It is undeniable that companies are now dependent on systems that make almost all of their transactions automated and seamless. Companies are continually studying these systems (for their intranet portals, content development enterprises, digital asset management tools, knowledge management systems, and document management, among other utilities) to make them more customer and user-friendly, and more dependable for data and information management.
Open source software has been favored by many IT professionals all over the world and has significantly been making it big mainstream. As these developers are very particular about how they can move around codes and create customized systems, they have been paying attention to open source Content Management Services (CMS) since it hit the IT world a few years ago. Many companies are now shifting to open source for platforms particularly due to the competitive price in creating and maintaining the system compared to other commercial CMSs. Because the code is free, there are no ‘secrets' to be kept from each other to gain commercial advantage.
Open source is also easier to customize at any point, because you have access to the codes and can review content workflow. Flexibility would not be a problem because your own team of developers can modify the codes and the system. Open-source CMSs are usually created using open tools, such as PHP, asp, Python, and Java. When looking for open source content Management services, consider the following:
- CMS vendors advertise on the web. If you cannot find their corporate website immediately, look for websites discussing CMS, and you can find banner ads within the site.
- Check directory listings online. They would have a list of CMS vendors, and you can locate one near your area.
- Compare fees. Some licenses charge additional fees when used for corporate set-ups, but still they are lower than commercial CMS.
- Unlike commercial CMS, you can ‘test drive' the software to see its functionality. Without relying much on sales talk, open source can be thoroughly evaluated before a purchase would be made.
By switching to open source, you can maximize the utility across your other needs and share the pool of references and resources. Integration can now be done seamlessly, because you would be using the same platform across many applications.
Despite being free, support for CMS is established by supporters of the systems. These are developers who are actively developing enhancements to the system. So compared to commercial CMS where support could take months, support for open source can be found in the community, or your own team of developers can figure it out, as they also have the code for development.
Any decision about the systems used in your company should be evaluated primarily based on your needs. Other considerations would be future reliability, cost of maintenance, and capability of the system to adapt. Open source CMS is here for the long haul. You could explore its possibilities before tossing in your annual budget for commercial CMS.