Adopt ECM:Never Lose a Document Again

March 26th, 2016

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the systematic collection and organization of information that is to be used by a designated audience–business executives, customers, etc. Neither a single technology nor a methodology nor a process, it is a dynamic combination of strategies, methods, and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver information supporting key organizational processes through its entire lifecycle.

Enterprise-Content-Management

The five ECM components defined by AIIM are: capture (converting information from paper documents into an electronic format through scanning), manage (includes Document Management, Collaboration, Web Content Management, Records Management, Workflow and Business Process Management), store (divided into three categories: Repositories as storage locations, Library Services as administration components for repositories, and Storage Technologies), preserve (involves the long-term, safe storage and backup of static, unchanging information) and deliver (present information from the Manage, Store, and Preserve components).

When it comes to choosing an ECM solution for your business, there are a few things to consider that will help make your decision accurate. It’s important to look for a system that includes capabilities like: Ease of Use (simple for users to understand and navigate), Integration (systems that integrate with existing programs or complement them), Functionality (ability to audit the document history), Service Bureau (system that provides advice and support for solution choice, implementation, etc), SaaS (reduce total cost of ownership) and ROI (invest in a solution that will yield higher returns).

ECM solutions rely on two primary technologies: Cloud and Big Data. ECM in the cloud has become an increasingly attractive option for companies with distributed workforces that need anywhere, anytime access to information. On the contrary, Big Data offers the opportunity to improve automated workflows, smart ECM and BPM applications (such as case management) and any content-intensive decisioning applications in general.

ECM has come a long way from the costly, consulting-intensive deployments of the late 1990s. With more sophisticated and demanding buyers from various industries like Chemical and Petroleum, Communications, Banking and Financial Services, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Manufacturing, Retail, Transportation, Utilities and Energy, the advancement of ECM continues.

I watched the paper records and operational inefficiencies conflate on campus, but we had no way to manage these problems without ECM”, remarks John Hermes, Vice President, Oklahoma Christian University. Despite of ECM’s current demand, AIIM predicts that “ECM as we know it will be gone. Content will be everywhere and in everything, but Content Management will be increasingly invisible.” tweet


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