A Content Management System is used widely across an organization. As such, the selection of a CMS must be a collaborative effort to find a solution to serve all the groups who will use it.
Your IT Team will determine whether the CMS needs to run a particular technology: .NET, Java, PHP, etc. Alternatively, the IT team may determine that the CMS should run in the cloud. In either case, this fundamental question should be answered early on, so that the selection committee only looks at viable vendors.
It’s important that a CMS be usable by business users with no technical or programming knowledge. If the CMS can’t make business users independently productive, then they’ll turn to the IT team to assist with content updates. Identify key business users to test drive each CMS you’re considering.
Your IT team (or implementation partner) might eventually need to extend the CMS to meet certain business objectives. Assess the extensibility model of the CMS, including backwards compatibility, documented API, extension packaging and clean separation between extensions and the core platform.
As the backbone for digital experiences, your Content Management System may need to integrate with third party systems: marketing automation, CRM, file storage, ERP, help desk systems and more. Review the list of built-in connectors, along with the ease of building custom integrations.
The right CMS prepares content to be ready for whatever the future brings. To be future-proof, a CMS needs to take a structured content approach, associating content items with meaningful metadata and taxonomy. It should publish to channels beyond the website, and provide access to content via a REST API.