Top three evaluation criteria for your CMS

A content management system (CMS) is crucial for bringing agility and innovation to digital marketing organizations to help them speed to market. But with so many options to consider, choosing the right one can be challenging. This first article in this two-part series examines the top three criteria to consider when choosing a CMS: strategic fit, functional fit and technology fit. Once you understand how and where these criteria factor into your specific business environment and situation, the rest of your decision will fall into place.

Strategic fit

When you consider strategic fit, your goal is to filter CMS solutions quickly based on broad-brush criteria related to your organization. For example, do you have a Java or a .NET stack in your portfolio? The components in your technology stack may lead you to rule out some solutions and focus on others. Whether your CMS will be cloud-hosted (PaaS and SaaS) or deployed in your own data center also narrows your consideration set.

Publishing methods are another factor. Do you want the CMS to publish and cache its own pages, or do you prefer to use an ecosystem application to facilitate publishing? Many CMS products have great authoring interfaces but lack a lightweight back end for publishing. This may not be a bad thing, though—commerce sites are typically light on content, for example. Even so, make sure you know how this factor fits into your strategy before making your choice.

Functional fit

The essence of a CMS is its functionality, so it’s critical to figure out which functional features will best meet your day-to-day digital content management needs. Your CMS should make it easy to create and edit page content with a WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) editor. Look for simple tools for adding, editing and deleting images and videos, as well as automating image and video generation from digital asset uploads.

To deliver tailored, personalized experiences in campaigns, you need a CMS that let you build basic target segments based on demographics, devices and session attributes. Your CMS should also be able to track campaign and segment performance using web analytics tools, and it should let you set up a site and content hierarchy easily at the region and country level for reusing content. To promote platform consistency throughout your organization, the CMS should support sharing common templates and components across brands and geographies.

Technology fit

A major concern is how well the CMS can be integrated into your current technology ecosystem. It’s also important to know if the CMS application has other capabilities, such as integrating web services with RESTful APIs and building dynamic, personalized web pages using single-page application frameworks such as AngularJS.

If your organization keeps growing and changing, capacity flexibility may be a decisive factor. Any CMS you consider should be able to scale to meet peak demands during the year, as well as expand over a three-to-five-year time frame. On the usability front, it must be painless to install and configure instances in development, stage and production environments using out-of-the-box templates and component and services libraries.

Keeping these three evaluation criteria in mind, the second article in this series will take the next step and explore the value of CMS vendor profiles, Mindtree’s proven approach to CMS, and a real-world CMS success story.

Interested in a Mindtree CMS vendor assessment for your company? Contact us today.

Ready to learn more? Download “Want to get your digital marketing organization into top shape?” to see how Mindtree can help you make the most out of the CMS evaluation process.