Buying or moving to a new CMS? Be very careful

With hundreds of potential vendors to select from, selecting the right Content Management Solution (CMS) requires due diligence.
“We have outgrown our CMS and are desperately in need of a new more robust method for keeping our site competitive”, says John Smith, Internet Development Manager for a large U.S. regional industry association. (We have changed John’s real name to remain anonymous, as the present CMS vendor is not aware of the association’s most recent search for a new CMS).

With the plethora of Content Management Solution (CMS) vendors in, and entering, the market, the search for a new or second-generation solution can be a daunting task. “Although we have a good feel for the CMS landscape, we did not want to select a CMS that did not meet our particular needs,” adds Smith.

Selecting a CMS vendor in today’s landscape can be an overwhelming task. Many vendors, old and new, are more than willing to show you their wares through online flash demos, brochures and web sites. All of them seem to have great features and functionality. Some vendors boast of their extraordinarily powerful and flexible workflow and approval capabilities, one-to-one personalization, ERP/CRM integration, virtual repositories, robust search capabilities and the like. But are all these bells and whistles going to meet your needs?

Understanding your company’s requirements is paramount before any vendor selection is even considered. Failure to develop an integrated plan that accounts for an organization’s business, stakeholder and user requirements can ensure failure.

One prominent financial services firm purchased a content management system for $1.5M. The solution limited the number of publishers, the number of pages published and stored and offered no same day publishing. Even worse, the company that supported the product went bankrupt, leaving the client with no technical assistance. One year after implementation, the CMS was scrapped.

In a similar position, the organization has not only outgrown their CMS but system support is either non-existent or expensive. Worse yet, the product is no longer sold, leaving the organization to fend for itself.

When choosing a CMS or any software product, functional user and stakeholder requirements must be clearly defined. A structured methodology needs to be invoked to not only ensure that the proper vendor is chosen, but that the product has a productive lifespan.

Read the full analysis and article: Pssst! Wanna buy a CMS?

7 thoughts on “Buying or moving to a new CMS? Be very careful”

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