28th May, 2009

Companies are focusing their CMS budgets on implementation rather than licensing as they strive to get value from their web content management technology, according to research released today.

The CMS Survey Report 2009, published by Econsultancy in association with Squiz.net, found that 45% of organisations are planning to spend more on CMS implementation over the next year compared to only a quarter (26%) who will spend more on licences.

Similarly, only 12% of agency and vendor respondents said that their clients were typically planning to spend more on licensing for content management systems whereas a third of supply-side respondents said investment was going up for implementation.

Econsultancy’s Research Director, Linus Gregoriadis, said: “Many organisations are still not getting what they regard as value from their web content management platforms. So companies are typically investing more on implementation to ensure that their chosen CMS can be used effectively and truly deliver on their business requirements.”

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). The majority of respondents are based in the UK.

Ben Wales, General Manager, 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.”

He added: “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.”

According to the research, the majority of companies (60%) use proprietary software as their CMS, while 31% use either open source software (24%) or supported open source (7%). The largest organisations (those with more than 1,000 employees) are much more likely to be using proprietary software than companies with fewer than 100 employees (89% compared to 46%).

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.

Other key findings:

-) The research also found that ease of use is the most important factor for companies assessing a CMS system, with 49% of companies deeming this to be a top-three criterion when making their selection. Only 18% of responding organisations rate their CMS as ‘excellent’ for ease of use.

-) Cost is deemed to be a priority factor (for assessing a CMS) by just over a third of companies surveyed (37%), while search engine friendliness (30%) emerges as the third most important factor (after ease of use and cost).

-) Very few companies rate their satisfaction with their CMS system as ‘excellent’. A fifth of companies (21%) rate community open source vendors as being excellent, significantly higher than for other types of CMS. Only 4% rate ‘household name proprietary vendors’ as excellent.

-) A breakdown of results by company size shows that ease of integration with other parts of the business and configurability with workflows is a more significant factor for larger companies than for smaller organisations when selecting a CMS. Cost and SEO friendliness are both criteria which are a lower priority for larger companies than for smaller organisations.

-) 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.

-) However, the lack of support for Web 2.0 functionality is thought to be the most negative aspect of current content management systems, with nearly half of organisations (47%) surveyed regarding this as a “downside” of their CMS. A quarter (26%) of respondents say that SEO issues are a downside.

The full E-consultancy / Squiz CMS Survey Report 2009 is available for download here:


Journalists and bloggers can email or call Linus Gregoriadis for a complimentary copy of the report and / or further information.

Email: Linus AT econsultancy.com

Tel: + 44 (0) 207 269 1465 or + 44 (0) 7956 5645713.

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy is the leading source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce. Our reports, events, online resources and training programmes help a community of over 80,000 registered marketers make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers.

Join Econsultancy today to learn what’s happening in digital marketing – and what works.

Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7269 1450 or contact us online.


About Squiz

Squiz is a ‘Supported Open Source’ enterprise software company, founded in Sydney, Australia in 1998. Squiz produces the enterprise-class Open Source Content Management System (CMS), MySource Matrix, and deliver progressive MySource Matrix CMS service solutions to customers around the world from our network of sales and support centres in Australasia and Europe.

The Squiz business model is deliberately different. Whilst the product itself is open source (and therefore free), we earn money by providing a warranted, supported version of the product and through the provision of surrounding services such as enterprise-class implementation, support, SLAs and training.

Many of the world’s leading brands - including Boots, Oxford University, EMAP, The Australian Federal Government, Royal Mail and the UK’s Electoral Commission and National Health Service - use the MySource Matrix Open Source CMS to drive their web strategy forwards.


Published on: 2:44PM on 28th May 2009