Apr 03, 2012

How big of a challenge is it to implement a Content Management System?

We are looking at a new Content Management System deployment, which will be a major purchase for our company. I have no experience with this platform, and in fact there is only one person here who has any background using it, and even that was a few years ago. This is going to be a big project to implement, and we are also going to need to train up staff. One proposal being floated at the moment is to have one of us in the IT department trained, and then have him take care of the rest of our training in-house. How well do you think this will work out? I’m a little concerned about being penny-wise but pound foolish.



You are placing a lot of responsibility on one person's shoulders by making him responsible for bringing your entire company up to speed on a complex deployment.  Not only are you asking that he quickly acquire complex technical expertise, you are asking him to effectively share that knowledge with other employees that presumably have a broad range of expertise and ability.  It is one thing to learn to play golf, it's another thing to become a pro.  


Your company is spending significant money, and if they are unable to deploy this technology effectively, ROI is going to take much longer than need be.  There are other training choices that you may want to consider.  A company that is experienced with the platform that you are deploying should be able to provide training options that will help you hit the ground running.  Three choices that I have found work for most companies preparing for a rollout are live instructor-led training and video-based training.  In my experience, the critical factor in whichever method of training that your company ultimately decides on is the quality of instructors.  Experienced and talented trainers provide consistently high quality instruction and help ensure that you will get more employees trained at a lower ultimate cost.  Best of luck with your project!


Sophia Zhou




Thank you for your answer.  I'm not the one making the purchasing decisions, and the vendor hasn't been chosen yet.  My primary concern, that a huge project is going to be initiated without proper support or the personel to do it effectively, seems to be supported by your responses.  It's very easy for someone who isn't going to be responsible for deployment to just "give it to the IT guys" and walk away.  I will raise some of the points you made to try to steer this project towards a more realistic implimentation.  




This question has become larger and more complex as data is what everyone wants.


You did not name the CMS you are going to use, so it makes it nearly impossible to answer this question.


First you need to address, who will be using the system. 


For instance, is it sales who will begin to populate?   A procurement manager to confirm the parts are ordered?  A list of groups or names whom support the systems?  Who is in charge and what is your chain of custody?  Eventually for instance one way would be to have your System Admin Group or Network Admin group be the final group in the chain of custody.  Sometimes you can have it a project manager. 


Questions on how easy the software is to use.  What if you change your IT department out, or even one person who happens to "own" half of the assetts.  Do yo have the capability to quickly change that info?


Are you going to use other tools to get your money's worth?  Patch checks?  NOC/SOC interface?   Planning system refreshes?  OS upgrades?  Current patch level, and current software?


You have only just touched the tip of this question.  What I would suggest is to get a system where you can tie as many functions into it as possible.   You can use a tool like Arcsight, for instance where you enter the Hostname and IP and then you can create as many entries as you want to describe your assets.  Arcsight is considered a top of the line network monitoring tool as well.  Now you have a monitoring tool that will replay events if you are hacked.  You can sort by everything from the OS, to the IP, to the Apps running on it, to the people that control the box(es).  From there you have a very detailed list of your content, you then have a plugin for some of the top of the line security.  Then you look at it as you plugin other pieces.  IPS/IDS. 


I will leave it there as there are so many answers to your question, but if you are starting from scratch, I would get a product that truly can do everything from self-discover the assets on the network, to adding in placeholders, sorting by subnet and hold all of your information. 


What about a ticketing system?  Do you have one of those installed yet?  Can it be integrated?  Its nice to be able to click on the box, open a ticket, write the details and then have it automaticaly sent to the correct crew.  Now you have your SA's being paged out automatically to check on up/down.  Finance can do an audit.  Planning for the future is included. 


Don't skimp.   Don't get sold on a product that is "easy to use".  There is nothing easy about managing the data inside a 50,000 line database with 1000 different categories.   You also don't want to re-create this wheel.  Its the basis of the business in many ways.  A good system will save you time, money and can also make sure you are compliant if you run into PCI, SOX, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc...


So in short, see where your at.  Make sure you get something that will help all of the departments and keep everyone on the same page.  Make sure it has enough permission options so that you can control the users as much as possible.  Log changes and be able to backup data, fix and re-import in case someone makes the wrong change your environment. 


If it takes some real thinking and work to set it up to start with, you are probably working with the proper product.  If it says it will do everything, it most likely won't.  Compatibility, ease of use, and user interfaces for different roles are important.


So Scope, Uses, Users, Expandibility.   We call this the SUUE model.


Feel free to contact me privately if you need.





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