What is Enterprise Content Management?

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the way an organization stores its digital content and documents, covering processes and procedures. ECM pertains to an organization’s methods, tools, and strategies utilized during the content’s lifecycle. This applies to data conversion of paper documents, and stored electronic files, e-mails and database contents.

IT Central station IT professionals integrate ECM as integrative middleware, independent services and as a uniform repository for a plethora of information. ECM products are chosen for scalability, security, easy search, extendibility to additional platforms, support for retention policies and industry compliance. It is essential to have Web 2.0 collaboration, UI - both OOTB as well as custom configurations, TCO, analytics and a process for customizing the system.

According to IT Central DevOps and IT Managers, ECM needs to provide criteria enabling an organization to seamlessly manage digital information. Aspects essential to ECM are having an overall user-friendly system, efficient document/records lifecycle management. There should be a responsive support channel for deployment and ongoing use.

One IT manager stated, “When considering a new enterprise software it must do the following things well: (1) Solve a mission critical or important problem for the organization cleanly, as close to completely as possible and elegantly (simplicity always trumps features). (2) Have a well designed UX and intuitive learning curve (adding a bit of fun doesn't hurt either - too many "solutions"; are downright boring to use!). (3) Integrate as seamlessly as possible with existing solutions and be adaptable enough to accommodate new tools and business developments that come down the pike.”

Other factors considered important include SOA readiness, compliance features, records management capabilities and document lifecycle management. ECM platforms are also praised for being scalable, secure and search-ready, with web 2.0 collaboration portal availability and mobility.

Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and others in Enterprise Content Management. Updated: January 2020.
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