What is meant by Enterprise Content Management?
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) can be defined as a strategy to handle information within an organization based on in-depth analysis of its business processes and the content generated. Terminologies such as digital asset management, enterprise document management, integrated document and content management etc. are used interchangeably with enterprise content management to denote technologies, tools and methods used to capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver content across an organization.
Life cycle of content within the enterprise:
Content can be differentiated into two content types:
- Traditional content types (office documents, images, drawings, graphics and print streams)
- Electronic objects (word documents, excel spreadsheets, PDFs, email, video, rich media assets, web pages and content)
To make sense of different aspects of an enterprise content management solution/ECM software, it is essential to trace the life cycle of content from its creation to archiving. According to the model provided by Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) International which is a nonprofit organization conducting information related research, content life cycle is separated into these 5 phases:
Capture: The process of capturing content (paper or electronic) from different creation and authoring tools into a content repository for reuse, distribution and storage.
Manage: Tools and techniques such as indexing and categorization for moving data and content around an organization and monitoring the performance of these tools.
Store: Repository for the content including file systems, databases, library services or other storage technologies.
Preserve: Long term archival and storage of essential contents of an enterprise to meet organizational obligations and provide value.
Deliver: Delivery of relevant content to the right audience on their preferred device through data transformation, security technologies and distribution.
Benefits of Enterprise Content Management solution
- Enables collaboration and enterprise research
- Eases management burden by centralizing administration
- Simplifies administration and management with standardized content repositories
- Systematizes policies and processes to protect and secure content
- Automates the retention and disposition of content
- Reduces costs associated with data input and validation, reduces errors and saves time
How Enterprise Content Management (ECM) fits in SharePoint
With the help of technology such as SharePoint, the whole process of enterprise content management can be automated, controlled and standardized with familiar tools of the Microsoft Office system. The collaboration features of SharePoint ECM solution help organizations to organize and manage content throughout the lifecycle with capabilities such as document management, digital media management, records management and web content management.
Does my organization need to implement an ECM Solution?
Enterprises are empowered to work more efficiently by eliminating the dependence on paper-based documents and organizing unstructured information based on business need. When an ECM solution is properly implemented in the enterprise, it improves access to content, enables reuse of content, enhances operational efficiency and provides faster time to market.
Speak with one of our SharePoint experts to learn how your organization can achieve incredible benefits and savings by moving to SharePoint for enterprise content management or any information about successful ECM implementation.