Kentico's CEO, Petr Palas on Leadership and the Future of Web Content Management
Every year, Gartner publishes its report, The Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management, and every year the industry waits to see where and how those little blue dots will move about, as a reflection of Gartner’s in-depth analysis of leading vendors.
Looked upon by many as a guide for companies to evaluate which Web Content Management solution would be right for their business, we here at CMS-Connected are always happy to see numerous vendors included in the report that we know very well. We often create a few conversations following the release focused on the recognition within the report, and showcase details of the platforms themselves but admittedly, when I reflect on the various businesses, I look through the lens of leadership and wonder what is on the mind of those at the helm of these companies, the CEOs themselves? Thankfully, upon reaching out, I was fortunate enough to gain access to the great mind of Kentico's CEO, Petr Palas, to discuss leadership, Kentico's recognitions by Gartner, and what trends and innovatons he sees on the horizon.
As CEO, what do you feel are the fundamental elements to leading a successful company?
"I believe the success of every technology company stands on three pillars: people, product and innovation. Jim Collins, the author of my favorite book 'Good to Great', says that you need to start with getting the right people on the bus. We've been lucky to build a strong and aligned team, starting from the management team down to individual developers, customer success engineers and sales people. Secondly, it's the product. For a technology company, having a strong product is everything. You can fake it by nice marketing only until someone comes and provides your customers with a much better solution to your needs. That brings me to the third pillar, which is innovation. As a technology company, you need to constantly watch the waves and make sure you jump on the right wave at the right time. This is the most dynamic part of the mix and also the most risky one which is why many technology companies get stuck at some point of their evolution by playing it safe and getting disrupted by new entrants."
What do you feel Kentico has done to contribute to their recognition in the Gartner Magic Quadrant and how do you intend on keeping up that momentum?
"It's hard to name one particular thing. It's rather the overall Kentico story. We've been in the market for 13 years, always growing and profitable, without any investors. We earned that recognition by sticking to our longterm vision and values and working tirelessly to bring value to our customers and partners, without fancy words and shortcuts. We plan to continue doing what made us successful: listening to our customers, innovating the product and growing our relationships with digital agencies that represent the core of our business."
What are your thoughts on the WCM space? For example, what trends do you see on the horizon or where do you think we will see the most innovation in the coming months?
"We believe the industry is approaching just another inflection point and the traditional CMS products will face a disruption from cloud-first headless products that will provide higher agility that is so important for companies that go through digital transformation. What we repeatedly see with our partner agencies is that the headless approach allows them to move from waterfall to much more agile planning which results in a better allocation of people's time and shorter time to market.
When I say cloud-first, I mean CMS products built as true multitenant Software as a Service. Many vendors offer their on-premise products through their managed hosting or Platform as a Service plans. However, neither of these models provides the true benefits of the cloud.
Our vision is, however, much broader than just a headless CMS. We are the first vendor providing a digital experience platform as true SaaS. Also, we recognize the need to empower non-technical roles who do not want to depend on developers for things like creating a landing page and we will provide a solution that combines the benefits of headless core with channel-specific functionality."