
Drupal-powered DXP, Acquia, celebrated its title of “Leader” in the Forrester DAM Wave report. Widen earned the highest possible scores across Forrester's nine DAM criteria, including AI metadata extraction, search, digital rights management, version control, content performance analytics, usability and user interface, creative toolset integration, planned enhancements, and commercial model.
Strapi held its second annual StrapiConf and announced the launch of the beta version of Strapi 4.2.
We also caught up with CEO Mike Vertal while he discussed the rapid growth of CrafterCMS. And in another Q&A, we spoke with Sonja Keerl of the MACH Alliance about a study conducted on the adoption of MACH technologies among tech leaders.
One of our CMS Critic contributors, Janus Boye, examined analyst reports to find out if 2022 was the year CMS actually managed content. And to round out March, CMS Critic announced the winners of the 2021 Critics Choice and People’s Choice Awards.
Psst… have you nominated your top choices for this year’s awards yet? We hope you do! Nominations for the 2022 People’s Choice Awards close on January 20. Click here to submit your nominees!
With spring in full swing (see what we did there?), we talked about the importance of cyber security with Storyblok CEO Sebstian Gierlinger as he celebrated the company’s ISO 27001 Certification.
Hyland celebrated the season of new beginnings with new content services and intelligent automation product enhancements.
Leading enterprise DXP Sitecore also outlined a composable product portfolio at the Sitecore Symposium World Tour, and we gave you a breakdown of its newest features and innovations.
April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers bring big announcements.
WooCommerce and Pinterest announced a partnership for creating shoppable “pins,” making it easier for Pinterest users to get their hands on items from their vision boards.
Web development platform Netlify announced its Headless Commerce Summit, and Sanity CMS was set to host its new Structured Content conference in the U.S., Europe, and for online audiences.
In other sectors of the CMS ecosystem, analytics platform leader Amplitude announced the launch of Amplitude CDP, the first insights-driven customer data platform.
CivicPlus, the integrated tech platform for local governments, also made a big announcement of plans to acquire Optimere, a leading provider of digital compliance, accessibility, and records management solutions.
To kick off the summer, CrafterCMS released its version 4.0 with big upgrades, including Experience Builder, Crafter Studio and updated plug-in framework, and an expanded marketplace.
We shared some takeaways from Sanity’s Structured Content 2022 Conference, particularly that “Content is Data,” and connecting to digital customers still requires very human experiences.
BOOM, a visual asset management company, acquired LemonOne, a company that connected scalable businesses with photography assets. The acquisition helped BOOM’s workforce to boost service capacity for its growing customer base and enable the company to focus on its technology and product arms as it develops its new SaaS platform, Worksite.
StoryBlok launched a new technology ecosystem, providing integrations for some of the biggest names in e-commerce. Strapi also received $31 million in funding to improve and enhance headless CMS and deliver a cloud-based platform.
Proventus AS released a new version for its Relatude CMS Version 6, with a huge upgrade from .Net framework to .Net 6, marking a major improvement for its users and developers.
With temperatures outside rising, we also had some hot announcements for the month of July.
Wix announced its first-ever developer conference, Wix DevCon, in New York set for early September. The free event offered web developers the opportunity to hone their skills using Wix products and also learn of new product announcements.
Storyblok launched a $1.5 million partner fund to support the growth and success of its agency partners and develop co-marketing activities using its headless architecture as the foundation to create and scale better content experiences for its clients.
In one of the most interesting stories of a composable 2022, Kontent.ai declared its independence from Kontent by Kentico, forming a standalone company after raising more than $40 million for the move.
In other big summer moves, GraphCMS rebranded to Hygraph and GENUI acquired a majority stake in Magnolia.
Whew… that month was on fire.
In the dog days of summer, the news moved a little slower. But not much.
Storyblok made headlines again when it launched V2 of its CMS platform which included an all-new visual editor with a new UI and navigation buttons to make content creation easier for digital storytelling.
One of our own CMS Critic contributors, Matt Garrepy, sat down with Casper Rasmussen, President at the MACH Alliance, for a chat about the future – and why it looks more composable than ever.
