Umbraco (credit image/Pixabay/Roderick Qiu)Filip Bech-Larsen, CTO at Umbraco provided the keynote address at the company’s Business Summit event in Odense, Denmark. His keynote speech revolved around the evolution of digital experience management and the importance of future-proofing Umbraco’s platform. Bech-Larsen discussed the shift from traditional CMS to more modern technologies, the need for omni-channel experiences, and the potential of AI in content management and search.

Bech-Larsen discussed personalisation and the future of the company and emphasised that Umbraco listens to its eco-system. He encouraged audience to provide feedback and influence the company direction.

Bech-Larsen listed a number of new features and improvements, including insights, backups, regions, and shipping providers which were developed directly from partner feedback. The emphasis was giving users visibility and control, with a focus on building custom shipping providers and embracing the future.

Four lighthouses

According to Bech-Larsen, “B2B enterprises are expecting to increase spending on content in the forthcoming years. CMS and content management is definitely not going away. With the rise of AI, CMS’s will be more important than ever.” Bech-Larsen highlighted 4 lighthouses or trends that will help enterprises navigate the path forward in this current challenging business and technological environment.


Generative AI has been a huge topic over the last two years, which has seen a peak of inflated expectations. Many enterprises expected it would solve a range of business problems. Bech-Larsen expects 2024 will reflect negatively on AI. It will turn out to be relatively expensive for businesses with high levels of greenhouse emissions. Furthermore the market is not producing enough microchips to fulfil global demand. Bech-Larsen expects the practical application of AI will become more prominent than the hype. He quoted from Gartner that predicts 80% of enterprises will use Generative AI by 2026.


(Credit image/LinkedIn/Filip Bech-Larsen)
Filip Bech-Larsen is CTO at Umbraco

Bech-Larsen is keen how search evolves in the next five years. He suggests if he was in Google HQ, he would be slightly worried that consumers will reduce use of traditional search engines. This is related to the trend towards personalisation, which is expected to reduce barriers to consumers finding information about goods and services. AI-enabled customer insight tools will deliver results directly to consumers, who no longer will need to use search engines.

Bech-Larsen believes that essentially, search engines are based on outdated operating model. For instance, search engines cannot continue giving search results for ‘home integration’ when the user is searching for ‘home décor’. Businesses need to understand what people actually want to buy and furthermore, understand the context. This explains why Google and other search engines are investing in AI to shore up the effectiveness of their tools.

“I think we need to focus on ensuring the truth is on our websites. Supporting that our customer’s digital experience is superior. This comes down to having the data in the right format and being able to provide context to the data. I think people expect us to be able to understand what they actually mean,” said Bech-Larsen.


Bech-Larsen noted that Forrester and Gartner analysts have started discussing individualisation as opposed to personalisation. He suggests that traditionally, personalisation is driven by segmentation models with content being developed for each group. Individualisation, is made up of one-to-one relationships with actual website users. This is based on the collation of a wide range of data sources. Bech-Larsen adds, “I think there’s great opportunities to build actual individual experiences, not just a personalised experience.”

Bech-Larsen believes that during the last 5-10 years, many enterprises demanded personalisation. Furthermore, they invested into personalisation projects and delivered solutions which those businesses may not have effectively deployed.


To support AI, personalisation and search requires more data. Enterprises are increasingly utilising DAMS, PIMs, CRMs, ERPs. All of these systems needs to work together and integrate into the CMS. However, putting everything into the CMS is challenging and may not be the right approach for all enterprises. Bech-Larsen suggested that 93% of organisations actually want to use more data sources.

He said, “I think orchestration will really lead businesses to the next generation of tools. Gartner predicts that 6-7% of all organisations require some kind of compostable DXP technology. However, I think what they really want is more data sources.”

Forrester analysts have suggested the need for the orchestration of digital experiences at the edge is the next version of this event. Bech-Larsen added, “We are starting to see a new market of dedicated products attempting to orchestrate the digital experience. Furthermore, there are many agencies building on that kind of approach. In the next few years, we expect this will have a more powerful impact on the marketplace.”

Enterprise Times: What this means for businesses

This was a wide-ranging and interesting keynote address which centred around the rapid growth and innovation in the CMS landscape. There was also a focus on strategic initiatives and partnerships driving Umbraco’s growth. Bech-Larsen and the other Umbraco speakers discussed the importance of improving customer experience and support, including on-demand training and customer service support. The message was well received by Umbraco’s eco-system of agencies, systems integrators and partners. They were enthused with the messaging coming out of Umbraco HQ. Furthermore, are organised and ready to develop the new products required to support edge computing and user experience needs.


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