Content Management System (CMS) platforms such as Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) are purchased by enterprise organizations looking to empower their brand and business unit marketers to create first-class digital experiences with reduced maintenance costs and dependence on IT. However, many organizations find themselves experiencing the opposite, with development and maintenance costs steadily increasing over time as their CMS becomes a Frankenstein of hundreds of components and IT once again becomes a bottleneck.
Building a clean, maintainable AEM platform in support of a single site is pretty straightforward. Without proper planning and business goals, however, enterprises consisting of multiple brands and business units often see what started as 40 components and 8-page templates multiply into 400 components and 80-page templates. Website updates become constrained by IT as simple fixes take days to regression test and new components and templates are loath to be added to an already complex system. The dreams of an enabled marketing team with limited dependence on IT are all but shattered and stakeholders are left with a simple question, "What happened?"
An enterprise AEM platform implementation can be likened to an apartment shared by roommates. The base amenities—kitchen, bathroom, sinks, and toilet come standard before the roommates even move in, and every roommate expects to use and share this base apartment "platform."
Beyond that, however, the roommates must decide how to share the costs and use of optional furnishings. It makes sense for each roommate to purchase their own bed to sleep in at night, but what about living room furniture? If one roommate prefers a recliner, and another prefers a couch, does it make sense to buy both, or would a couch with reclining end chairs satisfy both needs in a single piece? And just because there are four roommates with their own budgets, does it make sense to have four individual televisions? Or could the roommates split their budgets, one buying a TV while the others buy a table, chairs, and microwave to provide a lifestyle that no one of them could have afforded on their own?