CrownPeak, a hosted Web CMS vendor, have released a study of IT and Content Management professionals that (surprisingly) finds that most people want and need Web CMS solutions for managing web content, and, that customers using hosted/on-demand solutions tend to be happier.The study, conducted with King Research, a marketing research and consulting company, was based on a September 2006 survey of the current state of content management and included 361 respondents who had some role in managing large corporate Web sites. The overall trend in the survey findings was that respondents know they need CMS but aren't happy with their current provider/platform and much improvement is needed.
The study also found a persistence of inconsistency around who was responsible for maintaining corporate websites. While most people said 'Marketing', a large amount of the burden has been pushed to IT. If implemented correctly and trained properly, the focus of content updates should shift back to marketing. This may account for the finding that the average amount of time it takes to update content of a website is over one day.
Diane Hagglund of King Research said of the study results:
Creating, editing and publishing Web site content is an ongoing challenge for any organization trying to make the most of limited budgets and resources. Our survey showed that defining and implementing a process that enables content providers -- no matter what their technical savvy -- to quickly and efficiently manage content has proven very problematic to marketing, IT and other groups with ownership of dynamically changing Web sites
Additionally, the study that 96% of the participants sited the business need for a content management system but only 11% thought that need should be developed in house. That leaves 85% of respondents believing they should go outside to procure their Web CMS solution. The study also found that people were happier with hosted solutions over on-premise deployments, by a 79% to 54% margin. Both results obviously bode well for CrownPeak.
Jim Howard, CrownPeak's CEO commented that "...it is not surprising that organizations continue to look for ways to streamline their approach to Web Content Management in order to better support their business. But with so many Web Content Management system options available in the marketplace -- not just in terms of products, but delivery methods as well -- the choice of which is right for your organization is often a challenge."
No kidding. The CMS marketplace remains one of the most crowded, despite numerous mergers and acquisitions. The US has many strong players in the mid-level and the European pot is definitely well above simmer, as pointed out in a previous article.
As with any sponsored surveys, one should take the findings with a grain of salt. If true, however, these results point to a growing trend toward and opportunity for the adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) or "on-demand" Web CMS solutions.
This would come as no surprise really. The SaaS poster child, SalesForce.com, has turned the opinion broadly. The concept is no longer a strange one. Switching the system costs from a capital expense to an operational expense is welcomed by many. And the one big argument against -- that one can't have sensitive corp data outside the firewall -- is generally a binary one and something the sales guys can either bat down quickly or must walk away from.
CrownPeak is just one of the vendors who have chosen a SaaS strategy. Another primary competitor would be San Francisco-based Clickability. There are also an increasing number of smaller companies offering SaaS options, in fact its become a rather common checkbox of late, and even a few copying the Google Appliance model, lending a middle road where on-premise deployments can be executed quickly via a prepackaged hardware and software solution.
Certainly the SaaS model has legs, and is moving briskly along. The CrownPeak/King Research study (download here - registration required) is just one more small stone, in what has already become a solid conceptual foundation.