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How a second CMS can help solve the biggest digital challenges

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Don't let a legacy CMS stand in the way of your digital transformation. Brightspot works with customers’ existing logic and can be deployed to augment existing AEM, Wordpress and other legacy CMS solutions.

Until recently, a few large players dominated the CMS space, and many companies still use their offerings. However, legacy CMS challenges are widespread, with a 2019 survey finding that 42% of companies indicated they don’t have the right technology to manage their content. Many CMS systems were designed before mobile platforms and other digital interfaces were part of mainstream enterprise communications, and, as a result, they struggle with services like delivering dynamic content to mobile devices and native mobile apps. These legacy systems are also often built on proprietary code that can only be developed by the vendor’s in-house bench of development resources, which ends up costing the CMS customer money and making evolution slower.

Despite their many qualms with legacy CMS systems, companies are often tied to them due to the heavy investment they have already made as part of the tech stack. Businesses may feel that it’s easier to stick with what they’re already comfortable with, and fear the challenges of switching to a new system. Companies often spend millions of dollars and myriad resources on their legacy CMS, leading them to think it’s better to improve what they have rather than invest in something new. What’s more, businesses are often conditioned to invest in legacy technology, with a Deloitte CIO survey finding that 57% of respondents’ technology budgets are allocated to support business operations, compared to only 26% for funding incremental change and 16% for bolstering innovation. However, as time goes by holding out for improvements, companies’ content management systems often continue to fail to meet their needs.

Introducing the second CMS

It’s clear that buyers still struggle with a minimal set of content management functionality that may not fit all scenarios—but, at the same time, they don’t want a complete rip-and-replace of their legacy system. These organizations and publishers need a speedy solution to transform and be able to meet the content needs of their businesses. Here is where a "second CMS" can be a solution that's perhaps not the obvious initial consideration as it relates to the product road map.

This is part of a larger industry trend where companies are no longer characterizing the CMS as a contiguous system, but rather as a distributed content management stack. A content hub solution considers the business as a whole from the inside out, allowing the digital transformation journey to start with the workflows and integrations you already have and adding on, as opposed to ripping and replacing current systems and processes. A second CMS can especially be a speedy solution for brands trying to transform to improve storytelling or news coverage without needing to wait on constrained development resources, among many other benefits.

How Brightspot can support as a second CMS

Brightspot was designed to alleviate some of the problems that customers have with other CMS systems, and one of its capabilities is serving as a second CMS. Instead of requiring businesses to completely rethink the ways they’re currently working, Brightspot works with customers’ existing logic.

  • One of the ways Brightspot as a second CMS can help is serving as a content hub. Many content teams have multiple disparate systems at play, which causes massive technology investments, lack of training efficiencies and an overall inefficient publishing process. A content hub brings together all existing and new solutions in one place through seamless integrations so that content can be produced and distributed from a central system. 
  • Brightspot can easily integrate with other systems, enabling businesses to make improvements while utilizing tools and processes already in place, avoiding a complete rip-and-replace approach. With Brightspot as a second CMS, it can serve as an integration hub connecting multiple systems. 
  • Brightspot can also serve as a data hub, integrating data into CMS systems and other content technology. This way, publishers can easily leverage existing data rather than start from scratch, while they can also integrate new data over time.

Headless technology for CMS success

Brightspot is a pioneer in headless CMS technology, which can be particularly helpful for second CMS success, enabling the Brightspot APIs to feed back and forth into a parallel or "parent" CMS. Hybrid and decoupled solutions can also support a second CMS.

Additionally, Brightspot can bring the headless solution to another CMS that doesn’t do headless well. For example, with WordPress the presentation layer is closely tied to the chosen theme, and it can only be made decoupled with significant effort. With Brightspot, headless and decoupled formats are natural, so adding Brightspot to a WordPress solution can make sense in this case.

First-hand experience as a second CMS

Adobe Experience Manager is a major player in the CMS space. It works well for some customers, but the total cost of implementation and time to deployment can be limiting in certain use cases. Therefore, Brightspot has stepped in to help Adobe customers make the most of their existing AEM investment through the use of our product as a second CMS.

In the case of one Brightspot customer in the nonprofit industry, they produce their site using AEM, but were encountering challenges in generating their sitemap.xml and feeds necessary for syndication. As a solution, Brightspot set up a one-way content sync from AEM to Brightspot, which the customer leverages to easily send content to Apple News and serve Accelerated Mobile Pages articles for Google search.

Companies often see a binary solution to their CMS issues—continue investing in what they have or rip-and-replace to a whole new solution. Using a second CMS can be a middle ground, and Brightspot has developed a strong second CMS solution that centralizes content and data, and provides easy integrations, for better content production.

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