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With a rapidly changing world , an abundance of information, it is a common knowledge that all websites require constant updates as static content simply isn’t useful to visitors and customers.

It is also forcing organizations to find creative ways of leveraging this information or content to create a competitive advantage. These organizations can look towards adopting a software as a service model to manage their multiple digital assets from a single centralized interface.

Content is king these days and websites need to be managed and driven by the business people, far less by the underlying technology that is needed to build up the content.

New and neat content is driving people and customers to websites and it clearly builds a long term relationships with viewers and visitors of the site.

A modern business or organization needs therefore an engine to streamline all its digital content from one single interface and needs an engine that is scalable and manageable by different types of content contribution. An engine that can be used as a service, rather then as a software product, whether it is custom build or open source software. A content management system provided to you as a service guarantees an end-to-end responsibility of the vendor that the software will work according to specifications and that your content will be on-line in a timely manner and will remain there.

Adopting a software service model for building up web or digitized content, is also choosing a fast deployment model, a low cost deployment model, a fast adoption cycle within the organization, a fast proof of concept and transparent updates and upgrades, as you will always be running on the latest available release of the software without additional costs.

Important as well, is that in the cycle from proof of concept to launch of your digital platform, Help will be available to you in order to guide you through the process. Although open source CMS system play a role in the content management market place, they quite often lack the support resources to build up a feature rich and function-rich environment. Other hidden costs coming from development, maintenance, upgrades and hosting that are common for the open source CMS systems, are completely transparent for CMS systems sold as a service.

The service delivery guarantee plays is an important plus for CMS vendors that have adopted a service model, as all payments are predicated upon service delivery. Because the risk of canceling the service when it does not meet specifications or SLA’s, the vendors with a service model become more accountable and are certainly driven to make your site a success for the business.

By using a service model, organizations can cut down on their own risks, and choose different functionality as they grow their digital presence. Also the vendors are scrutinized and evaluated on a permanent basis, because one can shift to another competing vendor almost overnight. Vendors are billing monthly, quarterly or annually, but the costs are spread over the lifetime of the usage of the service. In a traditional product model, the entire cost is paid upfront and the risk of product implementation, adoption and continuity is on the shoulders of the customer.

There are serious productivity gains to a service model. Any business user or any user if allowed can contribute to the content of the website, and this from any location and at any time of the day and by simply using a web browser. The entire rights can be managed and changed depending on the needs of the business and the organization. Different people can be given different editing rights, depending on their contribution. Templates will guide content contributors through the editing cycle. It allows basically anyone with editing or admin rights to quickly and easily create, edit, manage and publish unique content to the digital content of your website.

And not least, there are significant reductions possible in the cost of ownership of your digital content. And it start with your proof of concept, that can now be done in a matter of weeks, rather then months. Then the price of the service, whether billed monthly or quarterly is substantially lower then comparable custom made software and hardware. There is a substantial costs, hidden in the case of open source CMS system, open in the case of custom build CMS systems that goes to upgrades, support, Helpdesk and trouble shooting. All those services are included in your monthly subscription if you choose the CMS service model.

And all the above is available without having to compromise on functionality, because most of the CMS systems delivered as a service have come to market quite recently and have a full set of modern features and often include capturing, editing and managing more digital content then equivalent custom build content management systems. And the functionality is growing by the day, it is adapted to the latest demands in the marketplace and that functionality is made available to the entire customer base as soon as it launched. Traditional software vendors can very often have big disruptions in their releases and come up with a completely new technology. Service models can and will never be able to do that.

In conclusion, in the web 2.0 world there are thousands of reasons to move your digital content to a content management system. Other then the obvious cost of chance, there is no reason not to do it. About 40% of all businesses have adopted some sort of CMS system and by 2011 that number will be at 60%. For small and medium sized businesses and for all non-profit organization the choice remains difficult and to a certain extend risky. The risk can be diminished and the cost can be well controlled by choosing a Software service model for managing your digital content. You can enter the modern digital era without having to do a major upfront investment.

This Web Marketing article was written by Philippe Bodart on 10/27/2009

WEBRIQ provides an online website builder that enables anyone to publish their own website, and that from a simple website to a complex business, community or news portal.