Shopping for a new CMS — trying to balance features and functionality with costs — can feel a bit overwhelming. While it might be tempting to merely compare license prices and be done with it, you really should consider a number of other factors, especially if you want to reduce your total cost of ownership (TCO) over the long run.
Here are a few ways to lower your TCO with your next CMS:
Embrace a Composable Approach
If your current setup is an all-encompassing integrated solution, it may be to your advantage to employ a progressive replatforming strategy rather replace the entire system at once. This lets you upgrade problematic components quickly while plotting your next moves carefully and distributing development and customization expenses over time. It also keeps you from spending money on things you don’t need or that you already have.
Automate Where Possible
Look for possibilities to automate operations wherever it seems feasible. The idea here isn’t necessarily to cut total expenses on labor, but rather to cut these expenses in this one area, giving team members more time to focus on initiatives that make your company more competitive, such as user experience or customer service.
Don’t Be Held Hostage by Your History
Just because you’re familiar with a particular platform doesn’t mean it’s the right choice. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth your time — and money — to take a step outside your comfort zone and check out other options that might be a better fit for today’s needs and a more solid platform for tomorrow. If needed, an objective third party, like TA Digital’s team of experts, can help you determine the best, and most economical, way forward.
And don’t be afraid to dump your digital baggage. You don’t need to include the functionality for that “digital post card” campaign that was a great success in 2006 in your 2022 replatforming. Think hard about the content and functionality you bring forward.
Do you have too much data? Is your data unstructured and siloed? Do you know how data fragmentation can affect your business? Do you know how to use the right data to give your customers a delightful customer experience? Read our eBook and find out the importance of CDPs and the benefits of CDPs.
Be Realistic About Needs & Capabilities
Another area where you should lose the rose-colored glasses is with your team’s abilities. Be realistic in your expectations around what they can — and can’t — do when it comes to implementation and customization. It can cost you in several ways if in an effort to save money you end up biting off more than they can chew.
All web teams aren’t scaled to take full advantage of the capabilities modern platforms offer. There’s no sense in investing in an complex, expensive analytics reporting platform implementation if you don’t have an analyst who actually uses it to gain actionable insights.
Follow Best Practices
Don’t try to swim upstream and fight your chosen technology. Set it up the way it’s supposed to be set up, and don’t try to make it something it’s not. (This is where doing your homework and making the right choice upfront comes into play.) You can end up throwing a lot of good money after bad if you don’t follow best practices during implementation.
While we’re on the subject of not wasting money down the road, it’s also best to use standard tools rather than vendor-specific ones, no matter how hard they try to sell them. You want to avoid being locked in to a certain vendor to make sure you have flexibility and cost-saving options in the future.
Make It Easy to Use
Low-code/no-code solutions enable Marketing teams to create and distribute content themselves, speeding up campaign timelines and providing more engaging experiences. This also saves money and resources by freeing up developers to focus on other maintenance tasks and initiatives.
Validate Integration Capabilities
Make sure the CMS you choose will play nicely with these key tools, among others:
- Customer data platform (CDP)
- MarTech stack components
- Digital asset management (DAM)
- Social media management
Additional Things to Consider
Once you’ve checked all those boxes, here are a few more things to keep in mind as you evaluate your options:
- The number of sites you’re planning to migrate to the new CMS
- The amount of training / onboarding required to get your team up to speed
- Scalable pricing models that allow you to pay only for the features you need
- Being able to use your chosen technology for more than one generation of your site
As mentioned earlier, an objective third party can be a crucial ally in helping you make decisions that will save you money down the road. If you find yourself needing clarity around your options and some guidance in finding the right fit, schedule a call with our platform-agnostic team to talk about your business goals and how you can achieve them while lowering your TCO over the long haul.
About TA Digital
TA Digital is the only global boutique agency that delivers the “best of both worlds” to clients seeking to achieve organizational success through digital transformation. Unlike smaller, regional agencies that lack the ability to scale or large organizations that succumb to a quantity-over-quality approach, we offer resource diversity while also providing meticulous attention to the details that enable strategic success.
Over the past 20 years, TA Digital has positioned clients to achieve digital maturity by focusing on data, customer-centricity, and exponential return on investment; by melding exceptional user experience and data-driven methodologies with artificial intelligence and machine learning, we enable digital transformations that intelligently build upon the strategies we set into motion. We are known as a global leader that assists marketing and technology executives in understanding the digital ecosystem while identifying cultural and operational gaps within their business – ultimately ushering organizations toward a more mature model and profitable digital landscape.
Recognized in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, TA Digital is pleased also to share high-level strategic partnerships with world class digital experience platform companies like Adobe, SAP, Acquia, commercetools, Sitecore, and Elastic Path.