Discussion about CMS vs. WCM/WCMS vs. ECM


Content Management Systems (CMS) are generally divided into Web Content Management System (WCM or WCMS) and Enterprise Content Management systems (ECM). WCMs are a subset of CMSs, and both abbreviations, WCM and WCMS, stand for Web Content Management Systems and can be used interchangeably. To fully clarify the difference between WCMs and ECMs, let’s start with a definition “Content Management System”, CMS.

Content Management System (CMS)

According to Macmillan Dictionary, a Content Management System is “a type of software that allows you to edit and organize data, and to manage the way work is done and shared when people are working together”. This definition does not limit the use of CMSs to the internet and uses the very broad term “data”, which can be anything like: technical documentation, contracts with suppliers, images, pricing information, specifications, website backups, etc. It can, for example, also be a system that helps to collaborate on different kinds of data internally, in a company, but also a system used to deliver content to websites and applications.

A further division was needed because systems used internally by an enterprise require a totally different set of tools to manage internal data and files compared to systems that manage content that is shared with the outside world, for example via the internet on websites or using other kinds of applications.

Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECM)

According to Techopedia, “ECM encompasses multiple management types, including Web content/document/digital asset and workflow management. ECM also provides data discovery and manipulation capabilities through search, collaboration, capture and scanning”.

This type of Content Management System rather supports companies with processing documents and “raw” data and usually does not provide a way to create, manage, and deliver general content for employees (i.e. HR information) or to an external audience e.g. on a corporate website). So if you want to launch a website (including an intranet) or an application and manage all the content you make available there, you need a different type of software.

Web Content Management System (WCM or WCMS)

Web Content Management System, according to Techopedia, is “an application for creating, storing, managing and publishing web page content, which may be in the form of text, audio, graphics, video, etc. A WCM may also organize, index, or otherwise present data uniquely for specific site visitors”.

It is the type of system a company needs to manage content for its websites and applications. An ECM can deliver some data (e.g. product specifications, legal documents), but if you want to create a company homepage including a blog, add product pages, image galleries, video libraries, or make the website or application interactive by adding contact or lead forms, an online store, or product configurators, you need a WCM like Scrivito as a backbone.

WCM/WCMS vs. ECM Summary

To sum up, you need:

  • An Enterprise Content Management system (ECM) to manage your documents, “raw” data, and to ensure built-in compliance with official regulations;
  • A Web Content Management System (WCM/WCMS) to manage web content for your websites and applications.

Enterprise Web CMS Scrivito

There is a further important aspect to consider with Enterprise CMS systems. They unfold their full power only in the cloud. Therefore, Enterprise SaaS Web CMS systems are to be preferred.

Enterprise SaaS CMS Scrivito was developed specifically for the cloud as a solution that fully exploits the potential of this modern environment. Thanks to Scrivito’s 100% native cloud approach, companies can expect a significant reduction in TCO for a CMS and a substantially shorter time-to-market for web projects.

Scrivito is a complete Web Content Management solution for your business. It provides a highly flexible, reliable and secure foundation for your business’s websites and applications, wherever you or your customers are.

Scrivito is trusted by leading businesses and agencies around the world. Our WCMS enables you to create digital products of any size – from landing and brand pages through ecommerce websites, intranets, customer and channel portals, DAM platforms, to multinational corporate websites with thousands of pages – in a more cost-effective and faster way than with any other WCM solution on the market today.