Home > Digital Transformation, ECM, marketing, opinion > ECM vs. Content Services: The battle that never was

ECM vs. Content Services: The battle that never was

(Original article on LinkedIn March 20, 2017)

Gartner’s Analysts have set the ECM industry aflutter. Every self-respecting ECM pundit has expressed an opinion on the Big Issue: Is ECM dead? Should we be calling it Content Services? Has anything changed? Is Gartner correct? Is Gartner wrong?

Well done Gartner marketing! Mission accomplished.

In a recent post, Charles Weidman posed a question: “It’ll be interesting to see in six months or a year if the industry as a whole has followed Gartner’s lead”.

I’m sorry to say, but the industry followed Gartner’s “Content Services” lead, years before Gartner did. There is nothing new in this concept, as all serious ECM vendors have been exposing their Content Services APIs since the early ’00s, which is how System Integrators have been building bespoke solutions and integrating them into Line-of-Business applications.

There is no “vs.” in the “ECM vs. Content Services” conundrum: Content Services has been a key method of consuming ECM technology for years. CMIS (a common set of Content Services APIs, facilitating interoperability) was conceived nearly a decade ago (2008) and has been used extensively as a framework of “Content Services”.

As for ECM being “dead”, the annual lament of the ECM industry (see http://bit.ly/ecmisdead) is by now an established ritual.

What is new and differentiating, is to watch which ECM vendors’ Content Service APIs support modern, open and cloud-native architecture stacks, and which vendors can offer their Content Services in an agile development framework that accelerates innovation and Digital Transformation.

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