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    • What is Enterprise Content Management

    Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the collection of systems, tools, methodologies, strategies, policies and everything that defines how an Organization stores and manages its documents and contents, related to different organizational processes. This takes care of the entire lifecycle of content.

    Content or information changes its forms throughout its lifecycle and needs to be managed at different levels. It is not just about storing and sharing data, but the right version matters, along with authorization and access controls. ECM is not a single process or tool, rather a combination of dynamic processes to capture, manage, preserve, save and deliver information as and when required in the desired form.

    What is ECM all about?

    According to the Association of Information and Image Management (AIIM), ECM is composed of 5 major components –

    Capture: This deals with creating, procuring and organizing content

    Manage: This is mainly processing and modifying information

    Store: This temporary backup of dynamic information

    Preserve: This is a long-term backup of relevant and updated information

    Deliver: This is to provide end users with requisite information for usage

    ECM aims to remove redundant and ad-hoc processes and helps to alleviate compliance risks and potential problems. Advanced and full-fledged ECM systems have record management, auditing capabilities, content taxonomies, check-in/check-out functions, workflow controls and security measures.

    An effective ECM system should be able to streamline processes and access, remove bottlenecks, optimize security and maintain integrity. It should also be able to integrate content with business intelligence and business analytics to facilitate business decisions.

    ecm

    What are the major advantages of ECM in an Organization?

    Some of the major benefits of an ECM system can be listed as below:

    Time and Cost Saving: ECM system helps to obtain, process and store data for repeated use. It helps to make reliable and relevant information available more quickly. It also helps to reduce cost of paper documentation and other overhead costs.

    Increases efficiency: An effective ECM system helps to remove unwanted processes and irrelevant data over time, thus improving the efficiency and reducing overhead. ECM holds all the information in one place and ensures business continuity by proper storage and reducing risk of information loss.

    Increases transparency: This helps to create information, which is transparent across the Organization and expedite the process of business decisions on growth, sustenance and policies.

    Improves sharing capabilities: Sharing of information becomes more streamlined with access control and security norms. It ensures that the right person gets the right information at the right time.

    What are the ways to keep the ECM system updated?

    ECM systems also need to be upgraded from time to time. They need to adapt to the changing business environment. Some of the ways to keep your ECM system updated and relevant are as follows:

    Adapt to new ways of working: ECM systems should be able to integrate with new applications and devices to make the user experience more interactive. It should able to extend over different platforms like mobile, etc.

    Plan for overdose of content: According to IDC, there will be a 50x growth in digital content from 2010 to 2020, and 90% will be unstructured information such as emails, documents and video. Modern ECM systems need to plan for this explosion of digital content and use contextual data like comments, locations, etc. to drive business processes.

    Plan for enterprise growth: ECM systems also need to plan for the extended enterprise and growth. Now-a-days, an enterprise also includes external agencies and the right content needs to flow properly at the right place for the streamlined business process.

    Embrace latest IT infrastructure: ECM systems need to adjust to the evolving technologies to be up-to-date with changing business scenario and integrate with other IT systems and modern technology norms.

    An Organization handles a huge amount of data every day, in which each piece of information is relevant and important at a certain stage. So, in order to track, manage and use the content at the right time by the right people, an efficient and updated ECM is very important. It is advisable to invest in an ECM system as per your business need and integrate the same into their business process.

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