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What Is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)?

Synonymous with web applications, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is a perfect mix of strategies, functions, and tools used by today’s businesses. It manages the complete life-cycle of enterprise content and operations. Many business leaders are employing ECM as a key imperative to drive error-free and fully-managed operations along with an ease of access. It is a significant tool for bringing order to complexities and daily chaos which happens without a well-thought planning and management. With robust security features, it digitizes the documents while saving the time and money. It automates document-driven processes, allowing right people to access correct information in the real-time.

Scope of ECM

ECM saves the unstructured information in all forms, securely. It is compatible with most of the file types, including image files, email, office productivity suites, and more. When large volume content becomes critical to manage then a defined ECM plan can eliminate the operational inefficiencies. It simplifies storage, security, process mapping, and maintenance. Improved efficiency, better control, and reduced costs are the advantages for the business of every type.

With digital archiving, document management and workflow, it combines the search, capture, and networking of documents. So, how ECM is different from simple content management system? Unlike other applications, ECM is cognizant of the operations and processes of the enterprise it has been created for.

ECM focuses more on Business-to-Employee (B2E) systems. It evolves with an emergent of any new entity or component. For example, each use of the application generates new metadata for content, to some extent automatically. The system can configure new filters depending on the information for ‘how’ and ‘when’ people use ‘which’ type of content. Therefore, new search, routing, semantic networks, retention-rule decisions, corporate taxonomies, and pathways are created to foster the decision-making process. It consists of five components defined as Capture, Manage, Store, Preserve, and Deliver. Although ECM combines all the components, they can also be used as stand-alone systems without being integrated into an extensive enterprise system.

Methods of ECM

On-premises

ECM is developed as traditional software which different companies implement on their networks. In this case, each individual company maintains and manages both the ECM application and network storage devices. It is highly customizable to cater to the individual company needs.

SaaS

With software-as-a-service (SaaS), instead of deploying software on an in-house network, employees access to the documents and applications online. Also known as cloud computing, SaaS is widely promoting the use of ECM in business operations. The company doesn’t require buying any hardware, database, servers or configuring applications. Instead, the company can trade the capital for enhancing the storage capabilities and monthly operating expenses, which can grow exponentially with the content requirement.

Hybrid

In some case, the company combines both On-premises Software and SaaS to simplify the information exchange followed by acquisition. This is used when a company wants to manage its own ECM On-premises and also wants to provide an ease of access along with SaaS model. The hybrid method becomes imperative if both the technologies are provided by the same vendor to ensure the features and interface are in fine tune.

If you are thinking of designing the ECM for your business, it is vital to seek the expert assistance. With rich experience in development, the experts can help in bringing order to the complex business functions.

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