Is your organization contemplating leveraging an open source enterprise content management system to increase in-house web management capabilities?

The list of content management systems claiming to service the enterprise market with the ability to manage personalization, engagement, scalability, and integrations with best in breed software packages is unending. The real question is which platforms can allow and support the level of customization needed to make these features useful for organizations? Shrouded in different buzz terms, such as web engagement management (WEM) and digital experience management (DEM), it’s sometimes hard to conceptualize what is really needed to make a solution work, even for organizations that have the technical know-how, man power, and finances to get the very most out of the web.

Leaning on my experience in the open source content management systems market I have found these major advantages to what will inevitably be a large financial investment for any firm operating at a high level.


Annual licensing fees for the right to use software has long been something that organizations wish to avoid. In the proprietary market these license packs vary and some present more value than others but from a fundamental perspective it rarely includes anything more than the ability to lease their system and get some level of support.

To the contrary on the open source market you’ll find that those monies are easily repurposed for patching, security updates, support, and new enhancements which provide a higher return on the total dollars spent both in the onset of the project but very much so in the continued support and maintenance of the open source enterprise CMS.


One of the strongest advantages to the open source community is the ability to leverage existing code for rapid application and dynamic content management development. In fairness, in the enterprise market a substantial amount of new code is developed even in the open source platform space. That being said more is being contributed to the community from this client base every day which gives us a quicker path to completing custom functionality.

With many proprietary systems most of the time the code and features developed for an organization isn’t owned by them. This is very problematic as an organization's website continues to evolve and that organization becomes handcuffed to the platform and don’t have a tangible asset for the monies spent in making customized improvements.


Using some of the major enterprise content management systems, such as Drupal, provides an incredible community and a very mature development network. This network ranges from freelance developers to top end firms like Unleashed Technologies able to manage the most complex business challenges.

Because of this depth you remove another layer of handcuffs to a particular platform and also remove the “scare and care” that proprietary vendors use in order to gain support for the platform.


The long term feasibility of a platform is always in question but in many respects much of the risk is mitigated when working in the open source space. For well-known platforms there are fully dedicated security teams focused on making sure that open source platforms are secure. The code developed for them and the major iterations are becoming more interoperable than ever before and focused on delivering a more object oriented approach, which gives greater opportunity to the organizations bold enough to leverage it.


From a pure enterprise content management perspective an open source platform, such as Drupal, would be the correct choice for non-profit and professional service-based organizations that want to create a highly engaging experience focused around the wealth of information they provide to their respective constituents. This is under the broad assumption of course there aren’t other reasons that a proprietary system would be a better match.

If you’d like to learn more about enterprise content management systems and some of the challenges that have been overcome please see our case studies and as always our Solutions Architects are happy to provide our thoughts on this major decision that will affect your organization for many years to come. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to discuss your enterprise content management development needs.

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