As the role of the corporate web site evolves, so too should its content management system (CMS).
Once simply a tool created to allow for non-technical staff to make content edits to a web site, the CMS now sits at the intersection of communications, customer service, reputation management and brand building. In order to play this expanded role, the CMS needs a complete re-think of the way it is used, where in the enterprise technology stack it sits and how workflows should be improved support the company.
Here are five things integral to the CMS of the future:
- Move away from the tree-structured organization that forces users to traverse down and back through your navigation. Let users drag and drop the stuff they care about into a hub-and-spoke system of their own design.
- Include application programming interfaces (APIs) for easy customization of the application. These APIs will enable the incorporation of customer relationship management (CRM) functions with web publishing functions so web content can reflect the needs of specific users, not just specific types of user.
- Link content publication to social embassies so interested stakeholders see a Tweet or a Google+ notice when something new is published.
- Allow customer service to monitor web site comments through selected keywords that trigger an alert.
- Offer an interface that gives users the chance to build their own library of content from your site. Extend this feature by allowing users to export that content into standard document types like PDF.
Advances in digital communications and mobile computing, along with the new behavior patterns of all consumers of information that have resulted, means the once lowly CMS needs to step up and become the central resource for maintaining contact and relationships with all types of stakeholders. While this list comes with the usual caveats relating to oversimplification in the interest of brevity, the direction of change is clear: Broader sharing and easier handling of data across the enterprise; more customization options and better adaptability to the needs of the end user are all places where this evolution can begin.
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