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How Do You Know When It’s Time to Switch to a New CMS?

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
#CMS, #Episerver, #Ektron, #Discovery
Published on January 9, 2015

Learn how you can determine whether switching CMS platforms will improve your website's ROI.

We’ve worked with all manner of clients in our years of designing and developing websites, and one common question that arises when we speak with them is whether they are getting the most out of the platform that their websites are built on. Companies or organizations often choose a Content Management System (CMS) and stick with it for many years, whether it remains ideal for their purposes or not. How can you tell if you’re getting the most out of your current platform, and when should you decide whether it’s time to switch to something different?

We’ve often talked about the need to regularly upgrade your CMS, but as you know, upgrades can be expensive, and they don’t always have obvious benefits, since they take place behind the scenes. They can also cause issues within your organization, since content freezes that are necessary during the upgrade can affect publishing and disrupt marketing plans. If you’re in need of a CMS upgrade, you might want to consider whether the money and effort spent getting your software up to date is the right investment for you. This can be a good opportunity to revisit your CMS platform and decide whether it is still the right solution for your needs.

Let’s look at a few common scenarios in which it makes sense to evaluate whether you want to continue using your current CMS, or if switching to a different platform will help you better achieve your business goals:

1. You Aren’t Getting the Best ROI

Most CMSs offer a large number of capabilities for websites, including eCommerce, personalization, social media integration, search engine optimization, community features, and permissions. Ideally, you should be using 50-70% of the features that your CMS offers; if you’re using less than that, you aren’t getting the best ROI. If your business requirements don’t dictate the needs of a full enterprise CMS, you might want to consider a different solution.

In addition, enterprise CMS platforms have recurring costs, including hosting, license and maintenance fees, and regular upgrades. If you’re spending thousands of dollars to keep your site functional without any plans to expand your current site functionality, you might want to consider investing in a mid-market platform that will allow you to utilize a larger percentage of its capabilities and receive a better ROI.

2. The Opportunity Cost is Too High

On the other hand, if you’re using more than 70% of the capabilities that your CMS offers, you’re probably stretching the limits of the platform in order to try to meet your business goals. If your platform isn’t able to provide the functionality that you need to meet the needs of your company, what you’re not doing with your site is costing you more than what you are doing. This opportunity cost can be eliminated by investing in a CMS with more enterprise capabilities, which will give you a more optimal ROI.

3. You’re in Need of a Redesign

If you’re already planning to redesign your site, this is a great opportunity to perform Discovery, which can help you learn how people are using your site, whether it is meeting their needs, and how it can be improved to meet your business goals. Discovery lets you redefine your business requirements and KPIs, ensuring that you are positioned for success in the future.

In addition to determining the needs of your site, Discovery can help you ensure that your CMS platform will meet the needs of the redesign and provide room for future growth. If your current platform does not provide the functionality you need to reach your goals, a redesign is the perfect opportunity to move to a better solution.

Do you need help determining whether your current CMS is the best solution for you? Do you have any questions about how to find out about other options that can give you the best ROI? Please contact us to speak to a Solutions Engineer, and we can help you determine the ideal platform for a website that provides the best experience for your users, meets your business needs, and helps you achieve success.