When all CMSes are Open Source?
A blog post today by Janus Boye on some (quite unbelievable) claims by Danish CMS vendor Sitecore got me thinking about something...
Several analysts have talked about the growing trend towards Open Source for Content Management systems. Many people still have this outdated view that Open Source means a free lunch. Well, in the CMS space it doesn't really. You do still need to go through all the due diligence, planning, requirements gathering, customisation, etc that you would do with a commercial system. The main difference being that you are not taking a big hit up front for the license fees and can be a lot more flexible in your approach to the development on top of the CMS as you are not held back by vendor licensing, and are not beholden to one single vendor company.
Commercial CMS vendors like to try and debunk that Open Source gives a lower TCO in a project by stating that the licensing fees are only a small part of the total TCO, and the main chunk is made up of points mentioned above (planning, implementation, etc).
If that is the case and fast forwarding a few years to the point that all CMSes become 'Open Source' (or claim they are Open Source by just giving away some freebie version, or dropping their license fees altogether) how will companies like Sitecore survive, whom according to their numbers in Janus' blog post earned DKK 76M out of a total DKK 79M by license revenue? If the license fees is such a small insignificant part of the total cost of a CMS implementation then how can you base an entire company revenue stream on it?