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Are content management systems still relevant?

The short answer is yes, but less and less so; for the most part CMSs are still focusing on web content. In other words, the best and more polished features are still closely linked to the web. This is expected because CMSs have managed websites and web content since the early ’90s, so that’s over 20 years of experience in managing web content.

Incremental Evolution 

CMSs have made progress over the last 20 years – usability, analytics, scalability, customer experience, and so on, but you can hardly call any of those improvements game changers. For the most part, this is because the market hasn’t demanded anything revolutionary; most organizations were happy with existing CMS offerings, and some level of customization. 

Big Data

With the emergence of Big Data, AI (Artificial intelligence), and IoT (Internet of things) everything is about to change. Customers are now demanding more than a few incremental improvements, they’re demanding data management across all channels and devices, and with Predictive Analytics to match. Fortune 500 companies are already building incredibility complex systems to manage and analyze this data explosion. They are using AI, machine learning, and data warehouses, to name a few. These technologies (not CMSs) are now driving business growth, while CMSs are slowly fading into the background.

There is a reason why market leaders like Amazon, Apple and Facebook don’t use vendor-supplied CMSs. You can argue that some organizations want to keep their data (e.g. data warehouses) separate from their CMSs, and that is true in some cases, but at Evolving Digital we are seeing more and more organizations bypassing CMSs. In other words, they only use CMSs to handle content publishing. This is not a good trend for CMSs, because they are becoming less relevant in the technology ecosystem, and in general less valuable to their customers. 

How can CMSs reverse this trend?

With so many organizations using content management systems, CMS vendors have an incredible power to bring new technologies to the masses; instead of focusing on incremental improvements, they need to reinvent themselves as technology leaders. For example, CMSs with Predictive Analytics (using machine learning) would be very valuable. CMSs with yet another personalization tool/widget, probably not.

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