Econsultancy’s CMS Survey Report (just published in association with Squiz) highlights that firms are typically focusing their budgets on implementing CMS rather than licensing, with 45% of organisations planning to spend more on CMS implementation over the next year compared to 26% who will spend more on licences.

It seems that many companies are finally getting the message that using software successfully (whether it’s CMS, web analytics technology or bid management platforms) is about aligning set-up and implementation with business requirements and investing in people power and processes as well as throwing cash at technology.

The better news for traditional CMS vendors is that companies are still investing heavily in their content management systems. A third of companies (35%) are spending at least £10,000 a year on their CMS licence, and for larger companies (with more than 1,000 employees), this increases to 70%.

Almost half (48%) of companies with more than 1,000 employees are spending more than £50,000 annually and 5% of these larger organisations are paying more than £1m per year on their CMS licensing.

The CMS Survey Report 2009 is based on a survey of more than 800 respondents, which took the form of an online survey in March and April 2009. Respondents included both client-side (in-house) organisations currently using a CMS and supply-side respondents (i.e. those working for CMS vendors or for third parties implementing CMS).

CMS Survey - Econsultancy 2009

Given the global recession, and a greater focus on demonstrating tangible ROI, it’s unsurprising that companies are looking to get more value from their CMS. Ben Wales, General Manager for Squiz UK, said:

“When budgets are being slashed, the focus rightly shifts to getting value for money. Recessions have a habit of doing this. Customers examine their costs harder and ask the kind of questions that really ought to have been raised before.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve seen more and more software development being outsourced in more sustainable ways, making it more cost-effective and flexible to ramp development efforts up or down.”

The report findings also show that ease of use is thought to be the most important criterion for assessing a CMS, according to almost half of companies (49%) surveyed. However, only 18% of companies rate their current CMS as “excellent” for ease of use, demonstrating the generally low levels of satisfaction with current content management systems.

Some 41% of companies say that their current CMS was either just “okay” or “poor” for ease of use, whilst nearly half (49%) say that the biggest reason for an unsuccessful CMS implementation is down to their CMS being too difficult to use.

The lack of support for Web 2.0 functionality is another bugbear, as nearly half of responding companies (47%) said that this was the biggest downside of their current CMS. Support for blogging in particular was frequently mentioned, and it is likely ‘Web 2.0’ support will become even more crucial as companies continue to integrate social features into the main website.

Three-quarters (75%) of respondents believe that personalisation is important for a web content management strategy, while a significant proportion also deem blogging (61%), social networking (48%), viral marketing (32%), micro-blogging (27%) and social news sites (26%) to be important.

There are plenty more charts, statistics and market data in the first Econsultancy /  CMS Survey Report. Download your copy or a free sample here: