In my last blog, I dis­cussed the advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of cre­at­ing an on-premise Web con­tent man­age­ment (WCM) system.

Another alter­na­tive to con­sider when decid­ing how to man­age your Web con­tent is out­sourc­ing. Just as with an on-premise man­age­ment sys­tem, out­sourc­ing has its advan­tages and disadvantages.

5 Advan­tages to Out­sourc­ing Your WCM System

Per­haps the great­est ben­e­fit of out­sourc­ing is its flex­i­bil­ity. Sim­ply put, a com­pany may not have the money, staff, hard­ware and soft­ware, or time to take on an on-premise infrastructure.

Con­sider an out­sourced WCM as your car. When­ever you need main­te­nance ser­vice on the car, you go to an auto­mo­bile spe­cial­ist. For exam­ple, if you need an oil change you might go to a Jiffy Lube.  What is the ben­e­fit of going to a spe­cial­ist? You don’t have to pro­cure the equip­ment, time, exper­tise, and more needed to change the oil. In a sense, you are bor­row­ing what you need when you need it.

Top advan­tages of out­sourc­ing include

  1. Tak­ing advan­tage of what you already have on hand and adding more capa­bil­ity when you need it. For exam­ple, if you do not have a WCM sys­tem at all, you can out­source the cre­ation and man­age­ment of one. If train­ing an IT staff is the issue, then you can access exper­tise by outsourcing.
  2. Con­trol­ling costs. You don’t have to pro­cure what you need to oper­ate and man­age a WCM envi­ron­ment, and you pay only for what you need.
  3. Scal­ing your work­force to fit the need. If you are rely­ing on a small depart­ment and wish to invest in a spe­cific cam­paign, then you can out­source only what you need for the spe­cific amount of time you need it.
  4. Hav­ing an out­sourced staff ded­i­cated to han­dling your con­tent man­age­ment needs while your work­force tack­les tasks asso­ci­ated with other seg­ments of your busi­ness or aligns with your core competency.
  5. Adjust­ing your oper­a­tion to cor­re­spond with demand or time to market.

5 Dis­ad­van­tages to Out­sourc­ing Your WCM System

Of course, there are a num­ber of dis­ad­van­tages to hav­ing an out­side com­pany over­see your WCM sys­tem. Per­haps the biggest issue with out­sourc­ing is that you have to relin­quish some con­trol of your busi­ness and trust that the out­sourc­ing com­pany will per­form as adver­tised. Let’s refer back to the anal­ogy of your WCM sys­tem being like a car. When­ever main­te­nance is needed on the car, you have to leave it with an auto­mo­bile spe­cial­ist. So you have to peri­od­i­cally sur­ren­der con­trol of your car to spe­cial­ists and trust that they will com­pe­tently per­form the tasks needed.

Dis­ad­van­tages of out­sourc­ing include

  1. Los­ing con­trol of the secu­rity, loca­tion, and man­age­ment of your data. Still, although all of these ele­ments are out of your hands, you have the oppor­tu­nity to ensure that they are per­formed properly.
  2. Tak­ing the time to find an afford­able, high-quality com­pany that you can trust to han­dle the task.
  3. Syn­chro­niz­ing the out­sourc­ing company’s abil­ity to pro­vide what you need when you need it. Prob­lems that can arise include late deliv­ery times, sub­stan­dard qual­ity, and poor cataloging.
  4. Being hit by hid­den costs.
  5. Deal­ing with an out­sourc­ing company’s lack of focus because it is serv­ing too many clients at one time.

When select­ing a com­pany to pro­vide out­sourc­ing ser­vices, it is best to choose one that can also deliver sup­port includ­ing direct access to engi­neers and prod­uct man­agers. This ensures that issues are resolved quickly. It’s also very impor­tant to find an orga­ni­za­tion that focuses on WCM and not a broad range of dif­fer­ent ser­vice thus dilut­ing its abil­ity to sup­port your needs and requirements.