Since Gartner Inc. declared that Enterprise Content Management (ECM) was dead in early 2017, the popularity of content services has increased. Though ECM is supposedly dead, some organizations still make use of ECM solutions, while others shifted to content services. Not only this, but many providers offer both content management and content services solutions. The two terms are used interchangeably at times because, even two years after Gartner’s declaration, the difference between them is still a bit murky. However, there is, in fact, a difference between ECM and content services. But more importantly, where do content management and content services stand now? To answer that, we have to go back to the beginning, before content services.

What is ECM?

ECM began as a means to merge the capabilities of different types of content repositories together. These included enterprise document management (EDM), web content management (WCM), and digital asset management (DAM). ECM showed that the content supported by these platforms shared common business requirements, and provided a single platform for all the content they included.

However, documents, web pages, and rich media began to be used differently over time. For this reason, it became more difficult to manage content from a single platform, as the differences between their use cases were too drastic. At this point, the meaning of content management started to shift. While ECM still offered a single platform for all the documents in a company, these types of solutions became more about standard principles. The focus shifted to creating an enterprise approach to managing content, regardless of where and how it was stored.

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