"Recycling" information (a.k.a., "content reuse") is a critical goal for most content management systems. On this Earth Day 2008, I thought it appropriate to share another green movement that's emerging in the content management industry. While researching SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions for The Web CMS Report 2008, I talked to several customers who stated "it is greener" as a reason they decided to choose a hosted solution for their enterprise.
Granted, it was not the decisive reason -- apparently getting out of the IT business is more compelling than saving the planet -- but it was the first time that I heard it as a factor.
Many observers consider SaaS greener to the traditional installed approach because SaaS providers host multiple "tenants" on the same servers. This more efficient approach requires less energy and releases less CO2 than if each tenant were running their own servers.
So it should come as no surprise that two of the four SaaS CMS vendors we cover, Clickability and CrownPeak, both promote their offerings using the "greener" message. Clickability promotes their Four Green Tenets of the SaaS Model, and today CrownPeak announced a site devoted to helping other companies achieve carbon neutrality.
In an era of increasing server virtualization, this argument holds less water, at least within larger enterprises who are increasingly mastering virtualization. But for the mid-market customers that most SaaS vendors target, energy savings could become quite real. The bigger benefit may come in not having to employ people to babysit your Web CMS servers -- quite literally reducing the carbon-based footprints in your enterprise...
Of course, SaaS isn't for everyone. Bringing the wrong solution into your enterprise can generate a lot of hot air and steam, too, so consider all factors here.
Happy Earth Day.