CMS Fridays: Content Management Isn’t Cheap

There’s this great article over at CIO about the real cost of SharePoint, a content management system by Microsoft.

A few quotes:

If an IT department is using SharePoint as a development platform for business applications, costs will increase because developers and quality assurance testers will be needed.

Time and effort needs to be put toward developing and maintaining a SharePoint governance plan that outlines the type of content that should be loaded into the system, records policies, standard processes and metadata constructs, and guidelines for approaching and supporting SharePoint projects. (Read: solid information architecture — hire an IA, dammit).

Even if your users are familiar with SharePoint, using it to solve a specific business problem (such as automating a contract management or accounts payable process) typically requires some training.

After deploying SharePoint, users will need to change their approaches to creating and managing information. Given people’s reluctance to change, a proactive change management program is recommended.

Most of the organizations out there just launch CMS systems without any thought to a lot of issues. It’s like any other software product, and should be treated as such.