Keeping Pace with Content Dynamics

Planning a Future-Proof CMS

May 26, 2016  | by Wolf Ruzicka, Oleg Chunikhin

Content consumption is changing rapidly. With multiple channels and media formats, reaching target audiences is getting harder than ever.
While high value content is a great starting point, media organizations increasingly need to satisfy consumer demand for the delivery of content in the right format, on their preferred device, at the right time. Yet the proliferation of instantaneous, always-on consumption environments, such as social media, can quickly render even your best content outdated and irrelevant.
In order to keep pace, media companies need to provide continuous almost real-time content output and intelligent delivery, while their content management systems (CMS) must provide them with the flexibility to compete.

“Snackable Content” Requires Intelligent Content Delivery
For instance, if a user prefers to consume content on Facebook and new events unfold, that content needs to be logically aware that it can find that user on Facebook and serve up fresh content as needed.
Facebook is just one example, but new channels and devices that fuel our demand for “snackable content” are emerging faster than media organizations can keep up. More devices, more options, shorter attention spans, and variegated content formats (video, text, images, data, mashups, or multiple integrated formats such as articles with embedded videos. etc.), is driving a revolution in how we all consume content.

In this fluid information age, the opportunity cost of failing to reach readers with the right content in the right context doesn’t just equate to consumer dissatisfaction, it presents the media industry with a relevance crisis. The nimblest providers win, the rest fall by the wayside.

The Shift from Pull Content to Push Content Mode

We can all agree that established CMS technology wasn’t created with today’s needs in mind. And, while the newer systems address current demands, does your CMS deliver the agility to help you keep pace with tomorrow’s needs?

In today’s information delivery age, readers still have to proactively seek out content in order to consume it and pull it from the creation source. This model will reverse itself aggressively in the coming months and years.

Push notification content technology – whereby content pushes itself to subscribed readers at the right moment based on known attributes – is still in its clumsy infancy. Yet a new era of content delivery is already kicking at its heels. It’s one in which the content itself will find new readers, even if they aren’t formally registered, subscribed, or known by the content creator. Thanks to data crumbs generated by potential readers, content providers can now follow audiences throughout their digital journeys and alert “the content” (when the context is right) to serve the consumer – ensuring the highest immediacy and relevance.

Adding to this emerging landscape is the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT). Vehicles, cameras, and beacons will require content delivery systems to authenticate themselves to ensure throughput. Has your organization accounted for the scale and ubiquity that IoT demands from your CMS?

The future is coming. But how do you modify your course and plan for it?

Open, Agile, Future-Ready

Today’s CMS are largely out of-the-box on-premise solutions or delivered as Software-as-a- Service (SaaS) – both with a relatively fixed function set. To support and extend their capabilities, organizations are forced to turn to external development firms. It’s a high risk approach that has a number of downsides:

  • Vendor lock-in
  • Reduced flexibility and agility in adapting the solution to changes in the business landscape
  • Reduced control over costs

What are your options?

“Lifting and shifting” from one CMS vendor to another is not the answer. Instead, media organizations should consider open architecture and agile development methodologies. It’s a tested approach that supports a scalable, robust CMS that seamlessly integrates additional functionality, customized to your unique business needs.

The value of this approach hinges on an integrated portfolio of unique, lightweight feature-based modules necessary to fulfill today’s content delivery challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.

As new devices come to market and user behaviors change, new content generation methods will inevitably emerge. But with an open, agile system, outdated modules are simply retired and newer ones light up their features. “Lift and shift” becomes a thing of the past.

Value Extensibility and Reduced Costs Come as Standard

This modular architecture is key to ensuring easy adaptation in a rapidly evolving environment. It extends lifetime value and reduces costs. By integrating data repositories and your CMS into a single seamless user experience you can create a rich user experience while optimizing your infrastructure overhead.

Instead of developing separate pages for the multiple channels you serve, imagine a feature-rich CMS that enables future-ready multi-channel capabilities allowing you to serve all scenarios, including full-experience scenarios without additional burdens on your development team.

This future-proof CMS provides you with:

  • Deep analytics about user interaction with your content (who, when, and how), so that you can deliver more personalized content
  • High performance
  • Ubiquity across all devices, at all times
  • Efficiency and burst capabilities to keep up with peak demand
  • Compatibility with legacy and new workflows
  • Strong revenue models

Shift your Approach, Not Your CMS.

Here’s How Ready to throw out the old and embrace the new?

Not so fast. It’s important that you resist the urge to purge everything you currently use and head out to buy a new off-the-shelf CMS and risk millions of dollars in license fees. Instead we recommend a staggered approach to ensure minimal exposure and long-term sustainability.

Based on our extensive experience modernizing complex and large CMS implementations, we focus first and foremost on tackling emerging challenges – diverse content, devices, and so on – rather than ripping out what’s already there.

It’s an agile approach that centers on the following:

  • Identifying the features and functionality that produces the maximum value (MVP) in the shortest period of time that still delivers a product that is production ready.
  • In parallel, we identify the gaps between the existing system(s) and desired state.
  • Once the MVP is created, the remaining features are re-prioritized. User data is also used to inform and identify the next set of add-ons that will increase product value.
  • The process is repeated in an agile fashion to ensure that new findings, user feedback, and other factors roll into the consideration of new features and functionality – packaged into modules – are built and released.

With agility and future-readiness in mind, this new approach makes room for pivots along the way. It’s also one that allows for continual feedback and adaptation based on emerging trends, user data, and provides a true plan to encompass newer devices. The outcome? A flexible CMS that fits your needs, your audience’s needs, and a future that we can only yet imagine, not one restricted by the vision of a software vendor in the business of shifting boxes.

To learn how EastBanc Technologies’ CMS experts can help your organization thrive, contact:

Jill DaSilva | Director of Sales Operations | jdasilva@eastbanctech.com

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