Global CMS, how to maximize control without compromising innovation?


As your company is leading its digital transformation, you may have an increasing amount of websites to deal with. Institutional websites, information websites, broadcasting platforms,…

As usage and design are changing fast, demand from operational teams will more and more diversified. 

In the same time, in companies evolving in very regulated environment, the new risk represented by digital presence on the web as to be tackled by a strong “global” framework providing secured and global processes and unique point of entry for media management.

From our point of view, this is a “healthy” position.

“If I have a problem with one product, I want to turn off the tap globally and make sure all related medias are offline from all my sites” told us the Digital Director from a global pharmaceutical company.

The need for a global framework is real but there are different ways to answer it. What you should think at this moment is to find the right balance between giving a framework (and guidelines) and impose constraints to your internal customer.


If decisions about global CMS have already been taken within your organization and if you’ve experienced it for a while, you may really understand what I’m talking about…

Codixis - Presentation - LFB Web Platform

The risks to impose a too narrow framework :


Killing innovation and not answering customer needs quickly enough


As demand and usage of the customers evolve in a very fast ways, CMS solutions are more and more numerous.

From simple websites builder to very specify CMS, offer is now consequent.

If we look at the existing open sources solutions, there is still a high level of concentration among some technologies (WordPress is a good example).

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But we also see very specific and specialized CMS emerging, with high adoption trends. Among those solutions, a few will be tomorrow’s leaders on new usages.

It is also adequate to look at regional behaviors. As a global provider, you may keep in mind that local agencies and subsidiaries may have different local standards.

Conclusion is that even if some solutions, such as WordPress, offers many different kind of possibilities and are able to address many types of needs, nevertheless you can’t exclude the need to use others solutions to answer specific needs.

If you select today one CMS to fit all your needs, it may surely answer actual needs but what will be tomorrow made of? What if your selected solution does not allow you to answer a specific need that will emerge in the coming month or year? Will you kill innovation or will you try to find a new way to keep control while allowing new kind of CMS to come onboard?


Lack of adoption


If operational teams do not find internal solution able to fulfil their needs, they may have to choose between two options.

One is not answering customer needs / usage and loose business opportunities.

The second one is developing their own “dissidents” projects.

In both situations, you’ll loose. In the first one, your choices will be perceived as restrictive for the business…meanwhile you’re trying to do exactly the opposite. In the second case, the deployment of a new “uncontrolled” platform will represent a new risk for the company and will scratch your centralization strategy.


The options :


Smart “one fits to all” platform


Make this choice only if you have a very exhaustive view of the needs your internal customers have and will have for the next 3 to 5 years. If this is the case, and if the solutions answers more than 80% of your needs, go for it. 

If you go for a “one fits to all” platform (could be simple site builders to complex proprietary CMS), make sure you’re choosing the good one, you’ll have to go for it for several years in order to absorb important set-up / customization costs. Keep in mind this is a structuring and long term decision.

You’ll also have to make sure you have a clear view of hiding costs. For some kind of platforms, set up costs are low but with a low level of customization provided and with prohibitive further development costs.

If you choose a “one fits to all” platform, make sure you have operational teams involved in the decision process. The technology selection will affect their way to their job during years.


Offering flexibility and framework, separating engine and body


Take a pause and think in what should be part of the framework you want to impose and the level of flexibility you want to provide to allow your internal customer to stay close with the market needs and trends.


Basically, take a white sheet with two columns. In the first one place all the functions that you want to be centralized to a global stand point. Functions such as media management, user lists and legal / compliance functions should be part of it. Then, on the second one, list all the functions that you think should or could be kept at the local level.

Your role will be then to find an adapted solution to deal with the global framework needed and provide API’s for targeted selection of CMS.

This way, you’ll reach your objectives without imposing a too narrow framework to your internal customers.


Our approach and its benefits :


At CODIXIS, we are using a robust ORO platform based solution to provide an adapted Business Application Platform (BAP) answering global needs. We develop API’s and pre-built business cases websites for the most common CMS. The result is a very adaptive solution without any dependency on one given CMS. This way, your internal customers will find a wide selection of options and will be able to complete the global offer if they desire to deploy a site using a new CMS.


By |May 3rd, 2016|Article|

About the Author:

Graduated from Neoma, Sacha worked as a project director for 5 years for the French leader in multi-channel for the health industry . He then joined AstraZeneca, a world major pharmaceutical company, in 2010 and was Digital Director for France, implementing challenging international projects and leading the digital transformation of the company. With a strong customer sense & innovation driven thinking, Sacha is CEO of Codixis France and co-creator of andshift solution.