Out with the old: How to get internal buy-in for a new CMS in 2019

“Our website’s look and feel is just … off.”
“Why isn’t this product/content on our site yet?”
“Why is our competition so far ahead of us?”

Plenty of executives are looking for answers to questions like these. But you already know what the issue is—your outdated, legacy CMS. On a daily basis, you struggle with frustrations and inefficiencies, such as:

  • Inability to publish or make changes quickly
  • Lack of front-end control
  • Heavy reliance on IT
  • Difficulty collaborating
  • No personalization, task automation, or multi-channel support
  • Poor video integration

To remain competitive in any industry, you need a CMS that won’t slow you down or hold you back. If you’re relying on multiple systems for content creation, you’re racking up extraneous costs and maintenance time. And if customers aren’t engaging with your content, you’re going to lose them—along with revenue.

If you’re (more than) ready to move to a new CMS in 2019, here’s some guidance to help you win approval for a modern CMS.

Step 1: Build the business case

When you step into your CIO’s office to discuss the frustrations you’re having with your current CMS, the conversation means nothing if you don’t link it back to ROI. If you’re going to persuade decision-makers to invest time, money, and resources into something, you need to show the value.

You’re familiar with the pain points associated with your current CMS platform, but it’s crucial to demonstrate how these frustrations are ultimately impacting your organization’s bottom line. Remove emotion from the conversation and frame a new CMS as any other business transaction—because it is. Your CIO will be more sympathetic to your frustrations—and more likely to redirect resources to address them—when you present them as tangible business problems.

To help build your case, outline a plan of action that’s measurable. That way, you can chart the migration’s progress with whatever success metrics apply to your organization. Explain how your current CMS inhibits you from achieving business goals and how migrating to a modern CMS would assuage these issues, while broadening your capabilities.

Cost is one metric that’s universal, and it’s important to tie everything back to revenue. Aside from hard costs like the price you pay for the new technology itself, efficiency will reveal itself in your finances as well. A modern CMS allows you to upload content faster and with fewer people involved, which increases ROI progressively.

Step 2: Identify and ally with your stakeholders

As the old cliché goes, there’s strength in numbers. You need to recruit some allies when making the case for a new CMS. From an optics perspective, the more individuals you have supporting your case, the more likely your CIO is to listen. Keep in mind your colleagues may know things you don’t know and may offer different, meaningful perspectives. Getting input from people across the organization will ensure the new CMS appeals to everyone’s workflows, budgets, and regulations.

When it comes to stakeholders, it’s important to have buy-in from:

1. An executive sponsor: An executive sponsor should be part of your conversations because he/she has the power to convene everyone to get the ball rolling. As long as he/she understands the current challenges and has the desire to increase revenue, the executive sponsor adds clout that will propel your team forward.
2. A marketing leader: Another person you need on your side is a marketing leader. His/her perspective supports the argument that a CMS upgrade will broaden capabilities related to lead generation, publishing across channels and overall efficiency.
3. An IT representative: IT is arguably the most important ally. Read more on the importance of this stakeholder below.

Step 3: Make IT a partner

Getting IT on your side is an essential step because they will be doing most of the heavy lifting when it’s time to implement a new CMS. In order to get IT onboard, practice more empathy for what they do. A great place to start is understanding why they may resist a CMS migration.

For IT, a CMS is just one piece of the tech stack they are responsible for. They may view adding or changing things within your existing tech ecosystem as a risk, thus making them leery of taking on a massive overhaul. In addition, IT may also be buying into some common replatforming myths, such as:

  • A new CMS has no real value
  • It will cost a fortune
  • Replatforming takes months
  • A modern CMS delivers only marginal improvements

Once you collectively debunk the myths, the antidote will be finding common ground when it comes to the benefits of replatforming. Consider the following upsides to upgrading to a modern CMS:

1. More time: A modern CMS empowers editors to become self-sufficient publishers, who can create, publish, and maintain content autonomously, without always needing to submit tickets to IT. This will save IT considerable time in the long run.
2. Additional freedom: The time savings would provide IT with the flexibility to focus their work on the countless systems they’re maintaining daily.
3. Potential cost savings: Depending on your organization, the tech systems you implement may come out of IT’s budget. Therefore, the lower costs associated with a modern CMS will likely introduce some unexpected savings.

When you make your pitch, emphasize that you’re not just replacing a website with a website. You’re making tangible changes that impact the business overall. What’s more, you’re markedly improving the manageability of the overall ecosystem. Your IT team is also familiar with technical considerations like security, integration, and authentication, so they can ensure any new CMS delivers in those areas.

Once you illustrate all the capabilities and business advantages of a modern CMS, migration should become a no-brainer for IT and your executives. You’ll have an easier time when you recruit the right team to help you make your case. And remember, in any discussion or presentation, keep the focus on improving ROI. That’s the easiest path to “yes.”

With your business case built and your team of project champions in place, it’s time to seek out the right CMS partner.

With the Brightspot CMS, migrating to a modern platform can take just a few months, at a lower cost than a pricey, year-long overhaul. To learn more about how this next-gen platform can revolutionize the way you publish content and engage with your consumers, request a demo today.

Start building in a free trial environment, see a demo, or talk to an expert—select one of these paths and start however you would like to!


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