E-commerce Link: 6 Steps for Selecting an Enterprise Content Management Platform
There are thousands of content management systems (CMS) and content management platforms floating around the Web (CMSMATRIX.org indexes over 1,200 content management applications). With so many choices, it can be difficult to decide what will work best for your organization. Here's a practical approach that can help marketers with budgets of all sizes select an appropriate content management platform.
Step 1: Understand Your Needs
Most people use the terms "platform" and "system" interchangeably when talking about content management. Technology leaders generally agree that CMS refers to software products that automate the process of creating structured content types and the publishing items of content based on these types.
In recent years, the more successful and advanced CMS vendors have been referring to themselves as enterprise content management (ECM) platforms, which rich Web applications can be built upon. Within these robust platform offerings, the CMS is only one component. Other components might include analytics, digital asset management and targeted marketing tools.
Often, an entire platform can be overkill relative to the size of a company or its current stage of digital maturity. Luckily, many of the top platforms available today recognize this dilemma and are able to sell and implement their platform components in a more manageable, à la cart manner. The selection process is very much the same as when you are making a strategic investment in a suite of tools that will work together to fulfill your digital strategy.
At this step, it's recommended that you enlist the skills of a business analyst with direct experience in ECM platforms. Looking outside of your organization for this skillset is not a bad idea. Agencies that specialize in platform implementations also can provide this skillset on a project-needed basis, interviewing your stakeholders and authoring documents detailing your current and future ECM platform needs.