In the wake of the Corona pandemic, the importance of digital channels for companies has grown once again. Content management systems (CMS) offer support for the creation and distribution of content for these channels. They can be used in a variety of ways and have long been in use not only for websites, but also for blogs, online stores, social media, etc. CMS offer companies and their users many advantages if they meet the specific requirements and needs of the company. Dominik Angerer, co-founder and CEO of Storyblok, explains what is important when choosing the right enterprise CMS.
When you’re choosing an enterprise CMS, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by the wide range of providers at first. After all, there are many aspects you should consider when choosing your vendor. With our handy guide, we’ll help you choose the right enterprise CMS for your business.
The importance of choosing an enterprise CMS
There are many differences between large and small companies. This is especially true when it comes to the use of technology solutions. Large companies cannot be operated with the same basic technology as a small company. There are several reasons for this:
|Address a smaller number of customers in a limited setting||Appeal to a larger number of customers|
|A data leak or IT security glitch is minor and does not put too much data at risk||A security breach in IT affects many more users and requires more resources for recovery|
|Less need for content creation means not always needing the latest technology||Larger companies need to constantly find new ways to connect with more customers.|
|Few competitors||Many competitors|
This leads to a rather simple conclusion: scaling is the key. It is therefore especially important to entrust your business to a content management system that is designed to support you accordingly.
6 aspects you should consider when choosing your enterprise CMS
When choosing the right CMS, you need to pay attention to some essential elements to make sure that you choose the solution that best suits your needs. Find out below which factors are crucial for choosing the right CMS.
1. Structure suitable for growth
Let’s come back to the question of size: It’s not just where you are now that matters, but where you want to go. Some systems are better suited to support growth than others. So look for some signs that your chosen system is capable of supporting your ambitious goals, including:
- API-first, so you can incorporate new technologies right away
- Features that encourage internationalization should you want to expand into new markets
- A predictable pricing structure, so you can better plan your budget
A system with MACH architecture is also worth considering: a state-of-the-art software architecture that relies on the four principles of microservices, API-first, cloud-native and headless and stands for very high development speed. Among other advantages, this type of architecture also gives you access to the extremely scalable resources of the cloud.
Another good indicator to assess whether the potential enterprise CMS is also suitable for your business is previous customers and references. If the system doesn’t support businesses of your size and scope so far, you should be cautious. Otherwise, your requirements might go beyond what the system can do.
Security is undeniably one of the most important concerns for any company, especially in the digital environment. The importance increases with the amount of sensitive information about countless customers. Choosing an enterprise CMS that protects you and your users is therefore crucial. Therefore, pay attention to certain features, such as:
- A partitioned program structure that prevents the propagation of security threats
- A change log to see who made what changes at what time
- Options for 2-factor authentication
- Content locking to prevent unauthorized changes
But no protection is perfect. Unfortunately, hacking attacks can happen at any time, so you should be prepared. Look for support features like automatic off-site backups for recovery and accessible customer support.
3. Customer Journey-Tools
Speaking of customer service, let’s also talk about what it looks like on your site. Customers today have high expectations from businesses: multiple ways to interact with your brand, a consistent experience across multiple channels, and an intuitive design are just a few examples. Choose an enterprise CMS that lets you deliver all of this, with features like.
- Support for multiple channels in the “Internet of Things” (IoT).
- Universal backend that outputs identical content to all your front ends
- Best-of-breed approach that helps you expertly prepare your content with tools your business already relies on
- Flexible editing so you can make changes as quickly as possible
- Developer-free CMS maintenance that gives you more time to create high-quality customer journeys
- Marketer agency that allows you to publish new content and reuse old elements without relying on developers
Remember that all this is not just “nice to have”, but essential. The easiest way to lose customers is to fail to meet their basic expectations – so the customer journey should be a high priority. In addition, keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. This way, you can quickly offer services that are equal to, if not better than, their offerings.
4. Important performance features
These days, a lot of things are geared toward fast-paced. Users who want to consume your content want to do it now, not later. So you should avoid making your customers wait at all costs. If you do, digital performance will impact brand reputation – no matter how good your services and products are. Your CMS provider should also be aware of this and offer supporting features such as:
- Uptime Service Level Agreements (SLA) to define with the provider exactly how long a server is allowed to be down during the year, so that you always stay online for your customers
- Search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help you move up in the rankings
- The ability to handle large amounts of traffic
- A/B split testing for maximum content effectiveness
- In-engine image optimization for faster load times
TIP: You should also consider how growth periods will affect performance. For example, if making changes requires a lot of downtime, this CMS solution may not be right for you.
Large enterprises require large teams. From developers to marketers to content creators, you should choose an enterprise CMS that lets everyone pitch in. Choose a system that supports all departments that need access. The following features are beneficial here:
- Real-time visual editor with intuitive editing tools
- Commenting feature so everyone is on the same page
- Custom workflows and approval processes
- Scheduling capabilities for predictable content output
- Process automation
With pricing in mind, you should consider in advance how much each additional user will cost you in the long run. This way you can avoid unpleasant surprises when your business expands.
6. Ease of use
Finally, a word about usability. As mentioned earlier, companies often have large teams. Each user has specific technical expertise, and at the same time, no one wants to struggle with your system. So when choosing a CMS for your business, pay attention to usability. There are a few key signs that point to an easy user experience, such as:
- Streamlined editing process that makes your changes easy to see
- Design that allows marketers to make changes without involving developers
- Reusable components for faster and more consistent editing
- Well-organized asset management
- Automatic storage to prevent data loss
You should also pay attention to how good the customer support really is. Long waiting times between requests and unhelpful documentation may seem unimportant at first – but at the latest when you need them, they are a big obstacle. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask how extensive the support resources are before making your decision.
Choosing the right enterprise CMS – where to start?
This short guide has given you an initial overview and useful tips that you can use to evaluate an enterprise CMS. But how do you find a suitable CMS in the first place? Doing your own Google research can be a good start if you keep the tips mentioned here in mind. Just always remember to keep your specific needs in mind. Additional features are great, but if a system doesn’t meet your basic needs, those features won’t be worth much in the long run.
Author: Dominik Angerer, Co-Founder und CEO von Storyblok