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When your CMS is choking your innovation

Siw Grinaker on

A good content management system will also support new ideas and approaches and be a catalyst for innovation. Here's how you can make sure of that.

A CMS is supposed to help supercharge your creativity, not stifle it. Ensuring your content gets seen by as many of the right people as possible, a good content management system will also support new ideas and approaches. At its best, a CMS is a catalyst for innovation.

So what happens when it’s doing the opposite? How can you fix a CMS that’s choking innovation and keeping your digital experiences from reaching their full potential?

What can you do to lift the stranglehold of the legacy CMS on your innovation?

Prioritise flexibility

A CMS doesn’t need to offer all the functions in the universe. What’s far more important is that it can connect to third-party solutions via APIs. With flexibility comes the freedom to grow and develop your CMS at the same rate as your ideas, meaning it will never stand in the way of innovation.

Flexibility also means having the opportunity to get on with daily tasks without involving the developers. A flexible CMS will allow you to make a landing page, or change the formatting of a page, without the need for hands-on help from the pros.

Read more: How to optimise your website user experience in 3 steps »

Make it open source

When researching a new CMS, ask yourself whether it should be open source. This means that the source code is open and free to be edited by anyone. In general, open source is good news for developers as it allows for the steady development of new code that improves the functionality of a CMS. The result is more frequent releases, as well as increased safety thanks to higher transparency, making it easy for developers to track code quality.

Choose modular architecture

A good CMS is like Lego: its modular nature should make modifying and customising your projects a breeze. With plugins and themes acting like building blocks, you can add or remove elements according to your exact needs. Have you found that a project didn’t work and is draining resources? Remove the module that’s responsible. Have a great idea for improving your digital experience? Add another building block. A responsible modular architecture should easily accommodate these changes without any risk to the rest of the structure.  

Read more: 8 reasons why your digital projects are slow - and how to solve them »

Pick modern tech

Clunky, outdated systems are perhaps the biggest barrier to digital innovation. While your CMS doesn’t need to be fitted out with every feature imaginable, it does need to have all the capabilities your developers require to do their job, now and in the near future. Like open APIs, flexibility and support to mention a few.

Make innovation a goal for everyone

Whether a stakeholder or a developer, innovation should be on everybody’s priority list. After all, it’s only when an entire team looks towards the future that the magic really happens. So to ensure you have the budget, resources and support you need to accelerate new ideas and approaches, make sure you keep digital innovation at the top of your organisation’s agenda.

Sometimes the most innovative ideas are the wildest, but they still rely on a solid foundation to turn them into a reality. A great CMS is flexible, modular, open source and modern – in other words, it’s a future-proof architecture designed to support innovation from every level of your organisation.

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