If you’re running a company that deals with a lot of data, you might know how difficult it can be to find a system that organizes your content in a meaningful way. It’s not enough to simply “manage” your content—it requires complicated systems of capturing, processing, safeguarding, storing and organizing your company’s data to make your content most useful to you. Here are a few key facts that you need to know about enterprise content management, and why it’s necessary for your business.
What Is Enterprise Content Management?
With the rise of computer technology in the business world, the necessity for enterprise content management (or ECM) has grown exponentially. Simply put, ECM is a way for you to systematically collect and organize the data that your company compiles and turn it into useful information. While no single technology exists to make this happen, enterprise content management is an all-encompassing term to describe the strategies, methods, and tools used throughout this process.
How Does It Work?
A successful enterprise content management system works in steps. First, the capturing and converting of information from paper documents into various electronic formats occurs to digitize your data. This usually happens through a scanning process, creating metadata and using recognition technologies to read the content of the document and process its characteristics. Special markings like barcodes and checkmarks will be processed during this time too, so you don’t have to worry about losing any important information.
Next, ECM stores and manages your information by finding an appropriate home for it in your computer’s infrastructure. Various structures like digital files and folders can be created to make your data more easily accessible and usable.
From here, all of your data is archived so that your important information is protected long-term. This practice allows for you to utilize your content long into the future if need be, without having to worry about storage solutions or misplacing crucial information.
Finally, the last step to enterprise content management is making sure that your information is delivered to the people who need it—in the right format and as fast as possible. The delivery element of ECM uses transformation technologies to personalize data to ensure that your business is getting the most out of your content management system.
Who Are the ECM Experts?
In order to make sure that your enterprise content management system works best for you, it might be a good idea to hire a skilled IT expert. Looking for an information technology professional who is skilled in applications like Sharepoint is an excellent place to start. You might also look for organizational experts, like those knowledgeable in Lean Six Sigma methodologies and change management experts with Prosci certifications.
Why Your Business Would Benefit from ECM
While ECM can certainly improve the actual processing of your data, it also increases your business’s efficiency by making your information more accessible, improves what control you have over your data, and oftentimes reduces overall costs of information management for your company. ECM applications can allow you to access your records through keyword and full-text searches, making it much easier for employees to access the information that they need—rather than searching through multiple applications or sorting through bulky paper documents.
In essence, ECM exists to make your life easier. With all of these benefits, you’ll see an increase in efficiency and find yourself making better, more informed decisions based on your newly organized data.