The amount of data generated in the present times is growing at the rate of 40% per year – a development that is expected to continue well into the next decade. This increase in the amount of data is further driving the number of connected enterprises and people, which in turn has led to the development as well as emergence of new opportunities for businesses around the world. With data generation and availability projections of 44 zettabytes (or 44 trillion gigabytes) by 2020, enterprises need to look at alternate options to present and manage their exploding data servers, while being able to scale existing platforms.
Data management solutions like Enterprise Content Management and Content Management Systems are common knowledge in the technology sector. To the uninitiated, an ECM is that it is used for managing documents while a CMS is used for managing web content. However, both these definitions are technically incorrect. We find out the differences between the two.
Enterprise Content Management System (ECM)
The word “enterprise” is supposed to be the catchphrase in Enterprise Content Management system, added by document management vendors about a decade ago as a marketing ploy. Soon after, Web CMS vendors followed suit hoping to market themselves as providers of both content and document management. However, an ECM is anything but a system; it is the practice of managing enterprise content. In general, an ECM is either of the following two points:
It is a system to manage records or documents, forming the base of enterprise content management. Although, it is easy to extend the capabilities of an ECM into managing all sorts of content within the enterprise, it is not so. Take a good look at the names of some of the ECMs – SharePoint, Filenet and Documentum – and you’ll realize that they are actually document management solutions.
More simply, an ECM is simply a suite of tools to manage the enterprise content.
Content Management System (CMS)
Technically, a CMS is a system that “manages” “content” – two terms that are equally difficult to define. They can translate into anything from a portal, a blog and a media asset management platform to a document management system. These days, however, when a web application development company speaks of a content management system, they are more specifically referring to a web Content Management System or a WCMS.
How are they same or different?
In theory, if both the definitions of ECM and a CMS are considered, a Content Management System can be termed a superset of Enterprise Content Management System (in essence, any ECM tool can manage content, which does not necessarily hold true in case of a CMS). But, in reality, these terms tend to be as simple as the ones stated at the beginning – CMS for the web and ECM for documents. Knowing or being able to understand the differences and similarities between the two systems is essential to be able to determine the right tools for the business or a particular task or requirement.