Top 4 Web Content Management Models Software Installation Software-as-a-Service Open-Source Custom Applications
In today’s market, companies seeking a Web Content Management System (WCMS) are presented withan abundance of choices. While there are wide ranges in terms of software delivery and complexity,there are certain basic considerations that fuel both the search for a WCMS and the selection of aparticular system.Most would agree that the manual management of a deep web presence is extremely unwieldy andexpensive. Content management is a fluid concept, which aligns it more accurately with businessprocesses than business products. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as every WCMS offering requiresthe following before it can successfully live and breathe within a business or organization: Configuration Implementation Launch & Adoption Administration & Management Support & Maintenance Upgrades & EnhancementsThese steps apply to software installations, SaaS, open-source and custom solutions alike. With that inmind, choosing the correct WCMS is about understanding business requirements and coupling thatknowledge with both a system and vendor that meets those ongoing needs. It is essential to select aflexible, intuitive, and relevant framework.Let’s get a better understanding of the models on the next page.
The Models: A Closer LookSoftware InstallationsTangible, installed software provides a measure of security and control on both literal and psychologicallevels. The code sits on resident machines, and a contract generally exists both for its use and itsongoing support. There is an inherent depth of functionality based on the need to satisfy the diverserequirements of large companies and organizations. Often the entry point in terms of pricing is out ofreach to smaller companies and organizations, so many do not feel that they can afford a trueenterprise-level or “commercial” offering. Others cannot justify the larger fixed costs in the context ofother technical or web-based initiatives, or the recurring costs of draining their own IT resources tosupport the product.Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)SaaS continues to claim market share from the other WCMS types due to its flexibility, lack ofinfrastructure and IT requirements, cloud computing power, fast turnaround, and price points. It tendsto favor smaller companies and organizations for the same reasons, and certainly favors groups thathave varied or work-from-home office locations. Though many take advantage of SaaS, larger entitiesoften have distinct policies and protocols that prevent SaaS as an option. Because the data, securitysettings, and the WCMS software itself reside outside of a corporate firewall, SaaS may not be possibledue to sensitivity or related risk issues. SaaS also relies on an internet connection for delivery, which isgenerally reliable but still a vulnerability.Open SourceThere is a common misconception that open source solutions are truly “free.” While there are caseswhere an open source package has merit, the reality is that most open source implementations becomemore lengthy and costly than other WCMS types. The negligible initial investment for a WCMS shell isquickly overshadowed by implementation, custom development, quality assurance, training, andongoing maintenance. This is obviously fine when it’s anticipated, but far less welcome when it’s not.Open source software has the obvious benefit of a support “community”, but that exists without thesecurity of dedicated support and legal contracts. Leveraged development expands reach but doesn’tallow a product to mature or offer the financial incentives of commercial development.
Custom SolutionsCustom solutions, by nature, spotlessly align themselves with business processes. This can be veryeffective in the short-term but very problematic in the longer term when those processes, and theresources behind the related programming/development, shift. While there are certain fortunatebusinesses that thrive on predictability, the overall CMS market has shifted dramatically to offer highlyconfigurable products that remove most constraints from the equation. While extremely capabletechnology staff may exist within an organization, the related return on investment for custom WCMSprojects is remarkably low. By the time a custom application matures, the investment in terms of costand man-hours is typically huge, and the application itself may continue to be more of a cost center thana cost savings. Often the company is left attempting to tackle newer challenges with older technology. WCMS Models Comparison: PROS and CONS Pros ConsSoftware Installation Feature-rich Overt complexity Full influence over software Infrastructure requirements Customized configurations IT resource consumption Strong pre-launch support Poor/costly post-launch support Strong product maturity Potentially high costs Integration flexibility
SaaS No hardware/software Reliance on 3rd-party services Low maintenance Reliance on live connection Strong technical support Security incompatibilities Fast deployment Excludes certain markets Feature-rich Simple system accessCustom Solution Meets precise requirements Lack of system flexibility Less outsourcing required Relies on specific developers Extended development cyclesOpen Source No cost for code base Hidden costs for actual viability Development community No dedicated support No contractual obligations No contract security or stability Leveraged development base Difficult for product to mature Open and accessible code Fewer commercialized features Not as tested or refinedWe hope this summary has given you a better understanding of the 4 main web content managementsystem models and direction when evaluating and selecting the best WCMS for your business.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------For more tips and best practices on web content management and webdevelopment please check out our blog at: http://info.waves2.comIf you are interested in learning more and/or scheduling a demo of the WAVES2WCMS we would be happy to oblige. Please contact: Steve O’Briensteve@aptinet.com917.408.6391