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4 signs it’s time to upgrade your legacy CMS

At this very moment, there’s a stressful scenario playing out in many organizations across the country. Editors and developers, limited by legacy publishing technology, are spending more time waiting for IT to respond to tickets and fix bugs than creating engaging content.

Customer engagement and revenue is at risk for brands that aren’t able to offer up new and compelling user experiences quickly. All of this causes frustration across departments, as time and money is wasted on complex retrofits and Band-Aid fixes that continue to limit creativity, freedom and flexibility.

If any of this hits home, then it may be time to start evaluating new CMS systems. Too often, the huge capital investments and months or even years of intense effort required prevents organizations from pursuing upgrades that would solve a variety of issues and empower their strategic brand objectives. On top of that, infighting between marketing, IT and product teams makes identifying and securing the best-matched solution even more difficult.

Fortunately, there’s no need to fear a wholesale CMS change anymore—or to put off moving to a system that will better serve your audiences. In fact, with the modern solutions available today, it’s possible to replatform in under 90 days.

Here’s a closer look at the four telltale signs it’s time to upgrade your CMS—along with the advantages of using a modern platform.

Legacy CMS pain point 1. Our CMS is not fast enough

To compete in today’s digital landscape, you need to deliver content to your audience when they want it. This requires an intuitive CMS that enables stakeholders to spin up new experiences and make changes quickly and easily. In addition, the platform should be easy to learn, making it possible for team members to ramp up and become power users in a matter of weeks.

Unfortunately, many legacy CMS platforms were not built with users in mind, resulting in inefficiencies and outdated experiences. Maybe you’re operating on multiple, disparate systems with user interfaces that are all stitched together, adding to an already challenging publishing model. The process of drafting and updating content is difficult and slow and often means editing raw HTML or relying heavily on IT to make even the smallest changes.

The result? Content publishing takes too long, with frequent headaches and consistent internal bottlenecks. Your customers start looking for solutions elsewhere, you and your team are frustrated and digital leaders are looking for better answers.

Legacy CMS pain point 2. Our CMS does not empower us to deliver content to multiple channels

It’s no secret you should be publishing on multiple channels. This means delivering to audiences around the globe, in multiple languages, across a plethora of digital touchpoints, including the web, mobile, "internet of things” devices like Amazon Echo and OTT video like Apple TV.

But that’s much easier said than done with a legacy CMS. Antiquated platforms developed as closed systems before digital-first audiences emerged often require content to be optimized for each channel separately, delaying distribution. Adding a new channel to the hodgepodge can take months—if it’s even possible. This restricts the reach of your brand and results in your digital interactions feeling old and stale. Also, because translations are frequently done outside the CMS, translating your content into any other language just delays things further.

The result? In the end, IT must step in to ensure the content meets requirements for each channel. These arduous, frustrating publishing processes and the juggling of multiple channels ultimately hinder agility and seriously impact growth.

Legacy CMS pain point 3. Our CMS doesn’t meet our organizational requirements

Your CMS should be designed for the way your individual company does business, not the other way around. The recent microservices trend has resulted in businesses seeking freedom from vendor lock-in and opting for modern, API-first platforms that provide more agility and make integration with an organization’s current marketing stack far simpler.

Meanwhile, traditional CMS systems force businesses to control, manage and update their sites according to their own technology rules. Vendors seek to get customers to buy in to their “all-encompassing,” monolithic blend of purchased point solutions that marginally hold together and are not designed for broad integrations. Either they’ve forced you to purchase their solution as is or contort your implementation to integrate with the best-of-breed solution you have already chosen.

The result? Without interoperable components, you’re left with a site that’s unadaptive and unable to support major organizational and strategic brand changes. Plus, you have difficulty with upgrades, usability and warranties.

Legacy CMS pain point 4. Our CMS can’t support new innovations & initiatives

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and personalization. These are among the various cutting-edge ways that companies are driving the future of customer interactions. As technology advancements abound and trends proliferate, organizations are looking for agile solutions that will enable—not restrict—their future innovations and offerings.

Trying to retrofit your antiquated or homegrown systems to accommodate innovative technologies or organizational changes typically leads to obstacles like hard-coded elements left undocumented by long-departed developers. You have creative ideas to enrich your user experience, but there are considerable delays in bringing them to life—if that’s at all possible. Even a simple update can pose a security risk when implemented on dated technologies.

Maybe you’ve considered a cloud option? A locally hosted cloud solution creates a security risk and requires a considerable hardware investment. Lack of elasticity means you can’t support surges in traffic, which translates to a poor site experience and frustrated end users.

The result? You’re left with a system that isn’t agile enough to help you quickly launch a specialized campaign or new product or test new user experiences. Instead, you can expect long or indeterminate delays, which can and will kill your project’s momentum.


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