Enterprise "Content" Management - is that the right word?

By Mark Mandel posted 05-13-2011 09:12


Many folks in the ECM and RM industries use the term "Content" to describe what is being managed by our automated systems.  The term "Enterprise Content Management" or ECM originated from the desire to assimilate Web Content Management (WCM) into the AIIM umbrella. At the time WCM was mainstream and the AIIM community wanted to expand to become more mainstream.

In the context of managing web sites the term "Content" makes sense.  Web sites have content that must be managed and controlled.  WCM products provide authoring tools, templates, approval workflow, and publishing tools to make the process of creating and managing web site content easier and more controlled.

Web site content is a mix of static and dynamic information, and it sometimes needs governance.  The toolset for managing web sites to some extent overlaps typical document management product tools - workflow, repositories, approval steps and so on.

The problem with taking this paradigm and applying it to the context of traditional document and records management systems is that users of these system do not think in terms of "Content."  Users think in terms of business process, specific pain points, regulatory constraints, litigation risk, and cost controls.  In this context the term "Content" has no relevance.

The only people I hear using this term are vendors.  Perhaps my personal experiences are limited, but I have never heard the term used by an end user except in the context of web content management.

Therefore I recommend that we all focus our marketing message and discussion around what end users feel are their business drivers.  Simplify the message to "managing business records" to reduce risk, save money, and to be more responsive to customers and organizational oversight.

What do you think?

#RM #ElectronicRecordsManagement #ECM