Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) in the early 2000s coined the term enterprise content management (ECM). Since the turn of the century, ECM has ruled the information management ecosystem. But, today ECM is replaced by a whole new set of software tools—content services.

ECM has outlived its significance in the cloud-enabled world, superseded by adaptable ‘content services’ tools. Content services include a wide range of technologies such as Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS), content federation, and migration services. Most of the organizations are concerned about their current ECM ventures and their roadmaps that are becoming obsolete for leveraging newer ECM solutions.

Initially, ECM was capable of undertaking several content-related tasks such as workflow and library services, records management, and document output. However, it failed to reverberate with many businesses, as it never quite delivered the promise of managing important business information in an efficient manner. Another problem is that ECM has never been a one-stop solution. Typically, organizations employ more than one system for every department, which is difficult to administer.

A better ECM future demands transition from function-specific legacy systems to something that addresses the way people utilize digital tools — in a manner that is adaptable, flexible, and continuously improving. Many companies have high-priced legacy ECM, which they do not want to discard in a hurry. 

The best way of adopting content services is to understand that ECM-type products are suitable for functioning in the background. Their value lies in serving content to systems and people that need it; the process improvements, informed-decisions, and service innovation makes this possible. Reaching to the content services future is complex and will require a much larger contribution from ECM rather than it being considered outdated. Businesses will move on, but ECM will still be a major part of the story for at least some time to come.