Why Content Management Is Good, But Knowledge Management Is Great

Posted On: July 9, 2020 |  11 mins read 1072 Views

content management

And Knowledge Management is a means, not an end”- Bill Gates

In today’s knowledge era, the difference between a good company and a great company is how well they are able to provide the right information to the right person at the right time. Another factor that makes a difference is how efficiently they utilize the information available to them to improve the sales, services, and products of the organization.

While the catching and sharing of knowledge have historically been a highly controlled and restricted process, the new market environment demands for more collaboration and flexibility, both inside (among employees) and outside (with customers and partners). To encourage this collaboration, the organization requires new methods to generate, capture, record, and share knowledge.

It is observed that companies these days often use web-based Content Management Systems (CMS) to manage knowledge-based operations and sites. However, it needs to be kept in mind that CMS was primarily not designed for managing knowledge. Also, because of the many critical gaps in product capabilities, a lot of organizations are failing in their attempts to encourage collaboration.

In this article, the prime focus will be on knowing what CMS and Knowledge Management System are and how Knowledge Management scores over Content Management.

At first look, it might appear that the fundamental features of the content management system and Knowledge Management System are the same, as both of them deal with generating, managing, and publishing information.

However, there are numerous fundamental differences between CMS and KMS, especially in the movement of information through the development and publishing processes.


Market size and growth opportunities

Before moving further, it is important to know what is the current global market scenario and what are the growth expectations in the future for CMS and Knowledge Management System.

Global CMS trend

So first of all talking of content management system, according to a report published by Zion Market Research the global content management software market was valued at approximately USD 35.903 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 123.500 billion by 2026, at an overall growth rate of 244% and a CAGR of around 16.7% between 2019 and 2026.





KM market trend

Then coming to Knowledge Management Software, according to a report published by Zion Market Research, the global knowledge management market was valued at approximately USD 206.900 billion in 2016 and it is expected to reach over USD 1.232 trillion by 2025. The global knowledge management market is expected to grow at an overall growth rate of 495% and a CAGR of more than 22% between 2017 and 2025.



Difference between Knowledge Management and Content Management

Now we know that both Content Management and Knowledge Management are already massive markets with expectations of even more enormous growth in the near future, let’s know the differences between them.



Knowledge is actionable information (Information required to make a decision). It’s a precious piece of know-how. Knowledge articles stored in Knowledge Management systems are quite focused in the sense that they are structured to meet a specific need. Thus they are quite effective in meeting needs.

On the other hand, documents, the core of enterprise content management systems, are not knowledge. It is quite possible that there are answers to questions buried inside, but their scope is generally much larger than that. Contrary to knowledge, they’re not designed for a specific purpose and thus are less effective in meeting needs.

The difference can be understood in a better manner with the help of a simple example. Suppose that someone is facing a problem with a specific feature in a piece of complex testing equipment. Now instead of asking for help from others, he wants to solve the problem by himself. To find the solution to the problem, he has the following alternatives,

  • He needs to download a 123-page handbook (properly stored and managed in a CM application) and go through the entire document in an attempt to find the solution.
  • He only needs to enter a very specific query in the search box and receive just the information he needs to be successful. Of course, this is the better alternative.

That’s what Knowledge Management provides.


Integration with the workflow

A CMS is quite similar to a filing cabinet. One takes out files from it, use them and then put them back from where they were taken out so that they are easily accessible later when required. Though it helps in getting the work done, it’s not part of doing the work.

On the other hand, Knowledge Management is work. Knowledge management isn’t something which is done in addition to solving problems, it is the way of solving problems. It is important that Knowledge Management systems are integrated with the workflow of hands-on jobs.

Rather than procrastinating and waiting for a later time, it is very crucial to capture knowledge in real-time, because very often later time never comes. And, if the captured knowledge is not integrated with the workflow, it’s very difficult to remember,

  • The exact words of the customer: The reason is the tendency of internal editors to change the words according to their own convenience, also the memory is limited and the person may forget what was actually said and there might be a very faint memory of what was said.
  • Specific steps are taken to solve the problem: If specific steps are noted then it will be easier to reach the solution in the future, otherwise though the time consumed might be less than what was taken in the initial attempt but still a lot of time will be consumed.



People using CM systems don’t need to think too much about adopting CM or changing culture. The logic for using CM is pretty clear, and it is possible to adopt CM one workgroup at a time.

On the other hand, in the case of knowledge management, the main hurdle in the path of success is getting a significant % of people to use it consistently throughout their workday. Until and unless knowledge is consistently used, there would be no improvement in quality, and as a result, people will be hesitant to take some time out from their already busy schedule to contribute knowledge.

With insufficient and/or outdated knowledge, people will be less confident and less likely to use knowledge. So, for the success of the Knowledge Management platform, it is very important that people are actively using the system


How Knowledge Management trumps content management

Knowledge management involves a more suitable application of information as compared to Content management.

  • Content management considers that users can refer to documents needed to address their requirements, but Knowledge management assumes that users would struggle to get the information when required so it helps users to address queries on specific knowledge using information such as articles.
  • Content management involves generating, storing, and organizing content, whereas Knowledge management focuses on how the information is shared with the users according to their requirements.
  • Content Management doesn’t provide centralized content or search capability, but Knowledge Management emphasizes on providing centralized content such as web pages, community sites, etc.



So it is safe to conclude that though they share some superficial similarities between them, content management and knowledge management are actually pretty different from each other. If the goal of an organization is improving and communicating intelligence to employees, then it is important to choose a knowledge management software system for the organization.

It is crucial to understand the impact and applications of upcoming demands on the process of the workflow. Instead of continuing with the static process of generating, managing and publishing the flow in CMS, the organizations need to accept dynamic capturing, routing and converting workflow along with measuring the entire process from a single knowledge management system.


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