Enterprise Content Management involves:
- Capturing content generated all across the enterprise, in varying formats.
- Storing the content safely for using as needed.
- Delivering the content in appropriate formats to users.
- Preserving the content as long as needed for business or legal compliance purposes, protected against different kinds of dangers.
- Removing the content that is no longer needed for business or compliance purposes.
Along with the above, a “manage” function is also included under ECM. It’s the manage function that ensures that all the functions are carried out satisfactorily, and in a manner that supports and improves business processes.
The following sections define the elements of the manage function.
The Generic Management Functions
Each of the other functions—content capture, storage, delivery, preservation, and final disposal—need to be planned and organized. Strategies, procedures, rules, etc. must be formulated. These must then be communicated and implemented on the ground.
This task involves looking at all the activities and requirements involved in each of these functions, and determining how to attend to these in the particular organization’s business and environment.
Implementation involves communicating the plans to those concerned, supporting them through training, guidelines, rules, and procedures, and finally monitoring that the work is performed to achieve intended objectives.
Enterprise Content Management in Operation
Enterprise Content Management is made operational through Document Management Software, Records Management, Workflow Management, Collaboration Management, Web Content Management, and other incidentals.
ECM uses databases for managing the content and an access authorization schema to protect the enterprise content from unauthorized use.
Document Management facilitates document creation, updating, version control, search and retrieval, overviews in different ways, and long-term archiving.
Records Management deals with documents declared as records, and attends to issues like content retrieval (through indexing, metadata), protection, retention, and final deletion.
Workflow Management supports business processes through facilitating the flow of documents and content for speedy completion of each process.
Collaboration Management seeks to enhance productivity, innovation, and other desired business results by providing tools and facilities for collaborative working even among persons separated by vast geographic distances.
Web Content Management is becoming important as organizations put their content on the Web for ease of global access, internally by employees, and externally by authorized outside entities such as customers, suppliers, and governments. Some content is meant for the public. Web content management becomes necessary in this context to identify the goals of each web site and provide needed content in desired formats to achieve the goals.
The overriding objective of all these different kinds of management is to support business processes. In addition to the strategies, policies, and procedures, it involves such things as selection of content storage and delivery media, facilitation hardware and software tools, and training of personnel.
It’s the “manage” function of Enterprise Content Management software that carries everything together to achieve the major objective of supporting business processes and enhancing their effectiveness. The manage process involves strategizing, developing policies and procedures to implement the strategies, and organizing the procedures by deploying needed tools and training of personnel for using the content available to them.