Content management software vendors seem to disagree as to the effect an automated system will have on a company's bottom line. Some claim that within two to three years, the initial purchase price of a CMS is recovered by increased efficiency alone. Others say it isn't fair to make a blanket statement; the ROI will vary from company to company depending on needs, expectations, and implementations. Recommind's Tennant cautions that one barrier to quick adoption is to initially focus too much on ROI; in the end, ROI could come from unforeseen avenues—and be substantial. Atomz's Kusmer suggests that companies undergo a careful risk/benefit analysis prior to selecting a vendor and implementing a CMS.
Tennant also says that, based on his experience, publishing companies tend to already have their own taxonomy structure in place. In this case, they should consider CM software that can use the existing taxonomy, which was originally generated by people, to apply the metatags.
Most vendors agree that one benefit CMS have over more unstructured content usage is the ability to configure restrictions on levels of access. In an enterprise, this allows for protection from documents falling into the wrong hands. In a publishing scenario, it provides the type of easy configuration of access to content that allows companies to experiment with models that will not undermine existing revenue streams. Access control also streamlines content creation, ensuring version control for example.
The Last Word?
When asked how to choose content management software for a publishing company, Bluebill Advisors' Gilbane believes that, "Most products are designed to manage unstructured content; therefore much of the available software solutions would suffice." To narrow the field, however, he points out that, "Some companies, however, have more experience working with the publishing industry. Ask about the vendor's customer base to learn which have already worked with the publishing industry."
Taylor of the ECM Report suggests that, when implementing a new content management system, a company should go as far back in time as possible with archiving material into the repository. Taylor says to remember that content management can not be 100 percent automated. Instead, its purpose is to provide technical enhancements and enable decision-makers.
Like all content management initiatives, a careful analysis of objectives, business models, and organizational culture must be examined before implementing a CMS in an effort to increase content revenues. As Shore Communications' Blossom reminds, "Content management is not the magic bullet."
Companies Featured in This Article
Atomz Corporation www.atomz.com
Bluebill Advisors www.bluebill advisors.com
The ECM Report www.kmreport.com
Infodata Systems Inc. www.infodata.com
Outsell, Inc. www.outsellinc.com
PaperThin Inc. www.paperthin.com
Recommind Inc. www.recommind.com
Shore Communications, Inc. www.shore.com
XyEnterprise, Inc. www.xyvision.com