Content Management System

According to Forrester Research, 32% of North American firms plan to purchase an enterprise content management system this year. Here are six factors they should consider first:

Content Management System

1. Platform capabilities. Key features to look for include robust Web content management, document management and repository integration. The last is becoming even more important, with as many as 43% of the firms surveyed saying they store content in five different repositories.

2. Content Management System features. Beyond simple authoring, workflow and publishing features, buyers should insist on streamlined template design, deployment architectures and multi-site management.

3. Vendor viability. Smaller vendors usually have limited resources. Buyers need to weigh price vs. longevity, and make sure their chosen vendor will be around for the long haul.

4. Platform consistency. With the recent spate of mergers and acquisitions in the industry, buyers need to make sure that the features they want are available on their chosen platform. Supporting multiple platforms is a complex recipe for disaster.

5. Collaboration. Document sharing and workflows are becoming increasingly important, so buyers need to make sure their vendor of choice offers adhoc workflows, project/team rooms and storage for collaborative content, such as discussion threads.

6. Portal integration. Whatever enterprise content management system you choose, you should make sure it can work with your portal, easing portal content updates and changes. One key way to make sure your vendor is on track? Make sure they’re involved in emerging portal standards, such as JSR-168. Content Management System

Know Your Users Checklist

  • How much experience do the users have with computers? The Web? The subject matter?
  • What are the users’ working/Web-surfing environments?
  • What hardware, software and browsers do the users have?
  • What are the users’ preferred learning styles?
  • What language(s) do the users speak? How fluent are they?
  • What cultural issues might there be?
  • How much training (if any) will the users receive?
  • What relevant knowledge/skills do the users already posses?
  • What functions do the users need from this interface? How do they currently perform these tasks? Why do the users currently perform these tasks the way they do?
  • What do the users need and expect from this Web site?
  • What are the users’ tasks and goals?
  • What information might the users need, and in what form do they need it?
  • What relevant knowledge and skills do the users already possess?