Will “Software-as-a-Service” Work for Content Management?

Will “Software-as-a-Service” Work for Content Management?

Salesforce.com recently announced that it will be moving into the content management space.  Gartner.com says that this move is “evidence of the growing interest in basic content management delivered through the software-as-a-service model.”

So far, SalesForce has had succeeded either because of or despite its “software-as-a-service” (SaaS) model for their CRM application.  The question now is, will companies like the idea of SaaS for content management? 

What is Software as a Service?

To quote Wikipedia: 

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software application delivery model where a software vendor develops a web-native software application and hosts and operates (either independently or through a third-party) the application for use by its customers over the Internet… As a term, SaaS is generally associated with business software and is typically thought of as a low-cost way for businesses to obtain the same benefits of commercially licensed, internally operated software without the associated complexity and high initial cost.

The critical success factor of SaaS is embedded within Wikipedia’s definition.  SaaS is ideal when the cost of owning the software is steep.  Instead, use of the software becomes a service.  The downside is that your data is intricately bound to this the SaaS company.  Sure, data can be exported, but it instantly loses its functionality without the software platform.   

The question then is, can SalesForce.com create a content management system with so many perks, bells, and whistles that businesses will be willing to “rent” the software platform in which their content is stored as opposed to paying outright for software?

Time will tell!  If SalesForce proves as successful in the Content Management space as it has in the CRM space, the answer is a certain yes.  But as we know, the winds can change quickly in the technology game. 

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