Looking for your next-gen CMS? Consider these factors first

Looking for your next-gen CMS? Consider these factors first
By Anne Catherine Feeney and Raf Winterpacht
Anne Catherine Feeney
Partner, Digital Experience
Feb 23, 2022
4 MIN. READ
Why a cloud service approach to your content management system (CMS) can be the right solution to provide cost savings and gains in operational efficiencies across your business.

It’s not news that those in the C-Suite are challenged by the need to constantly improve their web infrastructure to deliver the experiences customers expect. Substantial improvements come with large price tags. Decision makers aren’t in an enviable place with organizations trying to control costs more than ever, resulting in de-prioritizing enhancements in favor of muddling through with the status quo.

On the flip side, if your company isn’t investing in digital experience right now, the repercussions are inevitable and may come into play sooner than you expect. Your competitors are there—they are investing in elevated, seamless experiences that cultivate deeper connections. In a landscape where winners and losers exist on a razor’s edge, you need a strategy for getting there, too.

Most companies have numerous MarTech integrations—website, ecommerce platform, CRM platform, and the list goes on. That can be a huge pain point. You don't want to invest in something new that disrupts the other experiences you have in place. That’s no small thing, and the hesitance is understandable. But modernizing your web experience can mitigate much of that risk—when done correctly.

From a tech standpoint, many of the pain points digital leaders are experiencing now are rooted in the iterative process of upgrades that can be costly from both a resources and expenditures perspective. But when you move your experience management to the cloud, the savings can be substantial. New features are released and rolled out on a continual basis, as opposed to a six-month lag with an on-premises implementation. This results in resource cost savings, more manageable organizational processes, and ultimately, a more seamless experience for the end user.

With a cloud subscription model versus a traditional platform implementation, your business has the latest technology, enabling seamless integration with your other systems, and scalability over time. This can mitigate many of the difficulties encountered by your teams responsible for ensuring all your different systems are talking to each other—often resulting in significant roadblocks when you have older, legacy technologies. With a cloud service delivery model, you’re always working with the most current, updated technology.

Empowering organizations to evolve

Leveraging a cloud-based CMS can help to future-proof your MarTech stack in numerous ways. As mentioned previously, it provides the latest technology enabling more seamless integrations. This means your business can keep pace with the latest in experience technologies, delivering content that is optimized across all of your channels. It also prepares you for delivering on personalized experiences. Even further, there is increased ability to auto-scale—enabling better, faster experiences for customers around the world, without having to make costly, time-intensive changes to your platform.

Finally, the obvious benefit cloud services brings to bear is self-service functionality. There is a shift away from internal resources to the provider doing the heavy lifting. As a result, internal resources can refocus on optimizing the impact your business sees from the technology and remain laser focused on the end-to-end experience for your customers—resulting in cost savings and gains in operational efficiencies. Overall, a cloud service approach to CMS provides you capabilities that allow optimal delivery—not just on web experiences, but across all touchpoints for your customers and on strategically aligned goals across your business—with a greater speed to market. 

When our teams look at impact for clients across their business of moving to a cloud subscription model, we often break it down into three universal buckets: 

Functionality—Looking at flexibility with authoring capabilities or features that would support personalization, like analytics, AI testing, and optimizations by audience—all in the spirit of creating more intuitive user experiences.

Technical fits—Evaluating the agility within a CMS and how it supports front end, the global scalability aspect, and the ability to work with existing platforms. 

Operations—Determining performance and resource scalability. How can moving to cloud set your business up for success when it comes to migrations and future implementations as your business grows and evolves.

Investing in the future—a silver lining

It’s no secret that migrating to cloud will require a decent investment up front. That is to be expected in any type of migration, cloud or otherwise. But with cloud your business will see greater payoff in a year, or two or three, when the efficiencies and foregone maintenance and upgrade costs start to come to light in your financials. This isn’t for one-and-done budgeting—yields will be felt incrementally, over time.

In order to optimize your ROI and bring your vision to life, it’s important to work with a partner that has the tools and knowledge to optimize the benefit your business realizes from your investment in migrating to a cloud experience. Although we are platform agnostic in our solutions and services, many of our clients choose to go with the Adobe Experience Cloud. Adobe offers a best practice analyzer—a checklist to help you understand what type of readiness activities you should consider before going into the implementation phase. Our 13+ year partnership with Adobe gives us insights and expertise to help you navigate this process. 

Developing a deep understanding of your business—not just pain points, but also desires for what the future state will look like—will help you decide on a solution that is right for your needs. Talking to your stakeholders, reviewing the current state MarTech documentation, and having open dialogue around what they could do with various technology options are key to rightsizing these solutions and establishing the optimal migration strategy to get to an MVP.

ICF’s global marketing services agency focuses on helping your organization find opportunity in disruption.
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Meet the authors
  1. Anne Catherine Feeney, Partner, Digital Experience
  2. Raf Winterpacht, Partner, Technology Solutions
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