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What Are Content Services and How Do They Compare to ECM?

    Mar 3

    The technology world is riddled with acronyms and buzz words, many developed by marketing teams trying to make complex technical things understandable to non technical people. Just as you begin to understand something, a new twist is introduced, causing more confusion not less.

    In the 1990’s, the simple concept of document imaging was introduced. Imaging was a pretty basic concept of taking paper documents, transforming them to a digital image, and allowing people to search and view information quickly. In the early 2010’s, the ability to route images, create workflows, and impose retention rules took hold so the industry renamed itself Enterprise Content Management.

    Now, we have another change being adopted by the industry experts: Content Services. Similar to the change from document imaging to ECM, the shift to Content Services is a result of how this technology is used to benefit users and how companies are taking advantage of the shift to a more digital and mobile world. Businesses require more than an electronic storage facility for documents and files. Businesses look at their data as an asset, which can drive growth.

    Here are a few of the key differences between ECM and the new Content services:

    1. ECM is focused on the document or the file, Content Services adds related data – At the core of ECM was the document, either paper or electronic. It provided all the information the user needed. It was the evidence, backup, or proof needed in a given situation. Think invoices, HR files, contracts, and other historical information. Content services goes beyond just the document providing insights to the business based on related information and information that potentially resides in other systems. An example would be a Project Manager receives timely updates from accounting, purchasing, and project management systems with alerts to critical actions and approval requests on their mobile device.
    2. ECM tried to be the sole repository and Content Services acknowledges there will be multiple repositories – ECM was all about creating the ONE true source of information for the company. If you just make everyone put all their information in the ECM system you will have place to go that will be secure and available to all! Turns out that was too much to ask for most companies. The reality that Content Services acknowledges is that there will are multiple repositories within a company. There is always going to be another drive, another software, or another place information lives. Acknowledging that, content services seeks ways to leverage multiple repositories for the benefit of the user.
    3. New tech – just as the shift from Document Imaging to ECM represented the adoption of new technology, so does this shift to Content Services. While this list of tech that could be included in Content Services continues to grow, certainly Cloud, Mobile, and Robotic Process Automation are top of the list. Development in these areas is leading to rapidly available, usable, automation solutions that are driving productivity and profitability of organizations in new and exciting ways.

    Technology continues to improve and there are new ways you can use the information available to you for significant gains in productivity and profitability.

    We can be your guide, your translator on this journey. Schedule a no obligation call with Ryan to get started.


    Content Management ECM

    Posted by Ryan White
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