One of the things that always amazes me is how often companies change content management platforms. I am not talking about consolidation as I feel that this is a very different topic. Companies spend a lot of time selecting, educating their teams, and implementing Content Management Systems and then sometimes within a mater of 2-3 years they rip it out never realizing their ROI. Why is this the case?….. Here are my thoughts on this:
- Shift in IT Strategy – In a number of cases, I have seen companies move off of one vendor’s CMS to another one’s as a result of a major strategic change such as a new ERP system (SAP, Oracle, People Soft…). This is probably one of the most common causes. Many ERP vendors have made strategic alliances with CMS vendors and will push the company to also purchase the allied CMS. This is typically done with the promise of tighter integration.
- Ability to Support the CMS – The second most common cause in my experience is the inability of the company to support the CMS. Sometimes it is the underlying technology such as Java vs. .Net. In other cases it is the size of the team required to support a large CMS.
- Failed implementations – For some companies it is a failed implementation that places the nail in the coffin for a particular CMS vendor at a company. When poorly implemented, end users may revolt against the CMS and in many cases the blame is attributed to the CMS product whether it is really an issue with the product or some implementation problem such as lack of training. Wgen the user community associates a failure with a product, the only thing that some companies can do is look for another CMS vendor. In my experience companies have gone to great extent to hide the true product vendor from the user community to head off this type of issue.
Is there something companies can do? I think so… The key is making sure companies select a product that they can actually support and spend the right amount of time and frankly money, to implement the product correctly. In terms of dealing with changing strategy, it is always a best practice to look hard at integration capabilities with other systems such as ERP’s with a forward look in mind.