A high-quality content management system (CMS) compatible with your organization’s needs can take your content to a new level of impact. A CMS is more than just a unified repository of content; it’s a system that empowers your internal stakeholders to tackle issues, adhere to organizational guidelines, and achieve content goals at scale. If you feel your CMS solution can’t fulfill these requirements, it might be time to change your CMS. 

When your organization has selected the right CMS, nearly every department should feel the benefits. Content creators can expedite omnichannel publishing processes, IT staff can easily maintain security, developers can build and integrate as needed, and customer experience staff can easily manage external communication materials. Even stakeholders that aren’t reliant on a CMS, like legal and HR teams, benefit from the transparency and ease of access enabled by a high-quality CMS. 

To paraphrase Stan Lee: with great benefits come great options. The range of needs demanded from CMS solutions and services provided by CMS vendors means there are more options than ever. With so many options available, there’s no need to continue with your current provider if they aren’t fulfilling your needs. 

Related: A Modern Guide to Selecting a CMS

The Content Science team recently surveyed a diverse range of content professionals and conducted extensive research into how organizations are using content management systems today. Based on that research and our experience, we offer five signs that it’s time to consider a different CMS approach.

1. Do you have multiple CMSs?

In our recent survey, we found that 91% of participants use more than one CMS solution. 

“When you almost need two hands to count the number of content management systems at your organization, chances are you have a problem,” noted Colleen Jones, president of Content Science, during our Top Tips for Selecting Content Technology webinar.

Nearly half of the survey respondents indicated that having multiple CMSs was not a strategy, it was an outcome of silos within their organization creating and managing content in their own ways.

Silos prevent true transparency and team collaboration. Silos hinder your teams’ efforts towards creating truly effective content.  In the modern age of CMS solutions, there is no need to tolerate silos created or exacerbated by multiple CMSs. 

Disjointed CMSs cause substantial bottlenecks in every step of your organization’s content operations. Without transparency, stakeholders may not know what version of content materials to access. Without clear, permission-based access, stakeholders must wait for approval to access materials. Without clear content management, your organization risks projecting a fragmented brand voice. 

Now, let’s turn to a second sign that a change to your CMS situation might make sense.

2. Is publishing content difficult or slow?

If you find publishing your content isn’t a streamlined process, you aren’t alone. More than 25% of Content Science’s survey respondents reported that ease of authoring/publishing is a top priority when evaluating a CMS solution. 

Publishing content efficiently becomes more difficult as the number of devices used to access content increases. Users shouldn’t have to find shortcuts or “tricks” to publish with their CMS. The purpose of a CMS is to do the heavy, repetitive lifting required to publish content. 

When you remove the complexity of an ineffective CMS and streamline publishing efforts, your organization will notice the difference. As Nikhil Desphande, Chief Digital Officer for Georgia, explains, “Make it easy for people to do the right thing, and they automatically will start doing the right thing.” 

A core purpose of a CMS solution is to streamline publishing, not hinder it. If you’re finding your publishing efforts hindered by the complexity or inefficiency of your current CMS solution, then it is absolutely time to consider making a switch. 

Next, evaluate how secure your content is from DDoS attacks and unauthorized access. 

Related: 20 Signs of a Content Problem in a High-Stakes Initiative

3. Is your CMS a security risk?

When asked about the importance of content security for their organization, a survey respondent said, “It’s one of those things that, when I think about security, is kinda foundational to conversations.” Expecting a CMS to secure your content is a reasonable expectation that you should not compromise. 

Some people feel open-source CMS solutions are less secure than closed-source options, but this isn’t necessarily true. The potential for insecurity in open-source options comes from third-party plug-ins that your vendor doesn’t validate. Relying on unvalidated plug-ins to tailor your user experience is risky and leaves your content vulnerable to breaches. 

Your content must be secure to make customers comfortable using your services or products. This becomes increasingly important if you are a medical or financial provider with sensitive user information. Lack of security for these businesses leaves you open to lawsuits, customer loss, and erosion of brand perception. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide to End-to-End Content

Security is vital to content management and one of the most important areas to evaluate. It’s so important that customers do not consider it a negotiable feature but rather a foundational offering like a car with working seatbelts. 

But it’s not enough to lock up your content and throw away the key. You’ll also need plenty of publishing options around repurposing content. 

4. Are you unable to repurpose or reuse your content effectively?

Modern audiences use multiple devices to access content. Whether you’re Netflix, The Home Depot, or the US Department of Health and Human Services your offered content has to be accessible on any device, at any time, by any user. 

Rather than create new content for each device/channel/platform, it’s better to take your content and optimize it to your publishing needs. A CMS, particularly a headless solution, helps with this process and frees up the time of your developers and content creators. 

David Henderson, Director of Content Operations and Localization for Hilton, says, “In order to truly repurpose content, regardless of channel, it is necessary to decouple content storage from content presentation. Getting the right CMS and implementation approach is key to making omnichannel a reality.”

A headless CMS solution is purpose-built for this exact process. By separating the content repository from where it’s presented with an additional API layer, a headless CMS can easily repurpose content for different platforms. 

A hybrid CMS solution offers many of the same features as a headless option with the ease of use found in traditional systems. Hybrid CMS solutions vary in ability and functionality, so research your options carefully. 

Traditionally, developers or content creators have done the content repurposing process manually. However, this long, repetitive process steals their time from other vital assignments. With the wealth of CMS options available and the increasing number of headless and hybrid options, there’s no need for your staff to handle this task alone. 

Once the previous criteria has been fulfilled, it’s time to look outward at your CMS’s compatibility with new technologies. 

5. Is your CMS not compatible with new technology?

The content industry’s technology landscape is a constantly evolving place. Being prepared for disruption can grant your organization new opportunities. A CMS incompatible with new technology can put you at a significant competitive disadvantage.

A good CMS should never hold you back from adopting new technologies. Like security, compatibility with technological evolution is foundational for any CMS solution. If your current CMS solution is incompatible with technology that could soon become the industry’s standards, it’s time to change.  

Compatibility with artificial intelligence is particularly important. AI-powered tools are becoming increasingly commonplace and are poised to automate many repetitive, drudging tasks hampering your content team’s efforts. 

AI is a rapidly expanding field of technology with growth and diversification that’s hard to predict. Nobody knows what applications AI will have a year from now, but we know that we have to be ready for them. To stay competitive, your organization must be able to adopt new AI tools built to help your team and free up their time. 

Related: Artificial Intelligence and Content


If you answered yes to any of the five questions above, you likely need to consider a change to your CMS. The good news is that change is more possible and accessible than ever. The CMS industry is highly-competitive, full of options purpose-built for your organization’s needs. In the age of CMS options, there’s no need to stick with a provider that can’t fulfill all of your teams’ needs. 

While the plethora of options can seem daunting, it only means you can take your pick of the litter. Defining your content vision and goals, researching your options, and forming a consensus with your internal stakeholders will give your organization the tools it needs to chart the best course towards an effective, comprehensive CMS solution. 

The Author

Content Science partners with the world’s leading organizations to close the content gap in digital business. We bring together the complete capabilities you need to transform or scale your content approach. Through proprietary data, smart strategy, expert consulting, creative production, and one-of-a-kind products like ContentWRX and Content Science Academy, we turn insight into impact. Don’t simply compete on content. Win.

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