Having been quoted in EContent magazine, discussing the positive impact of CMS on Green Computing strategies, I thought I’d develop this into a fuller blog post. – How do Content Management Systems help with today’s green IT strategies?  In a break to my recent focus on my experience with the Social Web…. it’s back the the CMS. 

This all started last year with a really interesting discussion with Andrew Ewing of HP, at the time he was evangalising records management and we had an incredibly interesting conversation (you always do with Andrew) – one small part was about e-mail attachments. Specifically the huge duplication in most e-mail repositories and the savings his software was bringing to large organisation just doing that alone. 

These huge repositories of duplicated content affect the agility of an organisation – Outlook servers that take eons to backup and seemingly even longer to reboot – it strikes me that all this redundant data is like cholesterol in the arteries of large enterprises.  

I would be willing to bet that any content management practitioner worthy of the badge, has their own version of the ‘single version of the truth’ story. In my case the anecdote of how much Nestle saved when they realised they had thousands of images, separately stored, of someone pouring milk – which I think I picked up at Vignette, has stood me in good stead over the years!

The core of the proposition has traditionally been about governance, of using the right approved content item or image and of being able to squeeze the maximum amount of value out of the production of expensive copy and images. 

The green computing agenda and the cost saving energy strategies that large organisations are now adopting gives this basic competence of a CMS fresh wings. That storing something once is an efficient thing to do. 

I have always got my thrills from specialising in Web Content Management and audience engagement through the web. I am not an Enterprise Content Management (the art of turning your organisation into an efficient filing system) expert, but clearly there are further efficiencies that Document and Records management tools can bring – when you start filing everything in your corporate life once and re-using.    

In addition, rolling out content management projects, in the form of Intranets is an essential part of a strategy of encouraging people to store things once and to create a culture of self service knowledge repositories and sharing links to the one item – rather than giving everyone a copy of a huge presentation or document via e-mail. 

In the WCM world we also need to look at, or more specifically I guess – prospective customers should be challenging their vendors on – the efficiency of how we deliver the content. One of our US financial customers required 24 web servers to power its old solution, before implementing our CMS solution on just six. 

So, back to the article. I was interviewed by a very smart journalist, Carolina K. Reid (sorry no link as she doesn’t appear to be anywhere!), had a very interesting chat resulting in this article – also reprinted for CIO today.   

It’s clear that when confronted with a big problem of load or of storage, the right IT answer is no longer to throw ‘tin’ at it – however cheap ‘tin’ – more servers, more disks – might be these days. The ongoing costs are getting more focus as is the energy consumed in maintaining them in their cooled cocoon and a good content management strategy should figure somewhere in you plans to minimize that.