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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Taking the time to find an affordable, high-quality company that you can trust to handle the task.
- 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.
- Being hit by hidden costs.
- 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.