Document Management versus Content Management

Things used to be simple. In the 90s, I delivered Document Management solutions. They were simple, straightforward, and they worked. With the start of the new millennium, I started delivering Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions. The difference was that we were supposed to be handling content that weren’t documents. This included pictures, videos, and web pages.

Except that I wasn’t often doing that.

Sure, I delivered a few Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems and created some websites and portals. When you got down to it, I spent most of my time delivering slightly more evolved Document Management solutions with some process thrown in to spice things up.

Forget “Enterprise”. It was always solutions solving specific business problems, at least on the successfully projects. At best, I was simply delivering Content Management, not ECM.

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ECM or Document Management?

imageI’ve been working to help re-define ECM these days.  It has been a matter of using the term Enterprise Content Management versus creating a new term.  My theory is use the term that a lot of people know and don’t start the education process over.  John Mancini, the president of AIIM, talked the ECM label on his Digital Landfill blog.

A more important question has arisen…is ECM even relevant as a concept?  CMS Watch really kicked this thought process off by saying that the term should be reserved for that rare breed of big, complex, and typically very expensive platforms that actually merit such a grandiose term.  For other systems that may aspire to ECM, but aren’t there, Document Management is the term.

I’m thinking Yes and No.

Before we look at Document Management, let’s look at ECM as a platform.

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