Definition

cloud content management

Contributor(s): Rowena Lindsay

Cloud content management is an aspect of information technology (IT) management that is concerned with collecting, delivering, retrieving, governing and managing information within a cloud-based hosting environment. Cloud content management systems provide data storage and related automated processes for enterprises to monitor text, images, video, audio or other multimedia content throughout the digital content lifecycle – this includes everything from creation, organization and storage to editing, publishing, archiving or deletion.

Services typically include enterprise document management, web content management, web hosting and technical support. Managing content in the cloud allows individuals and teams to collaborate with version control features and content that is accessible across desktop and mobile devices. Some cloud content management providers are cloud-native companies; others have integrated cloud services into existing products, tools, software and services added to a traditional enterprise on-premises configuration.

Cloud-based content management is an alternative to on-premises content management. Op-premises content management requires in-house staff to manage and implement, whereas cloud content management is typically implemented as a SaaS model, where organizations are charged on a per-user or per-site basis.

Therefore, installing and maintaining a cloud-based content management system can theoretically be cheaper and simpler to implement than on-premises content management, since the SaaS company takes responsibility for pushing upgrades in real-time and handling technical issues and data security. It is also scalable and businesses can more nimbly add or delete sites and users as business needs change as opposed to less-modular on-premises systems that might require more coding and support.

Types of services

Open source -- There are many open source CMS providers, such as WordPress or Drupal, which have no initial cost, but charge for additional premium services such as technical support, training, customization and content templates.

Fully cloud -- Fully cloud content management systems exist on the SaaS company's cloud and therefore may not be as customizable and may not work with third-party add-ons.

Hybrid cloud -- Hybrid cloud content management configurations are many. Typically, content is either on-premises or on a private cloud, but allow third-party cloud services and in-house coders to customize functionality.

Cloud content management providers

Box ­­-- Box is a cloud-native content service provider used by companies of all sizes across a variety of industries. In addition to enabling collaboration with live editing, Box emphasizes security and control setting features for system administrators. It integrates with Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Adobe cloud applications and Google Apps.

Clouds are viable replacements for on-premises ECM -- if security set up right.

Apple -- Apple's iCloud platform provides a content management and storage solution that enables file sharing and version control across mobile and desktop devices.

Oracle -- Oracle's Content and Experience Cloud is a cloud-based content management system that allows teams to collaborate on omnichannel content creation, management and publishing tasks within one content hub. It also provides content services for existing content across enterprise applications and options for integrating with other business tools.

A partial list of other cloud content management vendors include DropBox, OpenText/Documentum, Acquia, Seismic, IBM, Hyland OnBase, and M-Files. Some online document management systems such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Docs and competitors can be used for rudimentary cloud content management as well.

This was last updated in October 2018

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