How modern CMSes are changing product management

Product managers are overcoming content challenges with agile content management

Product managers are most effective when they have the tools and autonomy to accomplish meaningful work efficiently. This includes content delivery platforms that empower them to create and deploy content quickly and seamlessly across digital channels. Traditional CMSes were built for websites and are breaking under the strain of omnichannel demands. This creates slowdowns for product managers who want to ship digital products faster, and limits their ability to enhance physical products with digital components such as online tutorials, user communities, personalized offers, etc.

It's no wonder that product managers are turning to headless content management systems to get the speed and agility they need to react quickly to market opportunities and customer data. Traditional web CMSes are becoming an increasingly costly disadvantage. Legacy systems weren't built to work with modern technology and omnichannel content delivery. As these brittle, monolithic systems reach their limits, product teams become bogged down with workarounds in a futile attempt to keep up with user expectations for dynamic digital experiences.

The age of agile CMS is upon us, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Forrester states that, “Application development and delivery (AD&D) pros and vendors should not stretch the category of web CMS any further beyond the current generation of solutions. We need a new container to meet tomorrow's challenges: Agile CMS.”1

Overcome web CMS challenges by adopting a headless CMS

Here are some of the top challenges product managers face with traditional CMS technology — and how adopting a headless CMS can empower product teams to be agile in today’s consumer-driven landscape.

  • Web CMS challenge: designed to serve a single purpose. Modern enterprises build digital products and features to address different audiences across many digital channels. CMSes that are designed to deliver to single channels create silos that slow things down and force editors to cut and paste across systems.
    • Headless CMS solution: one content hub to rule them all. Break down silos by delivering multi-channel content from a single content hub. Product managers and editors can develop reusable content for seamless deployment across channels without the need to duplicate or manually synchronize content.
  • Web CMS challenge: Lack of agility slows down product and content development. Customizing mega-suites and legacy web CMSes to fit growing digital needs makes them too bulky and fragile to support fast changes. This doesn’t work well for teams that employ agile development practices like infrastructure as code and continuous delivery.
    • Headless CMS solution: built-in flexibility encourages innovation. Cloud-based, API-first headless CMSes are built to be flexible. They easily integrate with other tools and are capable of deploying content to any digital channel. Digital teams can quickly spin up and test new ideas, without breaking the system.
  • Web CMS challenge: Simultaneous workflows by developers and editors are impossible. Web CMSes require each team’s activity to occur sequentially rather than concurrently, slowing everyone down. For example, to change a page layout, a product manager would submit a request to a developer, who would make the change and send it back to the product manager. They would go back and forth until the change looked good and then an editor would enter content, send it through an approval process and likely need the developer again to push it live.
    • Headless CMS solution: Reduce interdependency and increase productivity. Headless CMSes separate content management from development so both can move faster. Content teams can create content, make changes and push content live on their own, while developers can spin up new digital products and experiences. Cut out the back and forth to get to market faster.
  • Web CMS challenge: continuous maintenance required. Legacy systems require a large amount of resources to maintain, and upgrades can result in content freezes. On the flip side, unmaintained CMSes create security vulnerabilities.2
    • Headless CMS solution: Cloud-based solution reduces maintenance requirements. A cloud-based headless CMS requires far less maintenance than legacy CMSes. Developers can focus on building new products, features and experiences.
  • Web CMS challenge: limited integration with other tools. Integrating a web CMS with other enterprise tools requires massive amounts of customization and workarounds, as these systems were not designed to communicate with one another.
    • Headless CMS solution: APIs are meant for integration. Headless CMSes fit into a microservices approach by easily integrating with your personalized tech stack. You can manage content from a CMS hub and easily leverage other martech solutions (personalization, analytics, optimization, translation tools, etc) across your digital portfolio.

A headless CMS is not the right solution for every company. But for those with digital teams looking to deliver multi-channel content faster, it’s a must-have.


References:

1 Mark Grannan, Allen Bonde, Ted Schadler, Stephen Powers, Madeline King, and Peter Harrison, Forrester Research Report, “Agile Content Curation And Orchestration Will Redefine CMS”, November 2018

2 Web Hosting Media Blog, “Advantages & Disadvantages of Using a CMS for Building Your Website”, February 2019

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