With the amount of content moving your web content management system and onto your website (among other channels), governance has become a critical activity. But is your Web CMS up to the task of effectively governing the content that moves through it? A new report from Gilbane suggests that it may not.

Website Governance and the CMS

Gilbane Senior Analyst, Ian Truscott has written a Beacon report entitled Looking Outside the CMS Box for Enterprise Website Governance. In it he discusses the growing importance of website governance to help ensure your content is of the highest quality and meets with all the compliance policies and standards within your organization.

And that is no simple task. As Truscott clearly points out, the demand for organizations to be more agile is pushing them to move content through their content management systems faster and often governance may be the least of their concerns.

The question becomes "when and how content quality and compliance are best managed". Is the CMS best place to do it? The answer could be "it depends".

Evaluating the CMS as a Governance Tool

There are several elements of website governance you need to consider to ensure your website content is compliant and meets strategic objectives. These run the gamut from accessibility, SEO (findability) to capabilities for customer engagement.

Your website is a strategic asset and often the front-door to your organization. That alone makes it critical that you govern it effectively.

The paper discusses 4 key criteria for evaluating whether your content management system is really up to the task of website governance. 

  1. Does it provide you with top-tier visibility across all your platforms and applications?
  2. Are the governance processes integrated with governance processes for online initiatives?
  3. Do you have complete and timely content reporting?
  4. Does it support the ability to get content out quickly without weighing the publishing process down with procedures for ensuring quality and compliance?

Is a Separate Governance Tool Needed?

Truscott takes a look at governance capabilities that can be offered outside the CMS box, what Gilbane refers to as enterprise website governance platforms. Governance platforms that sit outside the content management system have the ability to offer all the criteria listed above and probably more. 

Magus, who is listed as a sponsor of the report, is one of these types of vendors. Vamosa is another that comes to mind. Regardless of who sponsored the report, the reality is that it would be smarter to look at governance solutions that aren't a component of your Web CMS.

The report indicates that the guiding principle for effective governance is agility, the ability to quickly review and apply new policies and procedures. You aren't going to be able to do that within your CMS. Some may say it's possible, but your Web CMS is only one solution or platform within your organization. Depending on your situation you may need a solution that sits above all of your platforms and apps, providing a single location to manage your content.

This is a decision you should be looking at closely. Read the report, it offers some good insights to get you started down the path.