Why pay for any proprietary enterprise application in general? While this post appear to target CMS in particular (probably because it is sponsored by a CMS hosting/service provider) the arguments are generic enough to apply to any form of proprietary enterprise software.
I’ve used both open source and proprietary CMS over the past 12 years and I strongly disagree.
Content is a precious resource, company in many industries relay heavily on the information often encapsulated in their content… it is not just another system in their application landscape… Manage it wrong and you can be in for a lot of trouble with customers/regulators/public…
It is not something that you implement to tick the “Done that” box… it is something worth investing in because the returns are massive and you want to make sure that whoever you chose as your vendor for CMS is most adequate for your industry and type of content and will have your back when you’ll call at 2AM on a Saturday because <insert whatever emergency you can think of>.
The sort of investment that any customer, no matter how large, represents for an open source vendor is negligible VS. the rest of the community… there’s only so much support that you can expect… whereas proprietary CMS vendors, when aligned properly with your company’s objectives in terms of product strategy and executive relationship can get 5 of their best guys on a plane from Singapore/Sydney/Munich/Moscow/… straight to your door step if circumstances require it..
It is the same reason with Oracle/SAP/Microsoft/IBM/.. Still exist despite over a decade and a half of existence for open-source alternatives to their CMS/ERP/RDBMS/BI/Web Servers…
It all boils down to risk management.
If content criticality is low for your company, then open source maybe right for you… if you’re serious about Web experience management and/or are generating a significant part of your revenue from the accuracy/availability of said content, then the investment is worthwhile.