Before the modern ECM technologies were introduced, companies have been using different standalone content management systems designed for a specific business process or line of work.
These first generation content managements systems were called line of business applications as they were designed only for a particular business need. For example, the human resource department of an enterprise has an HR portal that serves the need of managers. Sales and external services could have their own data management system for satisfying the demands of the customers.
As companies streamline their data administration and integrates different business units into a unified organization, the demand for a new content management system arises. Thus, the new enterprise content management system was developed. The new ECM technologies are designed to handle multiple data systems and content and are more focused on the entire business process of the company.
Aside from serving the internal data and information needs of the company, new ECM technologies are also used to deploy information services to other companies and to customers. Most importantly, the new ECM technologies provide the necessary tools for managing the lifecycle of data.
As the technology advances, developers are building new functionalities and designs for the enterprise content management suite in order to answer the growing information needs of companies. The sophistication of modern communication technologies as well as the creation of powerful hardware and storage architectures enhanced the build and usefulness of enterprise content management applications. The next task now for the new ECM technologies is to build a common interface so that different ECMs can communicate with each other.