Industry Insights

Is Open Source CMS a Serious Option?

Jade Carter

By Jade Carter

April 20, 2015

CMS, Gartner, open source

Open source vs. closed source is certainly not a new conversation. It's an easy way to grab a headline and fan the flames of this ancient 'licensing war'. However, for the most part, the proprietary clan have developed a somewhat discriminatory outlook on their open source competition. Most are living in a cloud of pretense, convinced that this Open Source Software (OSS) community will never reach their 'status'.

In the latest installment of CMS-Insider, Scott took to this notion and warned the proprietary membership to give their head a shake and start taking OSS more seriously.

Scott lays it out like this:

"It's not one versus the other, per-se. I conduct myself in an advisory role with some very large 'closed source' organizations; those that you might see up and to the right (in reference to the Gartner MQ Leaders quadrant). They come across very dismissive of the Open Source movement and are not taking it seriously.

My response to them was; hold it, you certainly do need to be taking them seriously. There is a awful lot of movement there and soon they will capture more and more of your market share."

The segment builds on this idea and takes some time to support the open source community as a viable option.

"Yes, I believe there is some naivety on their part. They would do well to pay attention to what Clayton Christiansen called 'disruptive innovation'. The concept here is that the 'up and to the right' club, by way of their price tag, are having to focus on an ever shrinking client base. The fortune 50-500 companies which make up the primary adoptors have an imbalanced influence over the development of the product to meet their very specific needs. The end result is increasing complexity, cost and specificity which only widens the gap to the mid-range market. In doing so these companies create opportunities for 'inclusive' software companies to swoop in and exploit this growing demographic."

Who Is Taking Open Source Seriously?

Scott has a message for all the naysayers who wish to flame him for 'waving the OSS flag'.

"Take a moment to read over some readily available statistics that details platforms on which the majority of the internet sites are built on. Over 40% are built on Wordpress and a large portion of the remainder are on other open source platforms or no platform at all. So the group that is taking OSS seriously is the average website owner, who is having to pay less and less for more versatile open source solutions.

Why Does this Matter to CMS-Connected Viewers?

The point here is that an overwhelming volume of potential CMS clients don't need these increasingly sophisticated features found in the most expensive web tools. Relative to the average CMS user there are very few who actually need these capabilities. Growing from this need are an increasing community of alternative solutions that are happy to provide to this mid-market group at considerably lower cost.

"We should not view price or whether a license is open source or not as an indication of its capability to handle their needs."

Are You Taking Open Source Seriously?

We'd love to hear your take on this eternal debate. Leave us a comment below or chat to us on Twitter. Do you think these 'country club' solutions are perfectly content with their small but lucrative market?

Watch the Full Segment Below

Jade Carter

Jade Carter

Jade is a content writer for CMS-Connected, facilitating the needs of the company blog. Bringing 10 years of Search and Digital Marketing to the table, he strives to build informative, relevant and fun editorial posts for the blog feed. Jade is an ultra distance (26.2 miles+) trail runner and lives to run trails in and around his home town of Victoria, BC.

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