What is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)?

By NE Docs | July 9, 2014

What is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

Enterprise Content Management is a structured plan to organize and retain a company’s records and other forms of documentation. Enterprise Content Management requires a continuous commitment to strategy in order to keep up with industry or company changes while always striving for complete optimization.

In order to successfully manage your ECM plan, you will require the aid of an Enterprise Content Management system. A proper ECM system will facilitate your entire ECM strategy by simplifying the 4 primary components involved in the process – document conversion, management, security, and access.

4 Key Elements of Enterprise Content Management

Document Conversion:

The first and most important element of ECM is document conversion. In order for your ECM system to manage your files, they must first become electronic documents. Documents are converted through scanning, a service that can be done in-house or outsourced to a document scanning bureau. These documents are then made readable with Optical Character Recognition software – allowing the data contained on each image to become accessible.

Document Storage:

Once your files are converted, they need a safe place to reside. When it comes to business records – you will require an organized system to keep everything in its rightful place. Your files can be hosted in several places – in file systems, ECM systems, data warehouses, or any combination of data storage. Where you store your files is important, as it will play a key role in how you protect and preserve your valued information. An ECM strategy should not only be concerned with the hosting of your electronic files – but also storage needs of physical files post conversion.

Document Management:

The management of your files includes many different functions. The first deals with document retention. Having a document retention policy is a great practice for any organization. However, many companies are also bound by industry or governmental regulations – and remaining compliant is a priority. In addition to retention, access to documents and the processes in place must also be managed.

Document Security:

From data backups to data encryption, security is a large priority when it comes to ECM. It is important that you consider how you will preserve your data, recover it from any disaster, and keep it safe from the prying eyes of cyber thieves. Closely related to document storage, the preservation of your files will rely on strong preparation and tight controls.

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