Why Your Company Shouldn't be Afraid of Free

I recently finished up some consulting for a large data enterprise corporation and was shocked to see how outdated and clunky their CMS tools were.

I won’t be mentioning the client by name but I was told that they paid close to a million dollars for the CMS they were using. It was nearly impossible to figure out how to use unless you were already prolific in CMS and could come up with a way to hack your way through it. Within less than a week of being there, I was the goto guy for CMS questions and the people that were coming to me were people that had worked with the CMS for years.

The entire point of a (good) CMS is to more efficiently and effectively manage your site, to streamline information from you to your clients. Most companies have the errant view that if they throw a lot of money into something it must be good, when in fact it is more than likely a slightly polished turd.

This CMS was so inflexible that virtually every idea we proposed to clean up the back end was met with the, “we don’t have the company who initially installed it on retainer anymore” or “we can’t fix that so that’s just the way it is”. Meanwhile I could have taken 1 programmer, 1 designer and rebuilt their entire site using scalable, flexible open source platform that would have handled everything they had and added about 100 times the functionality of their current setup. All at a fraction of the original cost.

I’m not saying that WordPress is the answer for every company’s CMS needs but when your current CMS can’t even handle building an effective landing page for new campaign. Not to mention this very same company was using one CMS for it’s dotcom site. Another outdated CMS for its internal communications, AND they outsourced their landing page campaigns to another company and used yet another company to handle lead gen collection.

The cost kept piling on. People were so sick of even dealing with the CMS they would just convince their department head to go renegade and outsource whatever they needed to another company. I would imagine that the clients, not to mention the shareholders would be very happy to see less of their money getting thrown out the window rather than anyone taking a proactive decision to fix a very bad choice by someone at some point that keeps exponentially costing the company lots of money.


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