Enterprise Software

Choosing and implementing a CMS takes planning--these TechRepublic resources will help

Managing the dissemination of information to all interested parties requires a significant strategic investment in content management systems. The resources outlined in this article will help you determine your technological needs for a CMS.

The accurate and timely transfer of information between customers, investors, vendors, employees, decision makers, and markets is the single most vital and fundamental aspect of modern business communication. Managing the dissemination of information to all interested parties requires a significant strategic investment. For many enterprises, the strategic plan will include the publication of information via the Internet, intranet, or other portal. Publication in these mediums necessitates the use of some form of content management system (CMS). HTML, XML, JavaScript, Web services—neither of these technologies perform well if they are not subject to a consistent policy that matches the overall strategic plan of the organization.

Resources

This means that a CMS is more than a mere application; it is a commitment to a business strategy. As such, a CMS implementation should never be undertaken without a thorough and exhaustive examination of the current publication system and a clear, quantifiable statement of goals for the new system. In other words, first figure out what is broken, and then decide what fixed actually looks like.

Downloads

A critical step in choosing any IT solution is determining whether a gap exists between your current solution's capabilities and your organization's future requirements. If you establish that a gap exists in your current CMS system, your next step is to determine if the solution you're researching meets your organization's future requirements. TechRepublic has two free downloads to help you assess whether you have a CMS gap:

  • Gap Analysis: Content Management Software
    CMS makes it much easier for people to create, edit, and publish content on a Web site. This tool will help you determine whether a gap exists between your current solution's capabilities and your organization's future requirements.
  • Vendor Questionnaire: Content Management Software
    Content Management Software (CMS) works by using the scripting language and database combination to manage Web site content. This tool will help you select the best vendor for this key IT purchase.

Articles

In December 2001, Geoff Choo started a five-part series outlining the process one should follow when formulating a CMS strategy. While the software and systems available may have changed, the basic principles outlined are still relevant:

  • CMS strategy: Don't put the cart before the horse
    Content management isn't about buying a piece of technology. It's about putting business needs first and finding the best solution for your organization, processes, and staff. Find out how to handle the first critical step: outlining a business strategy.
  • Consider these factors when determining ROI on a CMS
    As IT budgets tighten, there's a strong demand to prove return on investment when mapping out big projects, such as implementing a CMS solution. We'll show you how to determine ROI so you can move ahead with your CMS project.
  • Defining CMS technical requirements
    Defining the technical requirements of a CMS effort is just as critical as evaluating the content issues involved. Find out who to talk to, what to ask them, and how to avoid common pitfalls when determining the technical issues at hand.
  • The right content manager can make a CMS hum
    Choosing the right content manager is critical to the success of your CMS deployment. Find out what a CMS expert had to say about the role and responsibilities of the content manager, and the value inherent in finding the perfect candidate for the job.
  • What counts in choosing the right CMS
    Most tech leaders think that the big decision involved in implementing a CMS is which vendor product to go with. But as four CMS experts relate, there are many other factors that are much more important than the actual product decision.

White papers

Static, "brochure-ware" content is no longer enough to stimulate a customer's interest. By keeping content fresh and accurate, companies can communicate with potential customers and build relationships with current customers. These white papers will help you reach that important audience:

  • Benefits of a content management system
    This white paper provides a comparison between content managed within a costly and timely traditional Web site management process and content managed within a modern content management solution, utilizing CMS tools that facilitate non-technical users to manage content.
  • Looking towards the future of content management
    Look forward to the future of content management systems in this white paper, and discover what effect these trends will have on customers and vendors alike. This briefing pulls together some views on the broad movements within the CMS marketplace.
  • Why is it so hard to make content management easy?
    There are a number of factors that cause content management to run awry—and very few factors are about the technology. This paper will show the Top Ten reasons CMS implementations fail—and the necessary steps to take to ensure they succeed.

Jump on it

No matter what your current situation, it is likely that your enterprise CMS is in need of thorough evaluation. Technologies change from year to year and the pressures of competition are never ending, so there is very little time to be satisfied with the status quo. The resources outlined in this article will keep you attuned to the technological innovations taking place in CMS applications and give you the jump on your competition.

About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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