Content Management System: To Build or Not to Build, an Ongoing Management Question
A couple years ago there was an article from wsj.com under the Cubical Culture section that struck a chord with me: “Management to IT: We don’t like you either.” As evidenced by the title, the inherent conflict between IT and management is never ending. And even though the article was published 5 years ago, we still see the conflict arise in many publishing and media organizations.
Management today at many companies expect more out of IT organizations than in previous years. It's no longer acceptable to request an 18- to 24-month project life cycle and not show a return on investment quickly. If IT continues to do these types of things, they will render themselves useless and out of a job. The old days of “we can build it better than any product on the market” is long gone.
For publishers I have seen a shift over the past 5 years related to this build-vs-buy mindset. If your IT organization is still touting that they can do it better, cheaper, faster by building a critical system (e.g., CMS) from scratch… run, run away as fast as you can. Given the wealth of tool sets available and the openness of many products on the market, why would an organization ever take the build-it-from-scratch approach? I'm genuinely interested in this and welcome your dialogue in the comments section.
I’m not biased when I make these statements. I’ve seen a renewed interest by publishers to license a product and show a return on investment quickly. This has been our mantra since day one with RSuite CMS. Our goal was to make a highly configurable CMS that can manage any content and be operational in a short period of time (under 12 weeks) to meet core requirements. Yes, there will be some organizations that require 12-month projects to migrate from one system to the next, but overall the trend has been implementing a new system, even for larger projects, in a much shorter time frame. The only way IT will be able to handle this shortened timeline is to license a software product that meets 70% of their core requirements pretty much out of the box such as RSuite CMS.
I can certainly understand why IT organizations at publishers want to build their own CMS. First, it’s fun to build software. Second, it gives more of a feeling of accomplishment than integrating third-party software. Finally, a programmer can have a job for life just making endless changes to the software (ok, that was a cheap shot).
Management today needs to understand that IT does have value and IT needs to understand that management has the right to ask questions. Reducing the stress between these organizations is critical to publishers making the right technology choices and implementing new systems on time and within budget.
Let us show you how RSuite CMS satifies management's desire to demonstrate ROI on CMS investment and IT's desire to play with cool technology.