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Why it’s time to Shift from CMS to DXP

Why it’s time to Shift from CMS to DXP

What do your customers need now, and in the future? What does your website enable them to do? Delivering on these questions will be increasingly dependent on your organization’s technology.

JP Syriatowicz (blog)

John-Paul Syriatowicz 16 September 2022

The technology your organization has purchased, the technology it can support, and the technologies it can integrate should work together to provide one seamless user experience for your team and your customers.

The good news is that there is a solution, the digital experience platform (DXP).

What is a DXP?

There are many DXP definitions - the Gartner explanation is a popular example and one that we often cite when explaining what a DXP is and what it includes. But in just a few years a lot has changed and DXPs are no longer a martech aspiration.

Many tools in the digital landscape claim to fix one part of your digital experience, but a DXP is about looking at the whole picture.

DXPs help an organization look through the lens of the user, both the external user and the internal user. And they help different parts of an organization work together, which is remarkably difficult to do in the digital landscape. Complex organizations, in particular, need a space that accommodates different roles and makes it easy for people to collaborate. DXPs remove silos internally, not just organizational silos, but systems silos, by making sure that you don't have data trapped in just one system, which then prohibits being available to improve the digital experience for a customer.

But if you’re still not convinced that the move from a content management system (CMS) to a DXP is the right next step for your digital transformation,  here are five reasons you should be.

Customers are using your website differently

In 1992, the first CMS was born (Remote Automated Information Network Manager – A.K.A. RAINMAN). Obviously, CMS platforms have come a long way since then but, ultimately, the CMS was designed to publish content for users to read. Fast forward three decades and users no longer read websites – they use them.

People are no longer just engaging with your content, they are trying to get stuff done. And they see your digital channels, your website, and your mobile application, as the place to do it. They also expect online interactions to be fast, easy, and equally as personal as any in-person equivalent – and they’ll be blissfully unaware of just how difficult that is for you to achieve.

That shift requires different tools to make it easy.

The constant collection, storage, translation, and surfacing of data that comes with this increased complexity is something that DXPs are designed for (and CMSs aren’t).


Your teams are working differently

More than two years after the pandemic hit, it looks like working from home is very much here to stay. In the US, 81% of employees say they’re still either working from home full time or have a hybrid working arrangement – this is great for a better work/life balance, but not so great for collaboration and information accessibility.

DXPs are designed to surface the right data, at the right time to the right person; at the back-end, this means connecting lots of different systems, centralizing business processes, and removing internal silos. The aim of all this is to provide a better customer experience (CX) but, in doing so, it also enables different teams to work together from one centralized platform.

For teams working remotely, a DXP provides a virtual office and the ability to access cross-organizational data more easily. Once upon a time, we only operated in a physical landscape and we needed offices to do this. It created a place where you got safety, connectivity, and idea-sharing, and ensured consistency across teams and departments.

Now, in a digital world, we've seen what it means to work remotely. You need a place to be able to operate, and often you still need people in it and working collaboratively, but you also need to be able to empower people to work independently, while governed by consistency.

DXPs make it possible to embrace the unknown

What your customers will want or need to do on our websites in the future is very difficult to predict, but a DXP provides both the agility and the flexibility your organization needs to be ready to pivot and adapt to change when it comes.

Agility

Most modern, effective DXPs are designed to deliver experiences that offer a much faster time to value,  meaning they have been built with the intention of enabling internal teams to spin up new sites, content, and services at speed. Whether this includes automation tools, templates, pre-packaged integrations, or an intuitive user interface, a DXP will enable your teams to create whatever your customers need, when they need it.

Flexibility

There are almost 10,000 different martech solutions in existence; knowing which ones you’ll need in the next 3-5 years is as difficult as predicting customer expectations. Instead of gambling with your IT investments, select an open DXP that enables your organization to integrate best-of-breed solutions into your tech stack as and when needed. Squiz Marketplace offers more than 40 secure integration connections to popular applications from vendors such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, Bitbucket, and more, without the need for custom code. On top of that, Squiz Connect provides generic connection components to integrate your Squiz DXP to any system that has an API, meaning even non-tech users can create new connections in minutes.

Online risks are higher than ever

As well as needing to keep pace with customers, your organization needs to be more aware of security, legal, and reputational risks than ever before.

According to IBM, the average cost of a web security breach has risen to $4.35m USD – an increase of almost 12% in two years. How your website collects, stores, and uses customer data is under greater scrutiny than ever (as seen with Amazon’s hefty €746m fine in 2021, for breaking GDPR rules). In addition, maintaining a high level of trust in your brand is still critical (trust remains second only to affordability, in the customer decision-making process).

Designed to handle mass, complex data sets – and to create new sites and services at scale – most modern DXPs offer built-in tools to help audit and adhere to record-keeping and web standards.

Ultimately, DXPs protect organizations from risk, security risk, brand risk, and legislative risk. By helping you to adhere to standards, like record keeping and accessibility, they act as a risk mitigation tool. Sometimes you move fast by grabbing a tool that solves something or lets someone build something, a DXP reduces the risk in doing so.

CX isn’t getting any easier

As customers conduct more of their day-to-day tasks online, across more devices and channels, the customer journey will become increasingly sophisticated – and complex. If you’re already struggling to keep up with customer expectations, it’s definitely time to switch to a DXP.

The rise in channels is a major part of the problem. CMSs were first built for web browsers, but increasingly web browsers are just a piece of the overall picture. And that's why we’ve seen the rise of the headless CMS. All CMSs now need headless capability or they're not able to adapt to the modern world. But often, when people use headless CMSs, they comment on how much the head actually did for them. So you can very quickly find yourself in a position that's about developers only, and disempowering the rest of the organization. A DXP is about spanning both. It's about providing you the headless capabilities while retaining head-on capabilities as well and allowing you to operate through more channels.

In summary

A DXP not only simplifies and centralizes your data sources, systems, and processes; its pre-built components and templates can also provide significant efficiencies that cut valuable development time and lower business risk.

At a time where IT talent is at an all-time premium, creating a richer, more relevant customer experience shouldn’t require doubling your tech headcounts or adding to a sprawling, unmanageable IT ecosystem. Instead, switching your CMS to a DXP should be seen as a first positive step towards taking control of your organization’s digital transformation.