The appeal of going headless for your enterprise app

To overcome sluggish software performance and inflexible architecture, many enterprises are going headless so they can leverage the benefits of headless apps

Tasmin Lofthouse working from a cafe

Tasmin Lofthouse

The appeal of going headless for your enterprise app


Aug 7, 2023

Last Edited

Oct 19, 2023

Read Time

6 mins



Enterprises need to stay ahead of the curve. Yet, the digital solutions they’re using just might be the thing holding them back. Traditional monolithic architecture often struggles to keep up with the ever changing landscape.

To overcome the challenge of sluggish software performance and inflexible architecture, many enterprises are going headless.

The structure of headless applications separates the frontend content from the backend processes. This decoupling offers a myriad of benefits including improved performance, elevated experiences, and future-proofing by increasing flexibility — all of which add up to create a robust enterprise system.

The benefits of going headless

Headless apps offer unrivalled power by separating the frontend and backend layers. This separation gives businesses freedom to leverage different technologies throughout the app.

Your company can use your preferred tech stack to optimise performance, scale and adapt your app, improve security, and enhance the developer experience.

By going headless, your enterprise can stay ahead in a rapidly changing digital world.

Improved performance and speed

Headless apps are built using performance-driven architecture with strong foundations for usability and search engine optimisation (SEO).

The decoupled nature of headless applications gives you the chance to build a structure that best represents your content needs, streamlining usability and bolstering SEO.

Having full control over the technical setup also lets you improve usability and page speed — two crucial performance factors enhanced by headless applications.

The structure of headless apps will reduce bloat and eliminate unnecessary code to deliver a smoother, sharper experience for your users.

Increased flexibility and scalability

Headless apps address many shortfalls of one-size-fits-all monolithic solutions by providing enterprises with greater flexibility and scalability.

With headless apps, you have greater control over the design. You can easily add new features, change the content, and choose the tools and technologies that best support your current and future needs.

The modern nature of headless apps means you can adapt each component individually — updating only the area you wish to or updating reusable components to make sure changes are actioned across all content presentations at once.

The choice is in your hands when it comes to headless apps, letting you create exceptional experiences that futureproof your enterprise.

Enhanced security and reliability

You can never be too careful these days. Luckily, headless applications offer heightened levels of security for your business.

The separation between the backend processes and frontend content plays a crucial role in protecting your app against security breaches or hacks. Thanks to this separation, any security vulnerabilities in the frontend content won’t directly compromise data in the backend systems, and vice versa.

You can also count on your headless application to always be up to date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. The automatic update capabilities of headless apps reduce the window of vulnerability to security exploits, helping maintain a robust and secure system.

These auto updates also enhance the reliability of your app. If your application is always kept up to date, it is less likely to experience downtime or disruptions caused by outdated software or incompatible integrations. This creates a more reliable and pleasant experience for your users.

Better developer experience

Your developers will be happier using headless apps than rigid traditional software.

The flexibility of headless app architecture means your developers have the freedom to use the languages they know best. Headless apps are far more flexible than traditional software. Developers have freedom to use the languages they know best. By embracing the power of APIs, your developers can create a tech stack that is unique to the needs of your business.

When using headless apps, your developers can create reusable components to free themselves up to focus more on innovation — rather than performing repetitive tasks over and over again.

By improving the developer experience, headless apps create a more efficient development process, resulting in faster deployment and higher quality performance.

The building blocks of headless apps

Headless CMS

The headless CMS, or content management system, stores and manages the content of your application.

Unlike traditional CMS platforms, which are tightly coupled with the frontend, a headless CMS provides content through an API so you can fetch and deliver content to any frontend presentation. This decoupled nature means you can integrate your CMS with any frontend, deploying your content to websites, apps, and other presentations with just one click.

The seamless deployment of content also allows you to regularly and consistently update content without breaking any elements of your presentation.

Headless CMS platforms usually use a no-code backend implementation, allowing for faster development, and easier content management for non-technical users. As the CMS developers handle backend infrastructure such as worldwide deployments and enterprise security, updates can be rolled out without impacting your content or the frontend presentation.

Headless commerce platforms

If your headless app is used to sell products or services, it’ll likely be built using a headless commerce platform.

Headless commerce platforms let you manage your store’s backend operations, such as product management, inventory, and order processing independently from the customer-facing frontend display.

This separation of the commerce backend and frontend means you can deliver consistent shopping experiences across multiple online storefronts including websites, mobile apps, social media platforms, and other touch points. You can easily update products across all platforms, keeping product information accurate at all times. The ability to push your products out across multiple storefronts will also broaden your reach and increase sales opportunities.

The no or low-code set-up of headless commerce platforms lets you manage your eCommerce operations without having to rely on technical resources or have extensive coding skills.

Meanwhile, your frontend developers aren’t limited to any particular platform of technologies giving them greater freedom over the development of your online store. The flexibility of headless commerce means your online storefront can break free from boring layouts and templates to offer a greater customer experience.

Headless browsers

Headless browsers don’t have a graphical user interface (GUI) which allows them to play a crucial role in web app testing.

Because headless browsers don’t have a presentation layer, they can run on servers without GUI support. As such, your tests will be faster as they don’t need to render content. The tests will also be more efficient and reliable as it directly interacts with the page being tested.

You can use a headless browser to test elements of your web app such as contact form submissions, keyboard inputs, or mouse clicks are working as expected. By automatically testing your web application functionality, headless browsers can save you time across all stages of the application lifecycle.

You can also use headless browsers to test different app layouts, scrape content from a web app, or handle JavaScript execution — the point being headless browsers open up a whole world of opportunities when it comes to testing your applications.

Headless search lets you implement modern search and discovery features in your application or website. This modern approach to search offers an improved user experience by delivering rich and intuitive search results with ease.

Headless search solutions can work with any dataset, regardless of its size or complexity. Whether it’s a product catalogue, knowledge base, or vast resource library, headless search can effectively index and search through the data to provide relevant and accurate results for users.

Headless search uses a network of edge nodes to ensure search functionality is accessible for users worldwide. This worldwide deployment reduces latency and improves search performance for all users, wherever they may be.

Meanwhile, regular updates mean your business can benefit from new search technology features and advancements. These updates are implemented without introducing breaking changes, ensuring the search functionality remains compatible with existing integrations.

Headless payment

Headless payment lets eCommerce businesses integrate an API-hosted payment gateway with their headless app to support the payment process. It allows your online store to separate the checkout and payment experience so customers have the flexibility to shop from almost anywhere.

Headless payment is the only way payment providers work. They allow businesses to interact with payment providers through APIs. This API-based interaction streamlines the payment process, allowing for secure and efficient transactions.

The separation of the checkout and payment experience also plays a crucial role in the overall user experience. With headless architecture, your business can customise the checkout process according to the needs of your customers while still leveraging the power of an integrated payment gateway. Shoppers will experience a seamless, user-friendly checkout experience, regardless of the device or platform they are using.

While online payments may be headless by default, you can still see how this decoupled structure creates an effortless checkout experience for your customers.

Final thoughts — is going headless right for your enterprise?

By embracing a headless approach, you can unlock the full potential of your enterprise application.

Your business will be propelled forward by the performance, flexibility, security, and user experience advantages of going headless.

Break free from the rigidity of traditional app solutions by adopting a headless solution that aligns with your current needs while giving you the flexibility to reach your future goals.

Get in touch to see how we can help you uncover the transformative impact of headless application for your enterprise.

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