How to choose a modern web CMS: What enterprises need to know

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Enterprises are continually looking out for ways to establish themselves in today’s digital environment and keep up with increasing customer demand. With some households currently utilizing up to ten internet-connected devices, according to Statista, the need to deliver dynamic digital experiences that customers can access across multiple platforms is rising. In order to create these experiences, organizations require the help of a modern web CMS that supports all departments.

Yet, a modern web CMS can’t be limited to just managing content on the company website; it must also support organizations with other use cases such as managing content workflows, personalization, eCommerce, and multiple integrations. In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of choosing a modern web CMS and outline some of the key characteristics that should be considered when deciding on one.

A magnifying glass looking at different web CMS options.

What are the benefits of a modern web CMS?

A modern web CMS lowers the total cost of ownership when compared to traditional CMS platforms. A headless architecture provides the ability for organizations to reduce their total cost of ownership as multiple teams and departments can get value out of the same platform.

An API-first approach also makes a modern web CMS future-proof since it can connect to multiple touchpoints — even those yet to be created— without issues. Plus, the headless architecture enables companies to only pay for the tools they need, rather than be forced into a subscription fee for every tool within a legacy suite system — when they don’t use most of them.

What enterprises need from a modern web CMS

Enterprise businesses need to consider several factors when deciding on a platform, including catering for and providing benefits to multiple departments. However, some foundational priorities need to be established.

Headless capabilities

Legacy CMS platforms place restrictions on modern businesses when it comes to delivering digital experiences. These tightly coupled architectures that link front-end and back-end systems together limit flexibility, which can impact performance and prevent organizations from embracing new and emerging channels.

A modern web CMS with a headless architecture, however, takes an API-first approach to building digital experiences. This enables easier connections with different devices and provides flexibility for both developers and marketers. When developers are asked to build customized experiences that function on multiple devices, they can’t afford to be limited in the tools they use. Whether they want to use React, Vue or any other framework, developers need a CMS to be language and framework-agnostic to work effectively.

With this best-of-breed approach to their technology stack, integrations become much easier. There is less friction involved with choosing the best available tool to meet each departments’ needs rather than handicapping one or more areas with the suite approach favored by legacy applications.

Security and scalability

Security is one of the critical factors for enterprises in today’s digital-first world. Traditional CMS platforms are an attractive target for cybercriminals, and SQL injections and DDoS attacks are common security vulnerabilities that enterprises should be wary of. Therefore, it’s imperative that the platform you choose places security at the forefront.

Traditional CMS platforms rely on servers to render pages. During a DDoS attack, servers can struggle to render several pages at the same time and are easily overwhelmed. On the other hand, a modern web CMS that relies on a headless architecture is more capable of withstanding such attacks.

With a headless CMS, the backend and frontend are not tightly coupled. This reduces the amount of internet-facing infrastructure, which limits the areas that can be targeted with an attack. However, consideration should still be made for security certifications such as SOC2, and that systems for accessibility monitoring, authentication and authorizations for user roles are also in place.

Growing businesses also need the ability to make adjustments to handle sudden changes in traffic demand without suffering a dip in performance. Plus, they must be able to add more products and services or integrate new features and software as required.

Traditional CMS platforms favor a suite or all-in-one approach which can place limitations on a business if they don’t like, or can’t use the current features. However, a modern web CMS advocates for a best-of-breed approach that enables businesses to choose the products, features and services that best meet their needs.

Agile collaboration tools

The modern enterprise work environment includes multiple departments, and a host of teams with varied schedules working together from various locations. While legacy platforms can sometimes create silos that limit individuals across different departments or even those within the same department from collaborating effectively, a modern web CMS should eliminate these barriers.

Workflows that enable reviews to occur at various stages, global collaboration, and the ability to define roles and permissions are necessary in a modern web CMS. Especially as enterprises need the agility and flexibility to test hypotheses and make incremental changes to campaigns and experiences.

A graphic representation of agile management, which allows any form of content to be published on multiple devices easily.

Also, editors and marketers need a CMS that gives them speed to market and provides a visual editing interface that allows them to adjust content to meet the requirements of various channels and audiences. Therefore, a modern web CMS should include a capable content editor and content blocks that can be used to create the ideal digital experiences.

Omnichannel marketing

Remember those multiple channels we keep mentioning? Mobile apps, websites, tablets, AR and VR are just some of the channels where marketers need to deliver content. These IoT devices will continue to evolve, and customers will want to interact with brands across several touchpoints. This requires omnichannel marketing capabilities that give marketers the flexibility to not just deliver content to these channels, but also to manage the content and seamlessly connect experiences across multiple channels.

Personalization

With so many channels, 1:1 personalization is a critical element for marketers to tailor content to various audiences. Customer intent, interaction history, browsing channel, and more are relevant areas that need to be considered if marketers want their content to stand out. A modern web CMS needs to implement this information to make recommendations and provide appealing content to consumers.

For businesses operating on a global scale, digital experiences need to be adjusted to various languages, cultures and preferences. A modern web CMS should support the translation and localization of content, enabling enterprises to enter multiple markets as required.

Storyblok: Your Modern Web CMS

A modern web CMS is necessary for enterprises hoping to meet customer expectations stay ahead of the competition and remain adaptable. As a headless CMS, Storyblok provides the enterprise-ready features required for a modern web CMS.

Developers benefit from a headless architecture with an API-first approach, language and framework flexibility, and extensive documentation.

Marketers receive omnichannel marketing and personalization capabilities and can benefit from a visual editor, the ability to create once and publish anywhere, and content workflows.

Enterprises can rely on localization features, extensive security protection, performance and scalability.

Ready to learn more about how Storyblok can help you modernize your enterprise? Read our whitepaper: Future-proofing Your Business: The Case for Headless eCommerce.

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