Posted: August 8, 2017

With the breakneck pace of technological development in healthcare, sometimes it's all marketers and IT professionals can do to just hang on. But more often than not, it's their own outdated technologies that prevent them from keeping pace. Marketers have a need to create a constant stream of personalized web content across websites, mobile, social media, and other digital assets — but when IT bottlenecks stall the process, the growth of the organization is put on hold. It's no wonder that, according to Becker's Hospital Review, the single largest frustration among healthcare professionals working with technology is system sluggishness, both from a security issues and software that isn’t user-friendly.

Let's face it: there's a need for speed in healthcare content management systems (CMS), and traditional systems aren't making the grade.

Stuck in First Gear
One reason for the traditional CMS slowdown is that marketers are forced to rely on IT to launch projects, as the former lacks the needed developmental know-how. As a result, it's a slow and tedious process to launch new website features, omni-channel campaigns, or any other digital experiences. Rather than focusing their energies on big-picture organizational goals, both marketers and IT professionals are mired down in the time and requirements launching a new site or licensing new technology require. Self-hosted sites, in particular, require a heavier lift with a lot of time required from IT both on the front end and ongoing. And when changes are needed, getting things done quickly is often dependent on the number of account licenses or "seats" available to get things done — no marketing department should have to depend on a one-man IT army, especially when that "army" has projects of its own.

At the same time, ensuring that marketing efforts are integrated across the health system is just as difficult and time-intensive; for 77% of healthcare marketers, this task accounts for 15% or more of efforts, according to the Advisory Board — more than attending to social media, the patient experience, or patient engagement.

The reason is that many traditional CMS aren't seamlessly connected to other critical marketing systems, like a CRM or marketing automation system, hindering system-wide campaign rollouts and monitoring. In order to scale operations, health systems often have to install new physical infrastructure or purchase new licenses, adding yet more costs and delays.

On the whole, older CMS systems have led to cumbersome, fragmented marketing environments. This, of course, comes at a time when the role of marketers only continues to expand: more than 95% of health marketers feel that marketing efforts geared toward patient engagement and social media will increase either somewhat or significantly over the next two years, according to the Advisory Board. Burdened with legacy CMS systems, marketers may have trouble keeping pace with these developments.

Moving to the Fast Lane
Obviously, then, marketers will need to move to a CMS that pairs speed with functionality. Towards that goal, marketers should keep their eye on next-generation CMS systems with two features that are essential for speed:

Decoupled architecture: By separating content management (authoring and editing) from content delivery (website, mobile, etc.), such a CMS enables marketing to work independently of IT, greatly improving the speed at which content can be produced and published. Rather than rely on IT to launch campaigns, marketers can both develop and roll out projects from a streamlined, intuitive platform.

Moreover, such a CMS can translate back-end content into any number of file formats, meaning there's no limit to the number of content delivery platforms that marketing professionals can use (desktop and mobile website, mobile apps, social channels, etc.). With such an ability, campaigns can be easily coordinated across channels and marketing groups. As an added bonus, separating front-end from back-end components enhances the security of your systems. Compare this to a traditional CMS, which, tightly coupling such components, both leaves the back-end vulnerable to attacks and restricts the flexibility of publishing.

Cloud-based: With no additional physical hardware needed to expand, a cloud-based CMS can grow in tandem with your marketing efforts, across the whole organization. If your marketing campaign delivers a large audience to your website, for example, the CMS will automatically add extra servers, minimizing slowdowns. What's more, with automatic software updates from the cloud, your CMS will remain relevant as both technological and consumer demands evolve. That way, marketers can focus on growing their audience, rather than putting out routine fires.

With traditional CMS systems keeping healthcare marketers behind the curve, it's time to think about moving to a system that meets the demands of the modern marketplace. For more information, read our white paper about Choosing the Best CMS for Healthcare.