Every business, regardless of its size or industry, is bound to manage large amounts of content that help drive business initiatives forward. No matter what stage of growth your company is experiencing, it is easy to amass important business content, and it can quickly become quite difficult to organize and manage your content effectively if you rely on manual processes that are spread across multiple documents or spreadsheets.
For these compelling reasons, you may begin considering a Content Management System (CMS) to help facilitate your content management activities and boost collaboration within your business through organized and easily accessible content needed to best accomplish an array of business goals.
While your motivations in implementing a CMS solution may be clear and decisive, it can be a more complex task to select the perfect CMS for your business that will fit all your content needs and help your business thrive for many years to come.
Using the following tips can help you best select and implement a lasting CMS solution that is perfectly suited to your company and your unique business content needs.
Identify Your Key Business Considerations Prior to Selecting a CMS Solution
One of the most common missteps you are prone to taking in the CMS selection process is failing to identify and list all of your key business needs and considerations driving your need for a CMS. Many times, business owners or leaders will select a solution based on a few features or needs without doing deep research into all the content needs that exist in their business. By taking the time to think through all your content needs, and recruit the help of key members of your leadership teams or staff, you can develop a comprehensive list of all the ways your business may benefit from a CMS solution.
Here are a few questions that you can use to spur the necessary business needs brainstorming session you should hold prior to making your CMS selection:
- How much content does your business use, and how is that content currently stored, organized and managed?
- Would your CMS solution be key in publishing content or sharing and storing it internally within your business?
- What hosting solution do you have in place currently? Will it need to change to accommodate your web content management needs?
- Do you need to convert a lot of printed documents to digital files?
- Are you looking to systemize any of your business operations through your CMS?
- What is your budget for a CMS solution?
- How many people need access to the CMS, and how much training will they need to use the system effectively?
- Do you have other business software solutions in place that will need to be integrated with your CMS?
Understand How a CMS System Will Best Benefit Your Business
As you outline your key business needs and considerations that need to go into your CMS selection, you will begin to see unique business benefits emerging. Understanding the business benefits you hope to gain through your chosen CMS will ultimately help you determine which system offers the best selection of powerful features and tools for your company.
To help you begin recognizing the key benefits a CMS solution can being to your business, you can reference the below listing of frequently enjoyed business benefits that come from implementing a CMS:
- Increased document security and integrity
- Enhanced employee productivity due to decreased manual paperwork and organization of documents
- Simplified and streamlined file sharing and collaboration
- Improved online and social media presence
- Increased ease in document security and adherence to compliance regulations
Navigate the CMS Marketplace Successfully: W-CMS vs. DMS
As you begin researching CMS solutions for your business, it will be important for you to understand the types of systems available in the marketplace to ensure you choose the right CMS for your company’s needs. There are two main systems available: Web Content Management Software (W-CMS) and Document Management Software (DMS).
Web CMS solutions are used primarily for creating, managing, and publishing content online. W-CMS tools and features are designed to help enhance your company’s web presence through social media, blogs, online storefronts, and websites. A CMS website can help promote successful ecommerce and offer the opportunity to gather and organize feedback gained through customer interaction with your website or social media sources.
DMS solutions, on the other hand, are designed to aid in the storage, organization, and management of internal documents or materials that are not intended for sharing outside of your organization. A DMS solution best benefits companies that rely upon large amounts of internal data or documents and can also help streamline internal business processes as well.
Select a Solution and Deployment Method Best Suited to Your Business Needs
The type of CMS solution and deployment method you select will depend upon your unique business needs, data security requirements, and budget.
Proprietary vs. Open Source Deployment
Open source CMS deployment is becoming increasingly popular, especially for web content management. An open source CMS is an easily accessible system for managing and publishing online content with ease. The open source nature of this type of solution is typically much more cost effective and is constantly being enhanced, upgraded, and improved through a community of developers.
If your business revolves around large amounts of highly sensitive content and data, then you may opt for a proprietary CMS solution instead. A proprietary solution will likely cost more to implement, but will offer increased levels of customization and security for internal document management.
Subscription vs. Licensing Pricing Models
CMS system pricing varies depending on the type of solution you choose for your business, and providers offer subscription and licensing pricing models. In a subscription based pricing model, you will pay a monthly fee based on the number of users and specific tools and features you’ll need. However, in a licensing model, you will pay a larger, one-time fee to license the software and manage it inside your company.
Choosing the perfect CMS solution that will serve your business content needs for years to come may seem a complex task. However, if you plan and prepare properly with these key tips for selecting your CMS, you’ll likely choose a solution that will serve your business well into the future.