What Total Cost of Ownership Really Means

By Laura Rives — Thursday, December 17th, 2015 at 11:00am
What Total Cost of Ownership Really Means

When it comes to web content management systems, total cost of ownership is a topic of frequent discussion. But, the more you research, it becomes apparent that the definition of "total" is still up for discussion.

With open source software, total cost of ownership is rarely looked at in an aggregate way. Because open source CMSs limit acquisition costs by foregoing standard licensing fees, the initial lack of investment required by open source solutions is marketed as one of the primary selling points.

But there are problems with this logic. An open source CMS does not mean a free website. License fees are rarely the only cost incurred when procuring a content management system. Especially when you're dealing with open source solutions, the lack of initial costs is more than made up for by the heavy investment required by the mandatory human element.

Most open source CMSs require customization, often done by an outside web development shop. Additionally, it’s almost impossible to create a new template or section of your website without a qualified developer on staff or outsourcing the work to a vendor.

When you work with a proprietary system developed by a vendor, you typically purchase a packaged option that includes product support, maintenance, and new development - all included in the up-front costs. With an open source CMS, the burden is placed on the user to maintain and develop the system.

Furthermore, if you're interested in dedicated product support or professional services for implementation, there typically isn't a dedicated resource provided with open source systems.

Cascade CMS’s pricing is straightforward and you will not incur any hidden costs. You receive free licenses for your test, development, and standby instances with the purchase of the Standard Installed License. You receive licenses for test, development, standby, and load balancing with the purchase of the Enterprise License.

Additionally, you can download modules such as a news center, course catalog, social media mashup, faculty directory, emergency notification, and reports from Cascade Server Exchange at no additional cost and customize them to meet your needs. And we don’t force you into extended services projects. We’re here for you when you need us, but won’t sell you something you don’t need.

What about you? Have you been involved in a CMS purchasing decision? Was cost a primary factor?


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