Everything you need to know about Enterprise Content Management (ECM) – WAU

In times when working with data has presented increasingly sophisticated solutions, knowing how to deal with information and making it a strategic resource is fundamental. Examples abound: even in football, we have the chaos of the German team that used technology as a differential to win the 2014 World Cup. […]

In times when working with data has presented increasingly sophisticated solutions, knowing how to deal with information and making it a strategic resource is fundamental.

Examples abound: even in football, we have the chaos of the German team that used technology as a differential to win the 2014 World Cup.

In this logic, it is necessary to understand the importance of data and the due work to be done with the content in the business reality.

That’s how Enterprise Content Management, popularly known as ECM, emerges as a precious tool for companies that want to be ready for the future by doing better content management.

In this post, our idea is to show you what ECM really is, how this technology can be used in your company, in addition to presenting advantages and other important information.

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Which is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

Managing a company’s content concerns a number of practices, such as:

  • develop strategies; and
  • use tools not only to store information, but also to capture data and distribute documents.

This can be done in an automated way, using a feature called Enterprise Content Management (ECM), which allows everything related to business information to be better organized and administered by management.

It is a set of technologies that centralizes and standardizes the treatment of content from different sources, whether papers, images, audios, files, spreadsheets, among others.

In short, it is a solution that allows the company to refine its relationship with different types of content.

How ECM technology can be used in a company

Especially in the case of large companies, it is essential to do a good job with the different data that come from different departments.

Otherwise, the greater the complexity of the company, the more difficult it will be to make a good management due to the difficulty of dealing with the processes.

Therefore, knowing how to collect data, store it and transform it into really useful information can be the determining step for management to act with criteria whenever necessary and make decisions more precisely.

It is not difficult to understand when you think about the football team:

The more information you can get out of the different situations that involve training and games, both for your team and the opponent, the more adequate guidance and security you can give the player to perform better.

It is in this logic that ECM technology appears as a solution for your company.

It allows for the proper structuring and standardization of data from the most different areas of the company, avoiding errors and making your team produce efficiently.

What are the advantages of the system

With ECM, the company now has an organization:

As internal processes become better structured, actions such as delivery procedures and formalization of contracts with suppliers are now carried out through a platform.

Such an attitude creates the necessary dynamism so that bureaucratic issues do not represent an obstacle for the company.

All this with a greater degree of assertiveness, that is, with the system, the search for information can be done in a more intuitive way, avoiding loss of time and compromised productivity.

Thus, the documents are more accessible, which makes their management, control and delivery add value to the company.

It is good to remember that the system guarantees confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.

Another advantage:

As the system is based on cloud computing, it is possible for the same document to be updated by more than one person at the same time.

This allows the work to be improved due to a significant time gain.

How it works in practice

In summary, an ECM system comprises 4 steps:

  • catch;
  • management;
  • delivery; and
  • retention.

Catch

Such a system is capable of capturing content from sources such as web services, network directories, applications, and more.

With automatic indexing, it allows the company 2 fundamental benefits for the optimization of processes: saving time and reducing errors.

Management

Content management is also simplified, as documents can be automatically directed to those responsible according to the tasks they are going to perform.

Thus it is possible to better control the processes and check the origin of each change.

Delivery

The system is able to certify the authenticity of a file, checking if there was any type of tampering with the document before sending it.

This makes processes more secure and reliable.

Retention

ECM allows quick and secure access to the most current version of the content.

In addition, it is possible to customize policies according to each sector of the company, organizing and controlling the different forms of documents in a centralized repository.

What are the differences between ECM and GED

In practice, none.

GED stands for Electronic Document Management, that is, it is the acronym in London for the same concept.

The fact is that both ECM and GED are acronyms created by official entities that serve to designate something in their native language.

What happens is that, of course, companies that invest in IT solutions present different options according to the profile and interests of their audience.

They make products different from each other, which makes people think that ECM and GED are different things.

It is common to see confusions such as believing that the ECM is a higher version than the GED or that the GED is more focused on document management while the ECM offers greater resources.

The fact is that, in reality, they are acronyms that concern the same tool.

How ECM can be useful in everyday life

You make use of information in your company all the time, even if you don’t know exactly how it works.

This management concerns actions such as:

  • the management of documents and records;
  • defining workflows;
  • the elaboration of research and filing; and
  • contract management.

In this logic, think that an ECM is a resource that can simplify the work with bids and permits, the preparation of financial reports and the hiring of new professionals and in HR procedures in general.

In addition, it will be possible to modernize the work with everything involving purchase orders and accounting documents, as well as their classification and any type of application that involves the production and management of information.

In the routine, this feature appears as a differential.

How does it work in a digital way, based on cloud computing, manual labor, known for bureaucracy, gives space for its digital alternative, much more modern and practical.

This allows greater gains in productivity for the company as a whole, due to a better relationship with documents from business processes.

The problems of not scanning documents

When you have an ECM system, it ensures greater agility and efficiency in the organization of documents.

This type of resource has technologies that benefit the management of documents and records, content, information architecture, among others.

This way, information can be classified in such a way that whenever necessary you can locate it more easily, making it a differentiator for your company.

Without ECM software, the entire process that involves accessing and handling documents becomes more bureaucratic and insecure.

Think of the large number of documents that are part of your company’s routine.

If you ever lost a document or fumbled with the mess in the file and wanted everything to disappear, then ECM is your solution.

It allows for just that, but with the difference that, instead of ending paperwork, it will make all documentation stored in the cloud and accessible in the face of needs.

There are a lot of problems that can arise when there are no more sophisticated criteria for handling documents.

Processes can simply crash if any records are missing.

Likewise, it is necessary to consider the action of time, which can damage and even make declarations, certificates and deeds completely unfeasible.

When the company invests in a solution capable of preventing this type of problem, it guarantees savings, avoiding spending on unnecessary costs.

Another point to be considered: distance.

Without an ECM, solutions like working on the model home office become impracticable.

Your team will need to be allocated at all times only to handle documents.

This also affects management, since, being in distant places, leaders will not be able to deal with certain issues because they do not have access to the necessary roles.

Anyway, the management of business content is a demand that already demands a lot from companies, tending to intensify even more in the coming years.

It is in this logic that ECM needs to be understood as an investment that can make a difference within organizations.

Understood what it is Enterprise Content Management and how can this be useful for your company?

Then also read “How to know if my content strategy is performing well”.