At Redtech we work with CMS systems everyday. Literally everyday for 15 years. Whether or not it's supporting a Fortune 500 company and their global platform or migrating a mid-sized business to a new CMS platform like Kentico we live and breathe CMS development, integration, publishing, and operations everyday. So, we decided to ask some of our top CMS experts what they thought the top questions were that a company should be asking itself about it's CMS as it thinks about the future. Here is what they had to say:

  1. Are you more comfortable with IT investments or publisher investments?  Often times the rub for companies working with a CMS boils down to desired functionality for efficiencies versus hiring and training new resources (ie. publishers) on the current platform. There is not a correct answer here only an investment decision that creates it's own pros and cons. Study closely the tradeoffs you will make between additional people resources and technical debt.

  2. Are you considering launching market specific sites in the future? Platform choice and process design here are critical. We could write a book on international stakeholder publishing best practices. There are many pitfalls to avoid here.  Think closely about permissions, QA processes, inheritance of global content, and more before you dive into these waters.

  3. What is your Customer Experience (CX) system of record (platform) or do you have one?  If you don't it's time to start thinking about what system is going to be the hub for this inter-connected world that companies are now relying upon to capture the Voice of the Customer (VOC). Your CMS will play a central role in this world regardless of whether or not it is also your core CX platform or simply a piece within the big picture.  It's not surprising that many big players are vying to be this hub (Salesforce, Adobe, Kentico, Medallia, etc) but regardless of what your ecosystem looks like you need to understand how your CMS plays into it for maximum effect. See our piece on what happens when Customer Experience and Profits Collide for a look into why some CX efforts come up short and where we should be looking to set expectations and exceed them.

  4. Are your stakeholders hiding a dagger behind their smile?  If they are it's because your processes are causing them angst. Your CMS has a lot of jobs to do and one of them is to have the flexibility to allow your stakeholders to perform their job in a manner that is effective for the business.  Is your CMS facilitating the processes that allow your stakeholders to do their job?  Conversely, if you are a marketing stakeholder holding a dagger behind your back, stop! Yes, you may have a limited, cumbersome system that causes IT to be a bottleneck, but you still need their help to select a CMS system that will enable the most potential.  More than once, we have seen a marketing department win complete control of a web property and select a design firm’s favorite CMS platform, and later discover that technical compatibility issues prevent achieving long term goals. Does your CMS platform fit current and future integration requirements?

  5. Do you have different audiences that require different content?  Think hard about how you support different audiences with a dynamic experience that leads to more conversions. Most companies don't have the resources to invest a lot of time into this type of effort so it helps to think critically about how to leverage what assets you have to differentiate at key moments to make a difference.  Getting the right message to the right audience at the right time is not only a technical CMS issue but it's an ongoing resource commitment that needs to be planned out.

What questions do you think professionals working with a CMS should be looking at?

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