Guide to choosing the right CMS to achieve digital transformation

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There’s some debate around exactly what is meant by “digital transformation,“ which is a commonly used term right now. But ultimately, it really boils down to using technology to create new or improved processes and customer experiences to drive better business outcomes.

Content is key to achieving these outcomes, because as we all consume more and more media, we are making more buying decisions based on our experience of that media. And to create excellent content effectively means having the right CMS.

Choosing the right CMS gives organizations an opportunity to succeed with their digital transformation, plus the ability to create, manage and optimize the right customer experience to future-proof their digital transformation investments.
Jon Rojas.jpg
Jon Rojas, Principal Product Manager, Brightspot

But which is the right CMS? Jon Rojas, Principal Product Manager at Brightspot, explains this and more in our recent webinar on the topic of digital transformation.

A primary consideration from the outset, Jon emphasizes, is the need for speed of deployment and flexibility.

He says: “Being able to integrate with third-party systems will allow you to utilize existing tools, which can help you minimize the time spent architecting and developing solutions.”

That means, he explains, that a CMS like Brightspot, which offers integrations for everything from Apple News and MailChimp to online video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, can be a huge helper for digital transformation initiatives.

In addition, a CMS that emphasizes a migration-friendly approach and supports developers to utilize tools to help ease the workflows around content migration will also add value to any digital transformation push.

“Let's say you have multiple sites that you need to manage and create content for as part of a digital transformation change," Jon explains. “These sites might be standalone sites, or on different platforms, and being able to bring them into one CMS instance can really help your efficiency and increase collaboration across your teams.”

Implement what makes the most sense for your business

In addition to a CMS that helps you get up and running quickly, one that aligns with your business logic is also a must for digital transformation.

This might appear self-apparent on first read, but let us explain.

At the highest level, digital transformation is the adoption and use of technology within an organization to create new or modified business processes and customer experience. This can mean very different things to organizations, as well as to the teams and even the individuals they comprise.
image of Brightspot employee Jon Rojas
Jon Rojas, Principal Product Manager, Brightspot

Brightspot is built to simplify the data-modeling process. With a data-abstraction layer that removes the need for developers to worry about designing the database architecture from scratch themselves, Brightspot delivers further flexibility in terms of flexing if the data model changes. So as and when your business logic changes, Brightspot is extensible to adapt to your changing business needs without requiring a rewrite of your underlying data model.

Then there’s Brightspot’s support for workflows, which also supports the drive toward more efficient digital transformations.

“Workflows can help align with your current processes or business themes so you're able to build custom workflows quickly and align these with your team's content creation process,” says Jon. “This can be particularly handy for automating content approval cycles,” he adds.

Summing up the ‘which CMS’ part of the webinar, Jon believes that organizations should always try to choose a CMS that provides ultimate flexibility in how their digital content is created. He says: “Implement what makes the most sense for your business.”

Against this backdrop, Jon observes some additional themes that he and his team are currently seeing around CMS and digital transformation.

The main ones, he says, are interest in machine learning and AI and their potential role in content and digital transformation, as well as privacy and an increasing interest in storytelling across multiple channels.

He explains: “In the past, you might create some type of story to tell on your website, and maybe your newsletter had a different story, as did your social and maybe your app. Now, we're starting to see more cohesive stories and storytelling across all these channels.”

Don’t fixate on ‘the shiny new thing’

Take the guesswork out of finding the right content management system for your needs with our curated guides for finding and choosing the right CMS. See how Brightspot compares to CMS alternatives like Adobe AEM, Drupal, WordPress VIP, Contentstack, Contentful and Sitecore.

Digital transformation is an opportunity but also a struggle for many organizations. Based on his current and past experiences across various Brightspot engagements, Jon says it’s often down to not really knowing how to start a project properly. Planning is key.

He says: “During the planning process, establishing the expected outcomes and making sure that everybody agrees on these is vital. Then, digital transformation must be about implementing a solution and measuring it against those outcomes. That way, you'll see things that might be working well, or not so well, and you can continually change things.”

He adds: “As long as you're flexible and willing to continue iterating and measuring towards those outcomes, you can be successful.”

He also cautions about falling in love with the solution, and not focusing on the problem: “It’s very easy to get into the new shiny thing and new, different technologies that you can take advantage of—but it’s really important to always be able to tie everything back to the digital transformation outcomes you set during the planning process.”

If you’re looking for a great introduction to the main issues around content’s contribution to the digital transformation vision, how to best plan for such a project, plus answers to such questions as how to get stakeholder buy-in, watch the webinar on-demand here.
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