Questioning CMS Consolidation

CMS Watch has a very good article on their site titled, "Question CMS Consolidation". The article serves as a reminder for IT and managers that, although technically feasible, an organization may not want to put everyone on the same content management system (CMS).  Why would an organization want to to consolidate their systems in the first place?  For those at top of the organization there may be some obvious reasons to unify the organization onto a single CMS.

Many organizations are looking at a portfolio of dozens of content management systems running somewhere on their network. From sheer tidiness alone, it’d be nice to have a shorter list. And such tidiness can have real benefits: better negotiating leverage with vendors, reduced overhead to manage contracts, reductions in the number of servers and hence in datacenter space (with attendant power and operational costs), and so on. Finally, increased demands for compliance and control are placing a premium on simplifying information management.

In my own organization, we have had both Internet and intranet servers since the mid 1990's supporting operations and administrators.  While we moved our Internet web servers onto a CMS a few years ago, it is only the past few months that many of our offices and departments have shifted their intranet from static pages to much more dynamic system.  As many of our field offices migrate their servers to utilizing newer Web 2.0 and collaboration applications, IT and management have a strong desire to consolidate those applications and servers.

IT consolidation generally helps by saving costs in training, support, and infrastructure which is something most managers would prefer to see these days.  However, the author of the CMS Watch article states that their our six questions that should be asked before an IT consolidation project begins.  Those six questions are:

  • Will our users benefit from the IT consolidation project?
  • Do our websites belong together in the first place?
  • Will our business and editorial processes co-exist once the sites are joined?
  • Where are the benefits?
  • How big is this project really?
  • Have we considered all the options?

Details to why and what the above questions are really asking  can be found in the article.

Perhaps, you are a manager or part of an IT team that will be be working on your organization's CMS consolidation plan.  The answers to the questions asked in this article can help you decide if consolidation is right for your organization.  Using those answers to the questions that are asked should help you decide if your organization is doing right by IT consolidation.