Managing content means being able to access the right version of a document whenever the need arises. Properly managed content is essential to a company’s success, which is why we have enterprise content management.

What is enterprise content management?

Enterprise content management, also known as electronic content management, is the process of managing all of a company’s content so that information can be accessed by those who need it to support business goals. Essentially, an ECM covers the processes and technologies that oversee how information is transferred within a company, from capturing that information all the way to distributing it.

Using an enterprise content management system helps companies automate processes, boost productivity, and optimize cross-team collaboration.

What defines ‘enterprise content’?

While the definition of enterprise content varies, it typically refers to any information employees use to perform work. Traditionally, this might mean paper documents like contracts, invoices, and resumes. The shift toward digital introduced new types of enterprise content like video, audio, social media posts, emails, web content, etc.

Why is ECM software important?

Enterprise content management solutions make all your information centralized and searchable, helping you keep track of large quantities of information so you can find what you need when you need it.

Streamlining organizational procedures with ECM solutions can also lead to a reduction in operating costs for your organization. Using an ECM system often results in less paper consumption, which is great for the environment (and your company’s bottom line). Using less paper reduces printing costs, shipping fees, and can even help you better utilize your office space. 

By organizing your data, ECM software also saves time and increases productivity. It’s amazing how much extra time you get to work on projects when all it takes is a simple search to pull up the information you need.

Using ECM software can also transform the way you do customer service. With swift access to records, you can answer customer requests faster. It also gives you customers the ability to complete forms and make requests online, which is another time saver. 

Lastly, ECM security policies let you monitor who’s accessing and making changes to documents while saving time stamped versions so that you can revert if necessary. 

What is the difference between enterprise content management and enterprise asset management?

While enterprise content management organizes and manages information, enterprise asset management (EAM) manages and maintains a company’s physical assets. EAM helps companies schedule preventative maintenance, manage warranties, and can also involve integrated mobile wireless handheld options and the accompanying software interface. 

How to choose the best ECM solution for your organization

Considering how much ECM can do for your company, choosing the best ECM solution should be a strategic decision. 

First, it’s important to consider your business goals both long-term and short-term. Consider how an ECM solution will help you meet those goals and brainstorm any specific features that would help you reach them.

Next, it’s important to think about how your organization currently organizes types of content. Whether you’re looking for an ECM with a similar organizational structure or one that switches things up, considering how you currently organize your content is an important step in the transition. 

It’s also a good idea to look at how information moves through your organization’s departments to figure out what ECM software features could optimize this flow.

Next, you should look at who needs access to what information, what content needs to be saved, and what content can be deleted. 

There are three main types of ECM solutions:

  • Web content management- just for managing web content and used by just a few people
  • Collaboration content management- used for managing individual documents that involve multiple stakeholders
  • Transactional content management- used for managing all of a company’s content (both paper and digital) by everyone in the company

Once you choose the type of ECM solution that best fits your needs, you can dive into the individual features offered by each vendor. 

Other types of asset management

Enterprise content management isn’t the only type of asset management software that exists to help companies sort and organize their digital content. Depending on your needs (and what types of assets you need to manage), you can choose an asset management system that works for you! Below are a few of the different types:

Final thoughts on enterprise content management 

In a nutshell, ECM software organizes your enterprise content, saves time, and increases productivity across your organization. The less time you spend searching for files, the more time you can devote to work that matters.

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