In the past, web content was created by individual business groups within an organization and passed on to their IT department for placement into their website, where it would sit and grow stale as technology moved on and the organization struggled to keep up with it. This struggle is compounded by the growing globalization of our economy where the user experience dictates that web site development and sites must be localized and translated as the consumer base expands. When the need for efficient document and content versioning, as well as effective disaster recovery is factored in – then a dynamic web content management system becomes the obvious solution.
While many companies have come to realize the benefits of a content management system, the make versus buy decision can still be a difficult one. The reality is that a system designed and created by an in-house web development group will take longer to complete, be more difficult to use, and end up providing a very low ROI when compared to an “off the shelf” system that can be installed and ready to use in one month or less. In addition, a WCM vendor will provide training to the IT department and the content owners/managers, as well as provide ongoing product support and updates.
Determining the ROI that can be realized by investing in a web content management system requires taking a closer look at:
1. The current use of your IT resources as content managers and web developers – chances are your company has a team that focuses solely on creating web pages and updating content (or doesn’t have the time and frustrates content owners!). A web content management system can boost your bottom line by re-deploying existing IT resources to work on higher payback projects, and eliminating the need to hire additional resources for major projects like year-end financial reporting.
2. The amount of time that it takes to develop and integrate effective web tools such as blogs, surveys, forums and wikis. Sure, you could build your own content management system and add in all of the cool new social media type tools. But studies have shown that home grown systems are quickly discarded from lack of use, simply because they usually come with a steep learning curve. The return on investment just isn’t there.
3. Savings realized by enabling the content owner and creator to update and publish their own content. It just makes financial sense for the marketing department to create and publish their own content, or for your divisions to manage their own intranet sites. This ensures that content is fresh and “in the moment,” rather than websites which were last updated a year or more ago.
4.The increase in revenue due to integrated globalization capabilities. With so many companies doing business worldwide, web content management systems are designed so that the same pages can display content for different regions. This allows the organization to capitalize on its global reach by attracting and relating to customers in all of the countries where it conducts business.
5. Be “green” AND cost effective – reduce your environmental footprint and save money by decreasing your dependence on paper and shipping. Eliminate paper forms and the manual processing of forms by leveraging web forms and create a collaborative environment among employees, customers and prospects. Rather than making physical copies of a document, store it once electronically and distribute it via the web. Save on printers, consumables, manual labor and shipping expenses.
6. Improved workplace flexibility can be achieved by centralizing and securing all your documents in a web environment. This will reduce your travel expenses (“green” again), improve collaboration (productivity) and provide some safe “work from home” capabilities.
7. Intangibles such as enhanced user experience and the ability to gather consumer feedback on the fly via surveys and polls. These are items that cannot be quantified but imagine, being able to poll one’s consumer base quickly and easily and use that feedback before launching a new product!