Stuck in the Mud?

How have content management systems coped with change?

There is, and has been, a lot of innovation in information technology, as well as in marketing, and it’s not going away soon. Have content management systems kept up? No. Most CMS software still works the same way it did twenty years ago and they are not going to change any time soon. But a change of paradigm is long overdue. A lot of pressure has built up over the years, the “page and template” model just can’t cut it anymore. Websites have changed:

  • from a brand marketing exercise to a mission-critical part of business
  • from document based to application response
  • from static to dynamic
  • from read-only to interactive
  • from simple to complex

Marketing has changed

Consumer expectations have changed how companies communicate with their customers. Big Data allows companies to fit the user experience to the individual. The customer is no longer a woman, age 35, married, living in the Midwest. It’s Jane Doe. Interaction with customers has been customized to their preferences and needs. Inbound communication, and how it is handled, has become just as important, if not more so, than traditional outbound messaging.

Users now expect video and rich media instead of text.

  • customer intimacy has become more important
  • big data is where it’s at
  • campaign management personalizes the user experience
  • sales has been integrated
  • content has become more important
  • inbound is the big frontier
  • video and rich media are replacing text

IT structures have changed

We are all aware that they’re not going to stop morphing any time soon, and we all have a pretty good idea, where it’s all headed.

  • on-demand cloud services are replacing locally installed (and maintained) software
  • using cloud resources is replacing running your own data center
  • pay per use is replacing up-front heavy investment
  • browser front-ends are replacing fat clients
  • virtualization is replacing server farms
  • being a “cloud service manager” is replacing DIY

Will web change slow down in the near future?

Well, that's a no-brainer. Change will probably even speed up. Can you say bigger, faster, deeper, wider?

  • more users
  • more bandwidth
  • more device diversity
  • more connected devices
  • more services
  • more commercial transactions
  • more competition

How do legacy and modern CMSs compare?

Legacy Modern
data center hassle true cloud, i.e. software as a service
reinventing the wheel for every website
reusable widgets
big ball of mud smart flexibility
form-based editing in-place WYSIWYG editing
herding cats (software integration) orchestrating web services
platform dictates development
platform facilitates development

Conclusion

Most systems, whether commercial or open source, have not changed the underlying design at all. CMS vendors are locked into legacy for a lot of reasons: customers, technologies, sales channel, target groups, legacy code. Old vendors can’t transform unless they reinvent themselves. The legacy systems have already been kludged to death.

Why should you put up with all the headaches and cruft of a legacy CMS? The usual answer is, “because, we already have one.” Yeah, that is a problem. If you don’t have one, then you really don’t want one, and you should take a serious look at Scrivito. If you do have one, then you’ll just have to figure out, whether or not the cost/return for a migration hits the sweet spot. Have a look at Scrivito. You might be surprised, just how low the threshold for a migration is.

Scrivito has been designed from scratch to leverage modern web technology. It offers WYSIWYG designing and editing, large asset management support, all the benefits of the cloud, including a maintenance-free interface. Scrivito is the first 100% Ruby on Rails solution that not only meets, but surpasses the feature sets of WordPress or Drupal. And as a cloud service, it is pay as you go.

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