CMS and Digital Ecosystem

Matt Muller, Chief Technology Officer, bb and Matt Jacobs, Technical Director, bb talk about choosing the right CMS and how digital ecosystem can be an important influencer.

What should you consider when choosing the right CMS?

As with any project, it’s most important to get the foundations right at the start, for success in the long term. When it comes to CMS projects, those early decisions are key in delivering a future proof solution for the client.

First and foremost, consider existing stack requirements. For example, is the client a Microsoft shop, have they invested heavily in an existing CMS platform, are they already utilising a solution that needs optimisation, migration, or a complete rewrite? Location, logistics, costs, regional preferences, amongst other challenges, all come into play here and will colour the deliverable.

It’s also important to understand the size, scope, and scale of a CMS project. Is this a mid-tier requirement? An enterprise solution? Is it to be build, build and support, or an update of an existing platform.

Next, consider the development requirements of any solution. Where are the development team to be located, are they in the agency location or co-located at the client. On-site, off-site, on-shore, near-shore, or off-shore? If your logistics of delivery aren’t right at the start, you’ll forever be playing catch up as the project progresses.

Spare some time to consider the level of digital maturity in the client’s organisation, and the technical capabilities they have in-house. Is a high degree of stakeholder management required across the solution design and support? Or is the relationship to be collaborative, with client and agency technicians working together to deliver?

This leads us to the availability of the development skills needed to deliver, and how quickly can a team be ramped up to commence work.

Digital Ecosystem

It is also important to consider the digital ecosystem as a whole. This brings into question other areas that are key to client needs, and will also shape the choice of platform.

Are business intelligence tools such as Tableau or Power BI required? How about the utilisation of next-generation software such as AI for analytics, machine learning, or data science? Should the cloud be used in some form for hosting, micro services, or a server-less architecture? All valid questions that should be asked while proposing a solution for a future proof, scalable platform.

Another important consideration is your minimum production team here, ranging across disciplines such as strategy, development, analytics, QA, dev-ops and support.

A snapshot of CMS projects at bb

At bb we pride ourselves on being technology agnostic, as such we’ve delivered CMS projects across multiple platforms, in many different locations around the world.

We have partnerships with leading CMS vendors specifically Adobe, Episerver, Sitecore and Kentico. We also work with Open-Source CMS platforms like Umbraco, Drupal and Wordpress.

Using these CMS platforms, we created solutions for brands like Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Mendeley, The Energy Loop, Energy Innovation Centre and others where we delivered at enterprise-scale highly optimised and dynamic, marketing-led web and mobile solutions.

Each of these projects required different skillsets, support models and team structures.

As part of our evaluation process, we assess solutions based on requirements. Starting with a long list of CMS options, we soon reduce this to a viable shortlist of systems based on an analysis of their ability to deliver to the needs expressed by the client; normally 3 systems are chosen. Each platform is scored using a pre-defined criteria, including suitability to the task, as well as feature set, support and cost.

Our approach is collaborative, open to discussion and transparent in its outcomes. Once we have a clear winner, the reasoning behind the decision is plain to see and available for reference.

Brilliant Basics is a specialised global design and product company excelling in creating consumer centric digital products and superior customer experiences. These may come in the form of experiences, devices, services, installations, VR, AR, mobile apps, etc. bb also help brands with actionable concepts, user experience insights, design thinking and digital strategy. bb is headquartered in London with presence in Norwich, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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