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Breaking free from legacy systems: A guide for editorial teams to choose the right CMS

How to select right CMS: editorial teams graphic

Legacy content management systems (CMS) often come with limitations that can hinder the efficiency and creativity of editorial teams. From cumbersome workflows to limited customization options, these outdated systems can be more of a burden than a benefit. It's time to go out and choose a CMS that truly supports editorial work.

As any editor might attest, being able to simplify their workflow is essential for multiple reasons, mainly centering around time allocation and quality of work. Having the right tools and resources necessary to do your work efficiently and in a timely manner is imperative to an organization's success. A proper CMS plays a vital role in this, because the right content platform will allow editorial teams to pump out content easier, as well as present more creative options for creators.

This is why selecting the right CMS for your organization is crucial from an editorial standpoint. There are many tools an editor can use and benefit from within a CMS platform, such as more personalization capabilities and being able to automate routine tasks. All of that said, it still leaves a ton of room for creative work for editors. So, when choosing the right CMS for your organization, be mindful of the "line of defense" before work gets published.

Top 3 content strategy challenges for organizations

Based on percentage of respondents according to the Winterberry Group report
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Legacy technology
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Dispersed data and content assets
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Budget/time constraints

The importance of use cases

When it comes to selecting a CMS, one size does not fit all. The choice should be based on specific editorial use cases. Whether it's multi-channel publishing, real-time collaboration, or content personalization, understanding these use cases can guide editorial teams toward a CMS that meets their unique needs. And, more importantly, recognizing existing skillsets within an organization’s editorial team is vital for selecting the CMS that aligns directly with user capabilities.

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AI/ML in editorial work

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are no longer just for tech-savvy industries; they have practical applications in editorial work as well. A CMS with AI/ML capabilities can automate routine tasks like tagging and categorizing content, which can be extremely helpful for editorial teams looking to expedite their processes. It can also offer recommendations for content optimization, freeing up editorial teams to focus on creating compelling stories rather than spending too much time figuring out the nit-pickier technical aspects. Again, this all helps with expediting their processes, and can get content out quicker, while still telling those powerful stories.

Case study: A real-world example

Consider the case of a well-known news organization that was struggling with their legacy CMS. The system was not only slow but also lacked the flexibility needed for modern day journalism. After transitioning to a new CMS that was chosen based on their specific editorial use cases and offered AI/ML capabilities, they saw a 25% increase in team efficiency and a 15% rise in reader engagement.

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The nature of content an organization deals with plays a pivotal role in CMS selection. Questions arise regarding the types of content, their volume and complexity, including various media types. A detailed assessment of content needs ensures that the chosen CMS can efficiently manage and deliver the diverse content demanded by today's digital landscape.
Winterberry Group reporters


For editorial teams, the choice of a CMS is a critical decision that can significantly impact their workflow and output. And, not to mention, the right platform selection can open more creativity for content and editorial teams. Key considerations should include the system's ability to support specific editorial use cases and the potential benefits of AI/ML capabilities. By making a well-informed choice, editorial teams can free themselves from the limitations of legacy systems and embrace a more efficient and creative future.


Get the research

Winterberry CMS Report
For those interested in diving deeper into this subject, the Winterberry Group's research paper offers invaluable insights. This guide provides a 360-degree view of the total cost of ownership considerations essential for technical and digital buyers in the CMS selection process.

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