In my blog post, “Bring­ing Web Con­tent Man­age­ment On-Premise,” I dis­cussed the advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of using an on-premise Web con­tent man­age­ment (WCM) system.

Deter­min­ing the advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of using such a sys­tem over an out­sourced WCM sys­tem is only part of the analy­sis nec­es­sary in the selec­tion process. Other con­sid­er­a­tions include how you oper­ate your busi­ness, what capa­bil­i­ties you have, what you want the sys­tem to do, and how much you are will­ing to pay. This arti­cle explores these concerns.

One anal­ogy that may help you with your deci­sion is to con­sider the WCM sys­tem as a car. Do you need the car for just a few days? If so, it might be more cost effec­tive to rent a car when you need one. That is, it prob­a­bly is best for you to rely on an out­sourced sys­tem. On the other hand, if you need a car every day, it would be best to pur­chase the car—or select an on-premise WCM system.

Things to Consider

Here are a num­ber of things to keep in mind as you pur­sue your research on whether an on-premise WCM sys­tem is best for your business:

1. Do you have a data cen­ter that can han­dle the sys­tem? Obvi­ously, you aren’t going to want to keep upgrad­ing your sys­tem as you dis­cover while doing a project that you need more capac­ity. Do you have a multi­geo deploy­ment that requires sup­port across the globe?

2. Does your busi­ness have an in-house IT depart­ment that can deploy and man­age the sys­tem? Are the employ­ees prop­erly trained to han­dle the duties? Do they know enough to be in com­pli­ance? Do you have access to train­ing for the staff? How long will it take to cre­ate the sys­tem, and does the staff have the time to do it? What other duties does the IT depart­ment have, and can they han­dle the load? Are they famil­iar with the appli­ca­tions that will be used?

3. What is the cost of the in-house time needed to deploy the system?

4. Con­sider ROI and total cost of own­er­ship (TCO). An on-premise WCM sys­tem involves a vari­ety of costs and fees. For exam­ple, there are license costs that involve how much you pay for the sys­tem, and any add-ons or third-party prod­ucts you may need. More­over, there are sup­port, upgrade, devel­op­ment, ongo­ing main­te­nance, and infra­struc­ture costs to consider.

5. Care­fully con­sider the ven­dor that will pro­vide you with the prod­ucts. Does it also offer advice and train­ing? Does it employ expe­ri­enced devel­op­ers? Is the com­pany viable?

Finally, the ven­dor you choose to pro­vide you with your on-premise WCM sys­tem may be one of the most impor­tant deci­sions in the entire selec­tion process. The ven­dor should have a strong con­sult­ing ser­vice and part­ner ecosys­tem to guide your staff along the way. It is not enough for it to have the soft­ware solu­tions. It should also be able to answer any ques­tions you have con­cern­ing man­age­ment, sup­port, and training.