According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 16% of marketers indicate they have the right technology for the content management system (CMS) and are using it to its full potential. Others either do not fully benefit from their existing CMS (42%) or do not have the right technology to manage content (42%).
Indeed, at some point, your CMS gets outdated, making customization and maintenance harder. As a result, you spend more time and money on simply keeping it up and running — time that could be spent trying to outdo competitors by delivering more relevant, engaging and cutting-edge content.
The question is: how do you know for sure when to update your legacy CMS or switch to a new system before it’s too late? Read on to learn about the most common signs that tell you it is time to take action.
1. Keeping it up-to-date becomes too expensive or simply impossible
The most obvious sign that your system is becoming old is the growing amount of manual work needed to produce, manage and distribute content. The 2019 Content Management & Strategy Survey shows that 78% of respondents reported scalability issues with their CMS because it lacked automation, while only 13% of participants said they have a fully automated system for managing content.
There is a wide range of solutions that enable reducing manual work. Examples include automated sharing across multiple social media platforms, advanced search engine optimization, reader engagement analytics, plagiarism checking, AI-bots that create and optimize text for emails and landing pages, content translation tools and more.
Such automation can be implemented in your CMS in two ways. One is by integrating separate tools with standalone functionality, such as Grammarly for proofreading. The other is by adopting an entire content automation platform, such as Marketo or HubSpot, which provides a full suite of such tools.
Either way, these new plugins or modules may be incompatible with your existing CMS, and therefore require an inordinate amount of development and maintenance effort if you still want to introduce them.
In other words, the older your CMS is, the more patches it will require to keep up with any current trends in tech. The more you patch, the more technical debt and code inconsistencies you eventually acquire.
As a result, your IT department spends most of its time simply trying to keep this juggernaut alive. The longer this lasts, the more funds and effort you invest in this process. For example, the U.S. government allocated approximately $90 billion for IT services in 2019, with most of this money going toward maintaining legacy systems.
2. It harms your team’s morale and productivity
A legacy CMS may prevent your developers from applying cutting-edge programming languages and development tools. In the end, your IT staff is confined by the parameters of the platform itself, which means that adding another SEO tool or a user content personalization feature might not be feasible.
According to This Developer’s Life podcast, many IT specialists see themselves as an extension of their code. If the code does not work well, the developers might wonder whether they are good enough as professionals. This potentially hurts their self-esteem and jeopardizes productivity.
Similarly, your content team has to deal with outdated templates and repetitive postings of the same material or wait longer on content uploads and bug fixes to continue their work. Such things lead to antagonistic relationships between the content manager and the CMS, decreasing efficiency and morale.
3. It causes errors and poor experiences for both administrators and visitors
As more and more people produce more and more content out of multiple distributed locations, managing production and user roles become a challenge for your organization. And with manual input and updates, your content becomes even more prone to errors, which is critical when there exist strict legal or regulatory requirements.
Content redundancy may also become an issue if your team has to create multiple entries of the same posting that are all stored in your CMS. This makes your content harder to track in order to edit or update. As a result, your aging system may be contributing to an increasing number of errors that can harm your business.
Eventually, high maintenance costs compromised productivity, and growing discrepancies all significantly reduce your content’s value. Spending an extra half an hour on every video upload or waiting for days to get a bug fixed will only drive up expenditures.
Furthermore, legacy systems can cost you return visitors, leads, or customers, which might be even more expensive to fix. Research says it only takes 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression. And if your content looks unappealing to visitors because of old templates or by being displayed the wrong way, you’re in trouble.
4. It prevents you from introducing new technologies and reaching out to new audiences
Many legacy systems were designed before smartphones and the IoT became mainstream. They are poorly compatible with today’s technology, such as AR, VR, and the endless variety of devices connected to the internet, like smartwatches, kitchen countertops, and screen-touting kiosks at shopping malls.
This takes UX issues to another level: legacy systems are simply not capable of representing content across all the possible devices and platforms efficiently. In addition to increased maintenance and content creation costs, you are losing those users and customers who interact beyond browsers — they’re headed straight toward your competitors.
Aging CMSs can also undermine your SEO efforts. If your CMS’s code has gone through multiple modifications over the years (such as an introduction of a custom module, for example), chances are that some of the aspects that are key to SEO growth (say, page speed) are significantly affected. Visitors won’t appreciate this either, and this aspect might be especially true for the mobile version of your website.
As a result, sticking with a legacy CMS both costs you more and prevents you from realizing your earning potential.
But wait, there’s a solution — legacy system modernization
To avoid excessive spending while successfully boosting your content and team productivity — and attracting more users in the process — you should consider legacy system modernization. According to the Avanade report, businesses can increase their revenue by at least 14% by modernizing their CMSs.
It can be done in several ways. In some cases, UX/UI audit and code review might be enough to significantly optimize your content management. Addressing the technical debt and code inconsistencies will help you get rid of the most common bugs while simultaneously boosting the productivity of your content team.
Sometimes what you need is to extend your system’s functionality. Each CMS can be augmented with a variety of modules and plugins, such as SEO tools, marketing analytics, or user personalization features.
Bear in mind, though, that legacy system modernization is a continual process, which means that UX/UI audit, code review, and feature extension must be ongoing to keep your CMS up to date. And — at some point — these maintenance works will no longer suffice. When this occurs, you can either upgrade your CMS to the latest version or migrate to a new system that is geared more toward your content production and business needs. Take a look at this article to learn more about application modernization.
Originally published at https://intexsoft.com.