Why Choosing Content Management is Becoming More Critical

Waiting for GodotI have recently been talking in my presentations about organizations opting to do nothing about their Content problem. When looking at the prospect of rolling out a new Content Management System (CMS), it is a valid option. There is only one issue with that choice.

Each year, choosing to do nothing becomes a worse option.

Let’s take a moment to discuss why doing nothing is riskier now than it was in the past.

Two Starting Points

Every organization that feels the need for a new CMS has one of two situations taking place within their business. They either have a legacy system that is not meeting their needs or they have nothing in place. Most have a blend of these two scenarios, but we’ll make it an either/or situation to simplify the discussion.

If they have a legacy system in place, the problems with waiting are clear. With each passing month, the organization is:

  • Falling further behind the technology curve. The current technical limitations become more glaring over time.
  • Spending more on maintenance costs. The older a system, and the hardware supporting it, the more it costs to maintain. Talent to maintain the systems becomes harder to find, increasing human capital costs as well.
  • Creating more content to migrate. Migrations are not easy. They take a lot of time to execute and with each passing month, there is more Content to deal with when the time comes to change.

If there is no system in place, that means that people are finding ways to work with Content that makes management and governance difficult to accomplish. This will happen with poor legacy systems as well; it just happens with all Content when nothing is in place.

One issue that applies to either scenarios is the losing of any business advantages to be gained from implementing a new system. Each passing month removes any competitive advantage to be gained, or worse, grants another month of advantage to your competitors. If there are discussions about a new CMS taking place, there is a pain being felt that needs to be addressed.

Why It Matter More Now

Shuttle Discovery taking offTen years ago, not moving forward wasn’t too bad. The replacement system was likely to be as challenging to use as the system it replaced. When people looked for a work-around, they would use email or network file shares.

Now things are worse.

While email and file shares are still used, the cloud has compounded the problem. At least with email, copies of the organization’s Content was still on the company’s infrastructure. It was theoretically possible to find it. Now, with the cloud, it is not in the data center. When a person leaves, that content is gone.

This isn’t just a DropBox issue either. Content may reside in Google, Box, or any of a number of other cloud-based file sharing technologies. While you can decide to use one of these tools in order to prevent that content being “lost”, you are only treating the symptom and not the actual problem.

Why are users deciding to use these tools in the first place?

Don’t Wait

It is becoming clear to me that the costs of doing nothing are going up. Before, you could argue that doing nothing kept you off the 3-5 year buy-deploy-fix-replace roller coaster that many organizations seemed to ride in an endless loop. Now with Content escaping the organization in more ways every day, getting down to the core of your organization’s Content needs is more important than ever.

Do you know where all your organization’s Content is located? Shouldn’t you?

4 thoughts on “Why Choosing Content Management is Becoming More Critical

  1. Ben Lazar says:

    This is one of your better pieces of late. Crisp w good take away. What about collaborating on a piece around cms and core application systems? Unless you have recently covered that topic and I am not recollecting.


  2. Yup! My advice for years has been “do something — do ANYTHING!” Even a small amount of progress counts as progress, while doing nothing … doesn’t, and likely leads to regress.


  3. It seems many of the organizations that fit the “don’t do anything” mold do so because they are small or lack technical expertise. They rely on Google Drive or Box as their poor-man’s shared repository or replacement for a shared drive.

    So, it seems that Content Management Systems that rely on Box, Google Drive or similar for the repository could have a bright future. Especially if they can crawl the existing content and derive the indexing and classification metadata.

    Thoughts? Is this a play for folks like Alfresco and/or Ephesoft?


    • If you rely on Good Drive or Box as an ORGANIZATION, you are doing SOMETHING. It is when you don’t provide tools to users that nothing becomes a problem. Even if the answer doesn’t meet all the requirements, it sure beats the content spread over 20+ different technologies.

      I wouldn’t say that CMSs that rely on those tools as a repository have a bright future. I do think that being able to TALK to them has some benefits. The concept reminds me of the great SharePoint question, “Do you integrate with SharePoint?” My response was always, “What do you mean when you say integrate?” How do these tools work together in a functioning business process? Based upon past experience, there is no 1 answer, but there are options.


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