Organizing a website can be done most easily and with reduced complexity by using a web content management system (CMS).
A CMS can be hosted on-premises or in the cloud to create and manage digital content, and while both types of deployments have their place, there are certain reasons a marketing team would prefer a cloud-based CMS platform.
What’s the difference?
On-premise software is hosted locally on hardware that your company owns and maintains—your own computers and servers. Cloud software is hosted externally, for example in the Microsoft Azure cloud, and accessed via a web browser.
The main reason for a business and marketers, specifically, to utilize cloud technology is to make life easier and more efficient.
One of the primary reasons cloud technologies appeal to the marketing technology (martech) buyer who sits in a marketing department is what my colleague Alexander Shumarski calls “empowered independence.” Meaning you can deploy it with minimal reliance or burden on the IT department.
There are new exciting solutions coming out all the time in marketing technology, and when I need to make a purchase decision and I know I will need the support of my IT colleagues, the project needs to be weighed against the other needs and priorities of the business.
Like supporting sales enablement technologies, ensuring we’re utilizing the latest ecommerce ordering experiences—any number of things that are likely going to be prioritized over my desire to build personalized experiences on the website. A lot of marketing asks will always be considered “nice to have” and perhaps rightfully so.
But if a technology I would like to invest in is cloud-based, yes I will need our IT group to help validate its security requirements, interoperability with our existing systems and general soundness of the technology. So of course I need them to be a part of the conversation, and they have saved our organizations collective bacon on several occasions by asking questions I never would have thought to ask. But I’m not requiring them to buy and continuously maintain additional hardware, or software. And the win-win is we can get up and running quickly, with no “upfront investment” from either of our respective budgets.
Also deploying something like a CMS in the cloud will help accelerate your work on achieving your marketing goals. You'll be able to deliver high-quality content faster to your audience.
For example, Sitefinity Cloud will also save you time from researching dozens of web hosts, as it integrates with Microsoft Azure, a reliable large-scale web hosting service. Azure is managed by IT experts, which ensures very limited risk of downtime. This technology is built on a secure, enterprise-grade infrastructure with backup servers and multi-layered security, so you won't have to worry about losing digital assets.
The technical side of web development can be bewildering for people who lack IT training or experience. (When anyone says “.NET core” or “MVC” in relation to our own web properties, I slowly back away and seek the involvement of my friends on the web team.) But I do know any type of slowdown in uploading or downloading content, difficulty or delay in our users reaching our website can adversely affect my business, my goals and my company’s reputation.
And of course, “page speed” is a critical factor in Google’s algorithms for scoring and ranking your pages. If you want your web pages to load quickly, which is crucial to holding a user's attention, you need to work with a system managed by technical pros who care about their clients' reputations as well as their own, and here too cloud deployments will be your friend. Hold your provider to service level agreements (SLAs) and now too this is their worry not yours.
High quality website performance allows you to focus more on your content creation. Now of course, you will also want to make sure your CMS will also give you access to tools that enable you to analyze your web traffic and how it connects with content. It should allow you to find out why some pages work better than others and how visitors use your site, as well as tools that enable your visitors to experience easy navigation—a major factor that determines the fate of every website. (Spoiler alert – Sitefinity does all of that).
Ultimately, a cloud-based CMS such as Sitefinity Cloud is a turnkey solution for your web content management needs. But having worked on technologies and solutions before that tried to make that on-prem to cloud-based evolution, one thing that I was so pleased to learn when we launched Sitefinity Cloud, is that it’s the exact same software and user experience whether you decide to deploy in the cloud or on-prem.
All the same easy-to-use features for building pages, all the same built-in content governance to approve multi-level content. All the same integrations with major customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and marketing automation systems.
So if you’re working in a highly regulated industry and cloud deployments are problematic, or your internal IT team has for whatever reason a strict on-prem-only policy, you can still enjoy all the features of Sitefinity.
Contact us today to get a demo of Sitefinity and how it can help your organization give your digital experience a competitive edge.
Jen McAdams was Vice President of Global Demand Generation and Field Marketing.
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