Matt Jones Matt Jones | 16 Jul 2020

When a content management system (CMS) stops being a tool for efficiency and organisation and instead feels cumbersome, then it's time to investigate. A CMS platform that is no longer suited to a business’s workflows can result in difficulty in achieving targets and failing to secure new business. A website run on a platform that isn’t functional for its purpose may run slow or not provide users with useful information. Something has to change.

 If the aesthetic is dated, navigation is awkward, and users can’t get where they want to go, then it’s obviously time for a redesign. But if the design is visually fresh and navigation is flexible enough to evolve with the business, then why change it?

Even when the design is beautiful and functional, however, a website may still not deliver if the functionality of the CMS itself no longer suits business requirements  . It may be time to consider replatforming. This is when the website remains essentially the same in terms of its architecture and content, but it is moved onto different CMS software in order to eliminate problems or to meet new goals.

A CMS can stop being the right fit for a website for many reasons. Occasionally it’s the fact that there hasn’t been enough investment in the platform to keep pace with changes in technology. But often a business just outgrows its legacy CMS. A website that starts out on an entry-level system with basic kit, for example, may find itself adding more and more plugins and other integrations in order to make things work the way they want. This eventually becomes cumbersome both financially and technologically. Upgrades and security may be unreliable if there are many third-party databases to work with.

Additionally, as a business grows, there may be a greater need to rely on marketing automation, especially lead scoring, real-time marketing, and other tools that make use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). These types of tools can certainly be added to almost any CMS. But add-ons like these, particularly top-shelf ones, are added costs. At some point, patching the gaps in the performance capability of an original CMS becomes a case of diminishing returns. An enterprise CMS, such as Kentico Xperience offers much more functionality out of the box. It reduces the need for integrations, though it may require an initial change in workflow, since a company’s databases no longer simply feed into the CMS. They are part of it. And they often have AI capabilities or have the ability to work seamlessly with the AI tools available through cloud hosting partners like Azure.

While replatforming is in some ways less of a project than starting from scratch on a website, it is still a big endeavour. The design may be all sorted, but there’s more to be done on the testing side to ensure the design works properly on the new platform, for instance. And there are bound to be some changes, even if they aren’t visible. There is still a decision-making matrix to work through beyond the obvious question: Which CMS platform should we choose? And picking an agency that you trust and which has well-rounded ability in several platforms is a process in itself.

The fact is as well that if your market competition are evolving onto more advanced platforms, there is an advantage to keeping pace. Not everyone in a sector will be on the most advanced CMS platform at any given moment, but understanding what’s available, which components are essential for your business now, and getting to grips with the ways others in your field are leveraging technology will help you make smart, future-proof decisions.

Interested in learning more about how replatforming could benefit your CMS? Please contact us.