C stands for complexity in WCM

  • 6-Jun-2011

I am sad to report that the Web Content Management market is still not advanced enough to offer a CMS where you can just stare at your computer screen, intently channel your thoughts, and have your modifications simply appear on your website automagically. (And then, could the CMS serve you a cuppa coffee and a fresh croissant, along with some nice JavaScript? Not going to happen...)

By the same token, there's no CMS where you can drag and drop everything around, WYSIWYG  your way through all sorts of templates without ever needing a technical person to do any heavy lifting.

Despite the long-ish history of web content management and the search for the Holy Grail of ease-of-use and zero-training interfaces, it is still very much about Web Complexity Management.

The simplicity (in all its complexity) -- no matter how much you yearn for it -- is just not there. Just like in haute cuisine, "simplicity is not simple," as one of my favorite restaurants in the world located in Brugge, Belgium, puts it. Depending on the particular Web CMS, some tasks will unfold more easily than others, but overall these are complex systems. It's the rare digital enterprise presence that lacks complexity in one way or the other.

Frequently touted "simpler" alternatives are not always so simple.  SaaS-based CMS is not necessarily less complex than on-premise technology. Open source CMS is almost never easier than proprietary competitors. If you, the buyer, hope for a magic tool that will do everything for you without you doing a lot of hard work, I am sorry to disappoint you. That won't happen.

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, ask not what your CMS can do for you -- ask what you can do for your CMS. Be ready on many fronts -- including content inventory, migration strategy, planning, budget, change management, proper staffing, competent implementers, sound technical and functional design, education and adoption strategy....the list goes on. No single piece of technology can solve your organizational challenges around information management.  Invest in people. It’s the people who can make that happen.

Our customers say...

"The Web CMS Research is excellent! Very well written, and you've done a masterful job distinguishing otherwise look-alike vendors!"

Peter Morville, Consultant, Guru Author, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

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