Salesforce must have been listening in on that conversation because a few days later, they unveiled a composable storefront to help retailers go headless fast.
For the first month of fall, we had an engaging interview with Adam Greco, product evangelist at Amplitude, about the evolution of data and how consumers are, well, consuming it.
dotCMS introduced an interactive roadmap to encourage user influence and increase transparency around the development of its products and features, putting the company’s next steps in the hands of its customers.
Storyblok released a study from retail and e-commerce professionals who directly manage their companies’ enterprise CMS’. The main findings included changing CMS from monolithic to omnichannel, more metaverse e-commerce experiences, and newfound risks facing CMS from cyber hackers.
In an earthshaking move, Adobe acquired UI design platform Figma for $20 billion, perhaps overshadowing the news of Myplanet’s rebrand to Orium following an $11 million investment.
The MACH Alliance also published its first “Women in MACH Manifesto for Gender Equality,” developed by over 100 women in tech.
SEO optimization, CMS conferences, and a headless CMS…“OH MY!” We’re not sure what you dressed as for Halloween this October, but we do know there were some scary big stories.
Semrush and Wix announced a partnership to bring Semrush’s SEO keyword data directly through the Wix platform, helping users improve their rankings in search results.
Optimizely hosted Opticon 2022 in San Diego and Sitecore announced its Takeaway Sessions in Europe as a follow-up to its Sitecore Symposium in Chicago. Not to be outdone, Uniform announced it would host its first virtual conference, the DXC Assembly.
We also had a chance to chat with Contensis CEO Richard Chivers, where he discussed new innovations in the company’s CMS to help users build better websites.
As we began to sunset the year, the CMS news kept rising. In fact, Acquia elevate things with news of an open source headless starter kit within its own CMS.
Bloomreach, Emporix, and Kontent.ai joined the MACH Alliance, pushing the alliance’s membership total to more than 70.
More on the composable side of the ledger: Netlify published a community survey from Jamstack which solidified remote work’s longevity among web developers.
To close out November with mega (millions) news, Contentstack announced it raised over $80 million in Series C funding.
Talk about an early Christmas gift…
In a month filled with so many delights, we had the treat of closing out the year with impactful thought leaders and exciting news.
We spoke with Kontent.ai’s Vojtech Boril about the company’s new membership in the MACH Alliance and its expansion to North America. One of our CMS Critics contributors, Sana Remekie, also shared a thoughtful piece on the importance of updating a legacy CMS – and how the future looks to be composable.
The MACH Alliance hosted a round table discussion about the softening economy’s impact on different industries looking to MACHify in an effort to reduce costs while increasing control.
Drupal upgraded to its V10 in mid-December, and we had industry experts weigh in on what users could expect to see from the highly anticipated launch. We also featured a new study from Storyblok, which analyzed consumer data relating to missed revenue and poor website functionality. Yikes! Definitely worth a read.
Finally, our CMS Critic contributor Matt Garrepy had a compelling interview with Amplitude’s new CMO Tifenn Dano Kwon. The discussion covered everything from product and customer analytics to team building, and how Kwon is a champion for diversity and inclusion.
January? See you in St. Pete…
To top off 2022, we’re inviting all our readers to join us at the Boye & Company CMS Kickoff 2023 conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, January 17-18! This conference is tailored to anyone who works with CMS – from beginners to experts. Some of our CMS Critics will be there, along with insightful speakers and industry thought leaders. Register today!
Out with the old (2022), in with the new (2023)
Each year, we do this recap to help reflect what we’ve seen and learned. We are grateful to each and every reader, thought leader, speaker, interviewee, and advertiser that helps make our site what it is.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this community an incredible place. We will see you in the new year!
Ring in the New Year by nominating your favorite platforms for the 2022 CMS Critic People’s Choice Awards! Nominations are open, and you'll have until January 20th to submit them. This year we’ve added three new categories, including “Best Digital Experience Composition (DXC),” “Best Static Site Generator,” and “Best Composable Solution.”
Click here to submit your 2022 nominations!
That’s a wrap, everyone! Cheers to 2023.