So why is content management so important to the enterprise? The most vital asset that a company has is its data. As such, users must have immediate access to relevant data in order to maintain a successful business that can remain competitive within a given industry. Many companies have a tough time managing all of their data. They don't have a good system for organizing it and delivering it to users in a timely manner.
Enterprise content management or ECM refers to the formal means of organizing and storing the documents and additional content for an organization that are relevant to its processes. The term includes all of the methods, techniques, and tools that are used throughout the duration of the content. There are real benefits for using an ECM and while this may be "stuff" we already know, it's good to remind ourselves why this is a valuable asset for your business.
1. Less risk, more control
This is where an enterprise content management system comes to the rescue. With the right enterprise CMS technology, companies control the access to their data, maintain histories and audit trails, and automate the distribution of content based on a set of policies. All of these functions help a business decrease risk and increase control around the natural life cycle of their data.
2. More automation
One of the biggest benefits of an ECM is automation. Many businesses spend a lot of time on manual data management tasks, such as routing documents or converting items into web-friendly formats. An ECM allows a company to automate these manual steps as well as locate and get rid of redundant steps. When companies automate required tasks and eliminate unnecessary tasks, they are able to use their resources more effectively, which enables to them to save money and grow their revenue streams.
3. Efficient, direct access to content for heightened productivity
Businesses spend 30 percent of their working time searching for information. Traditional techniques for locating and supplying information result in significant efficiency and profitability losses, hindering the company’s ability to remain competitive. Companies must have access to the data that they need at the right time, in the right context, and at the right price. They must also be able to incorporate this information into business processes as needed.
ECMs makes it simple to share and reuse content throughout the system as well as outside of the system, decreasing the risk of inconsistencies and ensuring that the data is available to everyone who needs it. These measures heighten the effectiveness of the employees and decrease printing, shipping, and storage costs.
4. Ensured continuity and conformity
Business processes have sizable gaps. Information is not available at the right time, and electronic business processes are not continuous. For example, when documents enter a company via email or fax, the lack of automated electronic processes results in lengthy processing and response times. When companies can close these gaps and automate the interfaces between departments and process steps, they save a lot of money and gain considerable productivity.
5. Data storage and backup
When ECMs were first introduced, they were intended to be used as a system for backing up and managing information as well as making it accessible in a timely manner. Today there are additional critical reasons for using enterprise CMS, including the following:
- Principles of orderly electronic bookkeeping systems
- Traceability for digital audits
- Digital signatures
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Thanks to standardized data storage or repositories, data digitization, and value-based storage within the data life cycle, storage costs are substantially less than they have ever been before.
6. Consolidated data management and business applications
Consolidation prevents over-capacity, and decreases process and overhead expenses. Consolidating base data into repositories and standard formats guarantees data consistency and maximizes the availability of information within business processes. These types of consolidation processes have a positive impact on both storage and server expenses as well as on applications. Consolidating business applications heightens employee productivity and decreases both administrative and processing expenses.
7. Improved communication and relationships
Enterprise CMS allows a company to improve their interaction and heighten their relationships and service offerings through more efficient, better managed call centers, websites, billing processes, and extranets or computer networks that enable controlled access from an exterior source.
8. Improved compliance with government regulations
There is a wide range of regulations and other rules that businesses must adhere to in order to maintain their operations, such as the International Organization for Standardization 9001 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [Oracle PDF, 2010]. An enterprise CMS makes it easier to comply with these regulations
About the Author: Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm, and also serves on its Board of Directors. She has more than 15 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.