, CEO of Author-it
Software Corp., is a man who knows what he is talking about. If you don't believe me, just take a look at his bank balance.
He just published a White Paper on the implementation challenges presented by Content Management Systems
as a whole. It ought to be required reading for boardroom-types, IT managers, webmasters -- just about anyone whose job entails management of digital content.
But for those just waking up to the fact that they need a CMS, and are fretting over the issues involved in getting it up and running, you might want to take a look.Trotter points out that the problem of enterprise content management systems
is that while potential "efficiency" benefits are almost incalculable, the challenges presented by implementing such systems are so daunting and potentially complex that poor decisions at and before implementation can drastically curtail these advantages.
So the initial stages of setting up a CMS architecture are absolutely vital.
The paper breaks down the implementation challenges of CMS into seven categories:
Control and Management
Management of financial data underwent a revolution from the 1980's onwards, from hand-written ledgers, to rudimentary spreadsheets, to more manipulative tabular forms, to advanced financial software.
Such a revolution, argues Trotter, has never taken place for other forms of content.
Word, for instance, is little more than a 'paper-simulator', offering linear storage capabilities and little connectivity.
CMS can be considered as an effort to move content creation out of the 'paper simulation'
phase, and into the far more powerful database stage.
of content from old, sterile formats into more useful ones can be daunting. Particularly in a mature organization which could have years of content that needs converting.
The Import functions of different Content Management Systems vary greatly, and if there is a lot of archive material which needs to be converted to, say, an XML-based format, migration capabilities
will be of huge importance to users.
Migration is always a messy job: Trotter cites examples of documents which might have been written by an employee who, instead of hitting [Return] at the end of a sentence, instead jams down the space-bar until they come down to the next line.
This kind of botched formatting plays havoc with automated content migration and importing to object-based forms.
CMS vendors, says Trotter, tend to gloss over this issue, sometimes shrugging their shoulders and suggesting that the client creates the content anew. (Or they offer to migrate content for up to US$ 15 per page.)