Even in the Midst of a Pandemic, Now is the Time to Upgrade Your CMS. Here’s Why.

For all the upheaval 2020 has brought, it has also surfaced significant opportunity – and need – to forge ahead with the content platform upgrades that have long been on your roadmap or kicking off that often-talked about digital transformation.

By Jeana Garms  |   10/07/2020

Michail_Petrov-96 | Getty Images/iStockphoto

Why Act Now?

1. Your competitors aren’t slowing down.

Before the pandemic it was easy to delay tech investments like upgrading your content management platform, usually with the context ‘our process is working well enough for now, let’s push this spend to next year.’ Given the unexpected course of this year and varying levels of uncertainty experienced by businesses in all sectors, it may seem even more prudent to continue this trend.

Research, however, has found businesses to be doing the opposite. With some degree of remote working and a greater consumer reliance on the internet here to stay, Forrester cites companies have pivoted from delaying tech investments, particularly digital transformation projects, to accelerating them. Separately, more than half of respondents in a recent IFS study said they planned to increase spending on digital transformation initiatives despite economic concerns disrupting the business.

Those companies who recognize the long-standing impact of the operational and consumer changes surfaced by the pandemic, and make the necessary tech investments to keep pace with these changes, will be poised to weather the current economic challenges and accelerate growth on the other side.

The companies who continue to push off these investments, on the other hand, will struggle not only with operating and engaging a distributed workforce but with addressing changing consumer needs. The result: an inability to compete in an increasingly digital landscape.

2. Your workforce needs have changed.

It’s not uncommon for organizations to operate a legacy content management system, sometimes even multiple content systems, with point solutions layered in over the years, managed by manual processes and workarounds. While this approach has always been inefficient, the associated challenges have become even more pronounced with the transition to full or near full remote working environments.

Consolidating solutions into a single unified platform creates an impact across your organization. For your IT and dev teams, no longer tasked with the upkeep that comes with maintaining multiple solutions or legacy systems, these resources are now freed to refocus on other business objectives. For Arc XP customer The Globe and Mail, this meant the ability to develop new products such as Sophi, their AI system that powers automated content curation and predictive analytics.

For those charged with creating internal communications and external marketing messages, navigating multiple content development tools, not to mention the often-present manual workflows and approval processes, takes considerable time and effort that is exacerbated by the demand for digital content being at an all-time high.

Frequently, we encounter customers eliminating upwards of 10+ individual content tools when migrating to Arc XP. Such consolidation not only drives efficiency in the content development process with multi-channel creation and automated workflows, but reduces costs as well since customers no longer pay for several individual tools.

Arc XP customer BP highlights the impact consolidating your content tools can have. After migrating their four individual content management systems and other individual tools into Arc XP’s headless CMS, BP experienced a 75 percent reduction in the time their teams spent creating and delivering content to 70,000 employees across 29 countries.

3. You risk inconsistent communications.

We’re in a moment when consistent messaging is vital – both internally and externally, and across channels. With teams dispersed and individual team members working in semi-silos often across a multitude of tools, chances are high that different and perhaps even contradictory messages are conveyed.

Internally, when employees don’t receive clear communication about initiatives, policies or performance, morale and output can suffer. When inconsistent messages are sent externally, customers become confused, negatively impacting brand reputation. Consolidating disparate content tools into one platform creates a centralized view of content, providing clarity for marketing and communications team members and reducing the risk of inconsistent messaging.

In the case of BP, migrating to Arc XP enabled their goal of building a ‘write once, publish anywhere’ communication culture. With significant increases to the effectiveness of their internal communications, BP embraced an “inside-out” communications strategy where internal communications are shared with the outside world in an effort to build transparency as the pandemic continues to hit the oil industry hard.

The impact of this strategy and the consistency in their communications recently earned BP the number one spot on Bown Craggs & Co.'s Index of Online Excellence, an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of corporate websites.

Getting Started Is Easier Than You Think.

As spending on digital transformation initiatives climbs, 64 percent of decision-makers in IFS’s study cited the ability to quickly deliver a measurable return on investment as their number one concern. When it comes to consolidating and migrating content management tools and systems, quick return on investment is a phrase not often associated with what are frequently large, all-in, consultative-led projects.

Arc XP, however, has turned the tide on this model by building its SaaS-based digital experience platform with a modular architecture. Say you’re operating individual point solutions – one for video assets, one for photo assets, a third solution for ecommerce, another for content development and last but not least, one for workflows (think the review and approval process).

Those who want to take a measured approach can do so by migrating one or just a few components and measuring the resulting impact before moving to the next. Such was the case with Graham Media Group who, challenged by the limitations of their previous video platform, started their transition by migrating to Arc XP’s Video Center. Shortly after the video migration, and spurred by near instantaneous workflow and delivery improvements, Graham proceeded to migrate the rest of their content ecosystem to Arc XP. Spanning eight individual sites, the process which can often take upwards of a year to execute, was completed in just ten and a half weeks.

For those organizations ready to take the full plunge, Arc XP’s robust professional services team is well-versed in large-scale multi-tool/multi-platform migrations, even while teams are dispersed across cities, states and sometimes the world.

While the pandemic has brought unfathomable change, it has also surfaced an opportunity to enact organizational change that otherwise may not have been possible. Although change is never easy, it is certainly necessary, especially when related to meeting the needs of your employees and customers. And this change can be manageable, even in these unusual times, when you have the right partner.

Ready to drive efficiency in your content creation process and meet your customer’s changing needs? Contact us today to learn about upgrading your CMS to Arc XP.