London Calling

  • 27-Jul-2007

The Greater London Authority is going to share Web Content Management System services to boroughs and other government entities on a fee-for-service basis. I don't think it will work.

Don't get me wrong: I hope for their sake it does work. But having participated in at least two such attempts and witnessed several others, I'm not optimistic. The obstacles are many and serious:

  • Traditional Web CMS tools (including, in this case, Tridion) usually don't lend themselves to working well in a shared services environment
  • In the absence of meaningful shared policies, standards, and models (content, metadata, process, etc.), cost savings and customer value quickly dissipate
  • Similarly, not everyone wants to join an uber-portal, often for good reason
  • Public agencies typically don't make good service providers to other public agencies, even when they are using outside contractors, perhaps unless the service at hand is a true commodity, which brings us to...
  • ...In this still-young market, the same tool inevitably doesn't work well across multiple scenarios, and prospective participating agencies eventually feel shoehorned into a tight technology box

For a longer critique of the broader concept, read "Question CMS Consolidation" in these pages by Graham Oakes.

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