Control Content Creation & Publishing
Most leading companies have moved away from intranet pages (hand-crafted by the IT department) to Enterprise Content Management Systems which put the power in the hands of business teams. It has never been easier to do this via your Intranet portal.
Remember the days of the typing pool, when documents were printed, marked up by hand and then placed in the (very full) in-tray of a small but dedicated team of typists? It seems rather ridiculous and inefficient to look back to those days, but Intranet content management is all-too-often in a similar place!
Many organizations still rely on in-house IT developers (or junior staff who can turn their hand to some HTML programming) to create and maintain content on their intranet. Such individuals are often in high demand and they have that same very-full in-tray the typists used to have. Even so, things are normally alright until the developer moves on (leaving a set of poorly understood and hardly documented web pages in their wake).
Enterprise Content Management Solutions
The content management of your internet, intranet and extranet sites can be a time-consuming and frustrating job. Content Management Systems resolve these challenges by putting content creation and management tasks in the hands of business teams.
By separating content creation from content presentation, IT developers can concentrate on making beautiful templates whilst business users can focus on crafting well-written text. The content can be workflowed through the organization, so an author’s work is reviewed by an editor and approved by the ultimate stakeholder, prior to publication.
Integrated Content Management with SharePoint 2007
SharePoint 2007 combines, for the first time, Content Management capabilities directly into the portal interface. If a user has the correct permissions, they can make changes to a page in-situ (whilst running on the live environment) and see their changes take immediate effect on the page.
Many commentators argue that SharePoint is not, as a result, a true content management solution, as there is insufficient editorial control and native workflow built into the solution. What would happen if someone makes an incorrect set of changes and these are not picked up in review or approval by editors and stakeholders?
Our view is that there is some truth in this. For extranet and internet content, where accuracy and legal compliance issues demand additional scrutiny, a high-end Enterprise CMS (e.g. Interwoven or Vignette) is probably the most appropriate solution. However, customers and regulators are not likely to be looking at your intranet content on a daily basis! The chances are that small errors can be corrected as they are found without significant risk. For this reason, we recommend fully integrated CMS solutions (like SharePoint) for low-end Intranet Portal use.
Content Management Solutions – A Summary
Content Management solutions free your users to focus on content and your IT team to focus on elegant presentation. Workflow ensures quality and accuracy, vital for externally-facing sites (watched over by your customers and regulators). For internal sites, integrated CMS solutions provide a cost-effective alternative.