Content management system

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A computer application that allows publishing, editing and modifying content, organizing, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface ( Wikipedia)


A content management system (CMS) is a system providing a computer-based collection of procedures used to manage work and information flows in a collaborative environment. The procedures are designed to enable the organization to:

  • work on content collaboratively (allow for a large number of people to contribute to and share stored data);
  • control access to data, based on user roles (defining which information users or user groups can view, edit, publish, etc.);
  • store and retrieve data easily;
  • control data validity and compliance;
  • make publishing easier and more consistent with existing structure/design (using templates);
  • tag content with metadata: (allowing the input of data that classifies content (e.g. keywords) so that it can be searched for and retrieved);
  • edit content more easily;
  • reduce repetitive duplicate input;
  • improve the ease of report writing;
  • improve communication between users;
  • control versions (tracking changes to pages and, if necessary, allowing previous versions to be accessed);
  • integrate document management systems;
  • integrate project management system;
  • manage workflows (allowing for parallel content development);
  • provide extensions and plug-ins for increased functionality.

In a CMS, data can be defined as nearly anything: documents, movies, text, pictures, phone numbers, scientific data, and so forth. CMSs are frequently used for storing, controlling, revising, semantically enriching and publishing documentation. Serving as a central repository, the CMS increases the version level of new updates to an already existing file.

Content management systems are very relevant to KM since they are responsible for the creation, management and distribution of content on the intranet, extranet or a website.

As one can see, selection and implementation of a content management system is something that requires careful consideration. As with all KM related IT systems, the functionality must be weighed against organizational needs and processes as well as expected costs. If properly implemented, the content management system can be very beneficial to KM by improving the quality of explicit knowledge and providing limited support to tacit knowledge transfer by identifying content authors (i.e. experts) and supporting collaborative projects.

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