Determining the ROI of a content management solution – Part 2

Calculating ROI for a content management system

In our previous post, we discussed how to measure the return (R) on a content management system (CMS). In this entry, we complete the return-on-investment (ROI) calculation and examine the investment portion (I).

As we discussed, CMS can have significant benefits to your organization helping employees work more efficiently and improving knowledge sharing. However, implementing a CMS does have its costs and understanding the drivers is helpful in the selection process:

Operations – If the CMS is being installed you will need to consider the time, hardware, and software required to set it up and run it.

  • Setup – During the setup phase your IT and Knowledge management teams may need to work with the vendor to understand system requirements and develop a roll-out plan. You should consider the time they put into the process as an investment.
  • Run – What software or hardware do you need to run the solution? Is it a cloud offering (in this case there may be a saving over your current CMS)? The software licenses and hardware costs to support the CMS should be included. Will maintenance be required? If so, the IT personnel cost should also be included. These numbers need be discounted by the cost of running your current system.

Migration – The costs for migrating to a new CMS comprise all efforts of moving existing data from the existing platform to the new system. You may need to build tools or take the time to migrate your content between old and new systems manually. Often a middle ground is chosen in terms of some steps being executed automatically by tools with some manuals steps left for content experts. The tasks could include exporting, converting, importing, reorganizing, and correcting content. This time and resources required to build any custom tools or simply even monitor the migration needs to considered as part of the investment.

During the migration phase will you have to run your old and new CMS concurrently? If so, you may not be able to switch your resources over immediately and the cost of running both systems for a few weeks or months needs be considered.

Training and communication – Once the new CMS is ready, your team will have to build communication and training collateral. In addition, you may have to hold live training sessions. The time it takes your staff to complete these tasks and the time it takes all users to learn the new system should also be included.

CMS license cost – And lastly, the cost of the actual CMS license is a critical component of the investment cost. Be sure to understand how this might change over time if you are ramping up or will be adding more users in the future. You can, of course, deduct the license cost of your current CMS.

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