Question 10: Do you think IST should be in the business of providing multi-tier CMS solution support?
Will Clipson (Rec Sports) - Yes.
Tom Holub (LSCR) - If the price were right, we would certainly use it.
Mara Hancock (ETS) - I don't know. I would need to see more use cases and better understand market demand. I think you should be in the business of supporting your end user and it should be expressed that way, rather than the technical way expressed above.
Steve McConnell (Public Affairs) - It would be nice to have IST provide a handful of CMS-type platforms for campus customers -- my nominees would be Drupal, WordPress and a campuswide installation of Hannon Hill's Cascade Server, for which UCOP has negotiated a systemwide discount. But to gain wide use, those tools are going to need to come at only a modest additional cost (or no extra cost, in the case of WordPress, as is the case for many outside webhosts). And especially for Drupal and Cascade Server, there would need to be a consulting/development component available to users that isn't cost-prohibitive.
I don't know that it's cost-effective for IST to offer a broader suite of CMS tools for different types of campus users, particularly given the competitive marketplace of outside hosting companies. What would be appreciated from my perspective would be recommendations of outside vendors, perhaps coupled with an IST-driven relationship with those vendors. I don't think such a relationship is likely to result in better prices for campus users -- we're small potatoes in the vast and competitive stew of web hosting customers. But if it could result in a better support relationship with those vendors, and a smoothing of the interface between outside hosting and berkeley.edu addressing, it would be very helpful.
Jason Christopher (Goldman School) - Hmm, if you go enterprise, then support should come from the provider of the software. In this case, IST could still be very strong about the security side. I think IST security folks should examine the security implications of any CMS brought to campus and provide a service by setting this up with the administrator. For example, it would have been very helpful to be able to go to a trained security professional and ask them analyze how a particular CMS should be configured in the most secure fashion at Berkeley and having them step me through it.
Tom Chow (UNEX) - Yes!
Scot Hacker (Journalism) - CMSs are inherently complex - that's why there are more than 600 of them on the market. Most of them suffer from trying to be all things to all people. It is hard to imagine a single CMS solution that could serve the needs of everyone without becoming a onerous or bloated.
At the same time I recognize that many/most departments don't have the tech skills to build or manage their own CMS, so it's probably a need that wants filling.
I asked for a show of hands at a recent webnet meeting and was amazed to find that more than half of the departments represented didn't have a CMS at all. In 2010. This floored me. Because something is better than nothing, I imagine a lot of departments would be grateful for access to a managed CMS and wouldn't have the complaints with it that I'm sure I would have. But I would also expect the support requirements for it to be very high.
Christy Hopeman (Cal Alumni) - Yes, but I also think that the majority of IT operations should be centralized. It's the only way to truly manage costs and protect data.
Donna Hendrix (Plant Micro Biology) - Yes, as long as it is affordable.
Nancy Schimmelman (Summer Sessions)