Enterprise Content Management offers solutions to maintain delivered or unstructured content for an enterprise. It is a combination of strategies and technologies that is used to devise strategies for business processes.
Access to the correct content is significant for achieving solutions in any business. Structured content is the strength of any business. Considering the importance of content, Enterprise Content Management (ECM) provides technologies and solutions to control the complete lifecycle of the existing content.
To support business processes, the ECM solutions combine with the following components:
- Obtaining content
- Managing content
- Storing content
- Preserving content
- Delivering content
Each of these components plays a significant role in content management. The process starts with collection of information in the form of electronic files. For easy location and uniform structure, metadata information is created using capture technology. After collating information sequentially, management of content is another challenging component. It integrates with records management technology to manage content according to industry retention policy. Storage of content helps in handling the unchanging information smoothly. It stores long term information by using archiving. Preservation of content involves storage of static information backup, and compliance with industry regulations. Delivery of content for other components involves change in the format or compressing content using a technology called output management.
Every component is integrated with technologies such as record management, knowledge management, collaboration, imaging, business rules management system, output management, among others. Apart from technologies, formulated strategies to manage content must be involved. In Enterprise Content Management, the strategy comprises of following 5Cs:
Content is valuable only if it is available at required time. Enterprise Content Management aims at availability of content, regardless of time and location. To accomplish any specific goal, collaboration of business units and teams is mandatory. A team can work without getting bothered by time and place hindrances, using set of technologies such as instant messaging, whiteboards, online meetings, email, among others. The objective of the strategy is to save time, and reduce maintenance cost of the content. With the collaborative effort of every professional, knowledge and perspective must be contributed to ensure successful compliance program. This regular business practices facilitate to capture, store, manage, and dispose content at the appropriate and rightful time in its lifecycle. It reduces the overall cost of compliance to the business. Cost of maintenance is the primary concern of every industry; an industry needs strategy that reduces cost of maintenance as well as organize information efficiently for its subsequent retrieval, and re-use. The unavailability of content at the time of requirement is threatening to every industry. Enterprise Content Management has emerged with a recovery solution to restore content, and sustain continuity in the availability of content in the event of disaster.
Content is the asset for any industry. Structured content gives the enterprise an edge over its competitors. However, content management life cycle seems to be a heavy load to bear for any industry. Enterprise Content Management transforms the challenging business into an easy going process by offering most suitable technologies and management solutions according to specific needs and varied objectives. The integration of technology and solution manages flow of information that increases the efficiency and security needs of an organization.