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.