Ensuring Relevance: The Imperative for CMS Vendors to Integrate Compliance Tools

Apr 30 2024

As businesses demand faster content publishing and compliance with stringent legal standards, the need for seamless integration of tools like Sitemorse within CMS platforms has never been more critical.

In the digital age, where content is churned out across numerous platforms at ever-increasing speed, many organisations still struggle with rushed reviews and are failing to address content governance and accessibility at source. This neglect not only makes content more expensive to remedy after publication but also leads to significant accessibility issues that can damage brands, lead to legal issues, and result in disappointing user experiences. It's crucial to remember that neglecting content governance and accessibility can have serious repercussions.

At the core of the evolving governance framework is the management of 'content' – its planning, allocation, creation, review, and publication – to ensure it is error-free, usable, accessible, and relevant to the target audience.

This isn’t new. For instance, Meet Content remarked in 2012: "One of the major challenges in content governance is ensuring that multiple contributors adhere to the standards of messaging, communication, editorial, and content. This is especially challenging for staff members who juggle various responsibilities and do not always prioritise content."

This provides an opportunity for CMS vendors. While various documents have tried to set out the need for wide-ranging strategies to manage the topic of enterprise content, organisations have seemingly moved forward with the adoption of a CMS, without adequately considering the broader strategies and tools needed to support it, which has led to the failures mentioned above.

This opens the door for CMS vendors willing to integrate comprehensive governance and accessibility tools into their platforms to help businesses become competitive and compliant. As businesses demand faster content publishing and compliance with stringent legal standards, the need for seamless integration of tools like Sitemorse within CMS platforms has never been more critical.

The Integration Imperative

For CMS vendors, the integration of accessibility and governance tools isn't just an enhancement; it's becoming a necessity. The traditional method of toggling between separate systems for compliance checks is not only outdated but also inefficient. Integrating tools directly into CMS platforms can significantly expedite the publishing process by ensuring that content meets required governance standards from the onset, thereby reducing the time to market. At a time when organisations are looking to achieve more with fewer resources, this becomes even more important.

Legal Stakes and Vendor Liability

The legal landscape, particularly in light of the new California SB 1486 Bill on Accessibility, which updates the previous AB 1757 proposal (opens in a new window) is shifting towards greater accountability for accessibility compliance. If this new legislation passes (which legal experts predict it will) CMS vendors will increasingly be held responsible as website owners for accessibility failures. This change marks a significant shift in liability, emphasising that vendors can no longer sidestep accountability through contractual arrangements. The message is clear: compliance is not optional, and failure to adhere can result in substantial legal and financial repercussions. There, once again, is the need to integrate compliance and governance tools into a CMS.

Strategic Differentiation and Necessity

While currently a differentiator, the integration of accessibility tools is swiftly transitioning from a unique selling point to an industry standard. Forward-thinking CMS vendors are already capitalising on this trend by embedding comprehensive accessibility features into their offerings, not merely as an optional add-on but as a core component of their product architecture. Those who fail to keep up will quickly find themselves losing relevance.

CMS vendors have the option to develop these capabilities in-house, which can be time-consuming and costly, or to collaborate with established players like Sitemorse. By leveraging external expertise and integrating vast data analytics, vendors can enhance their platforms' compliance and functionality more efficiently and effectively.

Conclusion

The trajectory for CMS platforms is clear: integrate or risk obsolescence. As the digital publishing world grows more complex and regulated, the ability to swiftly publish content that is both dynamic and compliant with accessibility standards is not just advantageous; it's imperative. CMS vendors must take decisive action now to incorporate these essential tools into their frameworks, ensuring they meet the current and future demands of a digitally inclusive world.

This call to action is not just about staying ahead. It's about not getting left behind in a world where digital accessibility is becoming the norm, not the exception. CMS vendors, the time to act is now.

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