Knowing some of the warning signs can be key to helping you prepare. When long-promised upgrades fail year after year to materialize -- Interwoven's TeamSite 7 was promised for 2007, then 2008, and then 2009 -- it's time to take a step back and start weighing options. Keeping your eye on news about the company, particularly if it's publicly traded, can also help. If the company's revenue is spiraling downward and staff for research and development are being trimmed, it should probably give you pause.
Since the Autonomy/Interwoven announcement, it's been telling to see how many of the midtier content management vendors have tried to reassure existing customers that their finances are solid, while also hoping to pick up customers that are having second thoughts about staying with Interwoven. It's like an old-fashioned land grab ...
The last few years have seen quite a shakeout in the content management industry as vendors have merged, been bought out, or simply shut down. And while much of the low-hanging fruit has been gobbled up, it's hard to argue against the trend continuing.
I can't claim to know what will happen with Interwoven or any other CMS vendor in these tough economic times, but I do know that even if your vendor seems to be rock solid, it's never too early to start sketching out an exit strategy, just in case.