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Webinar insights: How an API-first CMS gives you the ultimate flexibility

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Join our team to learn how Brightspot GO’s GraphQL-powered platform gives you the ultimate flexibility to develop your own front-end solutions and helps you manage modular content across channels and endpoints.

The drive towards digital has turned every business into a content business—no matter their core operations—and so the question companies now face is "how" and not "if" they should publish content. Many have had to adapt quickly to meet this new commercial imperative and Brightspot has supported them on their journey.

To date, there has sometimes been a lack of developer input into the choice of content management system (CMS) that firms implement. Instead of involving their tech teams, companies have focused on the views from the operational teams who will use the system.

We believe it is time to rework this approach. Our recent webinar, Solutions for Web Developers: How an API-first CMS Gives you the Ultimate Flexibility, explores the importance of developer input into CMS purchase decisions. It also unpicks the key issues at play to ensure you get the tech stack that will deliver in the present and can flex to match your needs in the future.

The two biggest differences from when I started in this industry in the 1990s are that it used to be primarily content orientated businesses that were going through rapid digital transformation. So, companies such as newspapers, magazines and organizations for whom creating content was central to their mission. Now, it is truly every business. Whether creating content has historically been part of their business or not, they have had to become content businesses. The second difference is the speed and pace at which transforming into a digital content business now needs to happen.
James Clark headshot
James Clark, VP, Brightspot GO

Budgets and value 

Although businesses are prioritizing the development of their digital capabilities and investing more time and money into their IT programs, they are also under growing pressure to deliver increased value, functionality and longevity from their capital expenditure.

Figures from International Data Corporation forecast that global spending on digital transformation will reach a staggering $6.8 trillion by 2023.

Despite the scale of the spending, James Clark, VP, Brightspot GO is quick to remind us that companies rarely have much wiggle room in their budgets and need to make the correct choices in compressed timeframes.

Fixing bugs in your CRUD [create, read, update and delete ] layer and your CMS UI layer is not impacting your business or your bottom line. It is just maintenance. If you work with Brightspot, you do not have to deal with those things.
image of Brightspot employee Lee Teague
Lee Teague, SVP Engineering, Brightspot

He explains: “$6.8 trillion is being poured into digital transformation and the budgets that power it. It can lead you to a set of false assumptions that suggest organizations are flush with development resources and budgets, and don’t need to think about stretching and scaling them."

"But I think the key point that threads through this conversation is that while these budgets are growing, so too are the expectations that come with them. So, for every dollar that is added to development budgets, there may be $2, $3, $4 or $5 worth of expectations that come with that."

In short, companies need to deliver more bang for their buck and implement solutions that remain effective over the long term.

Developer input

One way to ensure value from your choice of CMS is to make sure it will meet and exceed your needs. Getting your development team’s perspective on a system’s capabilities will help you do this.

In particular, developers will have valuable insights into four areas. These are:

  • The ability of no-code and low-code options to release in-house capacity to drive application development
  • The amount of customization offered by a content management system
  • The multi-channel experiences and delivery options that a system provides 
  • The system’s future-proofing capabilities and whether it is designed to adapt to future challenges  

Lee Teague, SVP Engineering Brightspot GO, delves deeper into these issues in the webinar. But commenting specifically on the topics of customization and no-code/low-code options, he says: "The ability to customize the CMS is really important and no one wants to have a cookie-cutter website that looks like exactly like the next guy."
He adds: “It is not like you start a low-code or no-code initiative and then there is nothing for your developers to do. What you are gaining is productivity for your developers as now they are focused on things that actually impact your business and not just the table stakes of building a CMS."

Focus on flexibility

The webinar details the flexibility offered by the Brightspot GO platform and how this allows organizations to engage with the technology at a level that suits both their needs and their in-house resources.

At one end of the scale, Brightspot GO has various no-code customization options, which let users select predefined content types, themes and styles.

Further up the scale, developers can create their own style packages by replacing or adding to the CSS and Javascript that runs the entire site. If they like the structure of the site and like the HTML, but want to change all the CSS and Javascript, then they can do that without having to maintain the HTML.

Beyond this, users have a wide variety of headless options using GraphQL as the API with Brightspot GO. In addition, they can even customize the back end of the Brightspot system, which is something that is not readily available elsewhere.

There is a huge level of flexibility and a wide variety of development options for companies of all sizes and technical capabilities.

Lee explains: "The level of customization really corresponds to the level of effort and the types of resources that you are willing and able to contribute to your customization. If you want to start with no developers at all, you can do that and you can build a beautiful site on day one. If you have a whole team of developers that want to build some fantastic new system that integrates with half a dozen other systems, then you can certainly do that too."

Going forward, companies are going to have an increasing library of digital content assets. It is important these remain independent from the means by which they are published and presented. This independence will prevent you from backing yourself into a corner and your content from becoming siloed and inaccessible in the future.

To find out more about how Brightspot GO can help your organization manage its content publishing needs, watch the webinar here.

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