What Is Enterprise Content Management?

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) can be defined as “a formalised means of organising and storing an organisation's documents, and other content, that relate to the organisation's processes…”

This definition does not do justice to what ECMs can really achieve!

What can a modern Enterprise Content Management system do?

In the 90s, ECM was largely around digitising documents and going ‘paperless’. ECM in 2018 now encompasses:

  • The capture and storage of information in an electronic format. This can now include emails, PDF and a multitude of other filetypes, all possible with a simple drag and drop.
  • The ability to be able to tag documents and files with metadata, or otherwise identify or group the document with a view for easy retrieval. Capabilities to search on those metadata tags or within the document itself, based on user’s specific criteria.
  • The ability to manage each document in a variety of ways including editing that documents properties within the library, checking it in or checking it out for modification (along with the ability to roll-back to certain versions)
  • Mobile access to documents, as well as the ability to keep them secure inside and outside of the organisation. For example, e-signing allows for documents to be signed and then stored immediately).
  • Workflows for documents to pass through for approval or collaborative processes, as well as templates to help create a standard within your organisation.

ECM has come along in leaps and bounds to give an organisation what it needs – information at its fingertips, easily stored, easily found and easily managed. This gives employees in the digital age even more resources to perform their role effectively within the organisation.

The future of Enterprise Content management systems?

With increasing amounts of data entering an organisation, security and privacy is more important than ever.  This has seen a trend of movement to cloud computing as major ECM providers try to outperform each other to become the Microsoft or Apple of ECM.

Finally, and this is already happening, providers will need to look at more than just the storage of this information. Areas like obsolescence of data and optimisation will start to come to the fore as the sheer magnitude of the data stored continues to grow.  

The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), an international community that provides education, research and best practices on information management, are coining the next evolution as ‘Intelligent Information Management’, as ECMs move outside the transaction and records management circles. Artificial intelligence and analytics are on the roadmap and we will see the ability to ‘Create, Capture, Automate, Deliver, Secure and Analyse’ typify the Intelligent Information Management experience.

ECM Providers will tailor their systems to integrate and centralise not only access to the wide variety of data silos in organisations, but will provide a layer of intelligence that will enrich the user experience relevant content through a single system on any platform.

M-Files refers to their 2018 release as evolving from ECM to ‘Enterprise Information Management’ or EIM that includes an ‘Intelligent Metadata Layer’ to provide not only integration to organisations data silos but artificial intelligence that leverages access to the data to simplify the end user experience.

 To learn more about ECM get in touch with one of our highly trained team members today!