Enterprise content management vs document management system: What's the difference?

A document management system (DMS) is different to enterprise content management (ECM). In this guide, we’re looking at what makes them different and providing examples of why your business would want to choose one solution over another.

What is document management?

For businesses, document management is the process of storing and accessing digital documents. This can include PDFs, images, word processing files and more. The system can store copies of paper-based documents, but also replaces the need for some physical documents.

The storage capacity exceeds that of a physical filing cabinet or archives. It’s also a more secure, cost-effective and accessible way to store and retrieve documents. 

What is enterprise content management?

Enterprise content management goes further. It’s an entire solution that makes every facet of content management more manageable, productive and cost-effective. ECM can manage more information. This includes website content, emails, video and audio files, rich media assets and more.  Reports, brand guidelines, etc can be 100% digital for a more sustainable business model. 

These systems include the ability to automate processes, including content approvals and order confirmations. It’s a fantastic way to streamline all facets of your content management, including invoice processing and customer relationship processes. It saves time on those little administrative tasks that add up. 

Another time-saving element is that it can bring all your apps together, making the information accessible from a single source. No more logging in and out of different platforms to complete tasks! You’ll also be able to bring more information together, making insights on your internal processes more visible. 

It’s interactive, and you’ll be able to see a complete version history, tracking who made what changes and when. 

Overall, it offers a launchpad for more efficient, productive business operations. It’s an advanced content storage solution that can transform the way you work. 

Which is right for your business?

Below, we’re covering when a business would benefit more from Enterprise Content Management or a Document Management System. This will help you choose the right solution.

Who would benefit from an ECM?

As they offer more advanced functionality, ECM systems are more suitable for mature businesses and enterprises. 

Where there is a medium-high level of risk when it comes to information management, an ECM can provide advanced data protection and security features. This is ideal for healthcare and financial organisations where maintaining client confidentiality is crucial. 

ECM systems are also a fantastic way to bring data from multiple sources together, to provide more advanced insights. 

Who should use a DMS?

This solution focuses more on the basic organisation of documents. If you’re a smaller business that simply wants an effective way to store and access documents and paper-based copies, a document management system may be more appropriate for your needs. If your organisation only needs to look at whole documents, rather than parts of many documents to collate information, then a DMS should be more than sufficient. 

Need help choosing and setting up an ECM for your business?

Our experts can reduce time-to-implementation by months, making sure that you have all the features set up for your exact requirements. We can help you choose the right solution and get the most out of the features that are available. 

With our out-of-the box “fast starter” content management templates, in some cases we can have you up and running with ECM in hours.

Ready to find out more? Request your demonstration of Doxis with one of our experts.

By Austen Moore

Marketing Manager

Responsible for managing Ignite Technology’s marketing initiatives, Austen uses market research and analysis to direct marketing strategy and planning. He oversees the production of all promotional materials and marketing campaigns. With over 20 years of experience managing a range of companies, Austen’s expertise centres around commercial management, enterprise content management, marketing, sales, project management and team leadership.