What’s your content management system (CMS) done for you lately? Plenty, according to a new survey.

Granted, Software Advice only surveyed 110 full-time employees of US businesses. And it limited participation to those who use CMSs on a daily basis, meaning they already have a bias in favor of the platforms.

But it's still interesting to note that majority of respondents rate their CMS as very important in overcoming content-related business challenges, such as distributing documents and tracking changes.

A CMS is broadly defined as a software platform that helps businesses track, distribute and control documents and files. It's especially useful for document distribution, reporting/analytics and content capture, survey respondents concurred.

However, there are challenges despite the maturity of these systems, which have been around since the mid-1990s. Nearly half said they have “moderate” to “major” difficulty integrating their systems with other enterprise systems. And almost as many complained that the system was difficult to learn to use, with 6 percent describing it as a major challenge.

Survey Focus

Craig Borowski, a market researcher at Software Advice, said the survey focused on CMSs companies use to manage internal documents and files as they’re created, edited and exchanged.

While software in this category is commonly referred to as an“Enterprise content management system” (ECMS) or “document management system” (DMS), Borowski said the survey just used the term CMS for "consistency and simplicity."

Software Advice is a Gartner company that reviews software applications.

Borowski told CMSWire that many enterprises don't understand everything their CMS has to offer, especially in regard to return-on-investment (ROI). "There is a long laundry list of improvements that CMS brings, but many enterprises don’t seem to get it, at least initially,” Borowski said.

The software typically provides the following capabilities:

cms breakdown

An Enterprise Basic

Many CIOs and C-Suite executives are captivated by new technologies like big data, social and mobile. But none of those can compete with a well-implemented CMS in terms of immediate ROI.

"Content is the lifeblood of a company," he said.

But many enterprises fail to assess their operations from the digital perspective — until they "start competing in the digital economy." Then they often realize that something is not right and their products are not performing in the market the way they should," he added.

And quite often the reasons are the ways they manage their online content and internal services and support networks.

CMS Deployments

Asked about the biggest challenges facing CMS deployments, 48 percent cited integration challenges — problems getting a CMS to work effectively and in harmony with other software platforms a company is using.

They also complained about training and customization. Most users long for the simplest solution, he said.

 “In many cases vendors see themselves as providing feature sets — the longer the set of features they have, the better off they will be or so they think. But a lot of companies are looking for ease of use.”

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