Risks for corporations and SMEs through CMS

A multitude of successful German companies mainly use Content Management Systems for the delivery of their web presence and rely on CMS products such as: AEM (Adobe Experience Manager), Sitecore, Liferay Portal or FirstSpirit. These delivery variants offers new possibilities for the specialist departments and marketing departments to control the website contents, Page layout, navigation structure, control of marketing campaigns and asset management. In addition to advantages are often important aspects in the decision-making process of the IT architecture. which only become noticeable when implementation projects for a CMS have started, are in the middle of the implementation phase or have been implemented. Since many of our customers rely on these systems, these companies are often less successful with internal experience to implement CMS projects in a modern, long-term and scalable way. Here not only the first commissioning of the CMS is relevant, but also the permanent Further development and adaptation of components to new business requirements.

Challenges in recruiting

Web developers in German-speaking countries often build their core competencies on modern front-end technologies such as REACT or Angular and rely on Node JS or Java frameworks such as Spring Boot for the implementation of backend services. However, since the manufacturers have developed their CMS products over several years and new versions usually build on each other, these are often based on older, unpopular technologies such as OSGI, Java Spring and Java Server Pages. As a result, many internal software developers lose flexibility and attractiveness when working with the CMS, and their productivity and satisfaction decreases as a result.

To counter this risk, organizations can consider three solution scenarios to ensure the productivity of their development teams. Due to our extensive experience in the CMS and web environment, for our customers such as automobile manufacturers, banks and insurance companies, we recommend special attention to the variant: Integration of modern frameworks.

CMS Coaching

Training and other forms of further education are, for internal teams, always a meaningful opportunity to become technically and organizationally better. Here, however, in addition to the quality of the coaching, the intrinsic motivation of the employees is the decisive success factor. If the IT architecture is based on a CMS technology that was not discussed with the development teams, the people involved often reject it and the success of the project is at risk.
We could observe this problem in several companies and projects. Due to the use of different technology stacks in the teams and departments, it was difficult for the product owners to get the software developers enthusiastic about further training, which meant that further training was unsuccessful or did not even take place. Therefore it is urgently necessary to test and promote the willingness to learn and motivation of your employees.

CMS alternatives

One possibility that is often discussed by employees with a technical focus is the general renunciation of a CMS and the switch to non-maintainable web applications, whereby modern technologies can be increasingly used. Particularly Single Page Applications (SPA) paired with Microservices are popular technology stacks on the development team side. Here the authors, however, are deprived of all influence and can make changes to page structures or Content is always associated with deployment and developer input. A The interim solution there is the integration of a headless CMS, which can be used to manage the content of the authors via provides an interface and can be consumed by the SPA. Besides texts, links and assets, configurations for web tracking can also be stored, which means that the the ability of the marketing departments to exert influence is maintained. The disadvantage of this solution, however, is that it the lack of functionality, which is brought along by the Headless CMS and a larger expenditure the implementation. When analyzing this variant, the requirements of the marketing teams and the specialist departments.

Integration of modern frameworks

The most effective and popular method, which we have used in the past years in several companies, is the is the integration of modern front-end technologies into the CMS used. Which Framework is used depends strongly on the existing know-how of the internal development teams. If single page applications have already been developed within the company or other experiences have been made with React, Angular, or Vue.js, it makes it easier to sense to build on the existing experiences and to use this framework as a basis for the CMS development to use.
The way in which we have introduced this form of integration to our customers offers flexibility, so that different frameworks can easily be integrated into the CMS. and can be used on the same page without any noticeable difference for users. or authors. This means that different teams can work with React and Angular on the same product. work. If several frameworks are to be used, it is important to work together in advance. Identify software components and outsource them to external packages, which are used by the teams can be used as dependencies. Typical examples are styles, Analytics component and calls to external services.

AEM_REACT
React and Angular integration in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)

Since the software development for content management systems is much more complex than the development of a pure SPA due to the external configuration by authors, it makes sense to resort to external consulting and technical support to avoid technical debts in the set-up phase. It is important to choose a partner who has extensive knowledge in integration projects of CMS and SPA frameworks. After successful integration and ensuring scalability, internal development teams with minimal CMS knowledge can develop their own components in their preferred technology stack.
This proposed solution enabled our customers both to successfully meet the requirements of their departments and to provide the development teams with a modern and productive working environment.

Contact us for a non-binding discussion to ensure the long-term success of your CMS architecture.

About the author:
Tony Schumacher is a founding member of the technology consultancy Teclead. He and his team help German corporations to achieve their corporate goals by consulting and implementing scalable CMS and web projects.