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Content Management vs Document Management – Is There a Difference?

Today, technology and managed content software can streamline processes and automate workflows making any business operate more efficiently and profitably. However, the range of managed content solutions can be overwhelming especially as you wade through the acronyms!

In this post, we will explore two of these acronyms and hopefully clear up some confusion.

Document Management Systems (DMS) vs Content Management Systems (CMS)

For example, consider these two solutions that sound similar, but deliver different outcomes depending on your needs and how you adapt them. Let’s define these services to better understand their similarities and differences.

  • Document Management – A document management system is a system that helps companies to create, track, collaborate on, and store digitized documents. A DMS is used to retain, classify, and protect electronic information. A DMS also supports versioning, collaboration, and workflows – both manual and automated.
  • Content Management – Content management systems (CMS) are used to create and manage digital content and more traditional documents. For example, a CMS can not only be used for PDFs, Word, or Excel files, it could also be used to manage images, web pages, records, and flash files.

Both of these solutions have other similarities. These include managing documents, centralized data storage, and high-level security, to name a few. But… there are also several key differences to understand as well.

How DMS and CMS are Different

The primary purpose of a DMS is workflow management and regulatory compliance. A CMS is mainly used for the storage, retrieval, and publishing of content. Another difference is that a DMS generally manages structured data like traditional documents in Word or PowerPoint.

A CMS can manage structured and unstructured data like digital assets and web content. A DMS application offers advanced image and scanning features including optical character and mark recognition. CMS tools tend not to support advanced functions.

Both applications are similar if your small business doesn’t have complex content and document needs. At the enterprise level, content and document management systems are used. Larger organizations tend to have more complex structured and unstructured data needs.

Basically, a CMS plays a more broad role than a DMS, however, a CMS will include at least some of the features of a DMS, because documents are a major digital component of a CMS.

Ready to learn more? Give us a call and let us help you make an informed decision for your business!

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