Title:An Insight on Enterprise Content Management and its Future
Type of article:Insights/Blog
Body:


It is borderline insane how much content is available to us as of now. We are in a state of Information Overload right now but in the best way possible. As good as it sounds, it does come with a myriad of complexities and mix-ups. Not only the volume of content has grown immensely but the classification of the type of data has fulminated. With the magnitude of content, it is not a rarity for it to get muddled up and lose its substance.

The concept of Enterprise Content Management is an addendum to content management as it provides the content with a timeline of as and how it occurred, also prioritizes it and categorizes it. It also enables the creation, concurrence, and the inception of the same. It also secures the sensitive content as it analogues and digitizes it. It aids the content in reaching its intended party by exhibiting and parading it. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is used to create, store, distribute, discover, archive and manage unstructured content (such as scanned documents, email, reports, medical images, and office documents), and ultimately analyze usage to enable organizations to deliver relevant content to users where and when they need it.


Source:Gartner

Enterprise Content Management is a collective term for various components of content i.e. Document management, Web data management, collaboration, Workflow management, Records Management, Digital Asset Management, Optical Character Recognition. It manages what we can call as the life-cycle of information if you will. From the creation of information to its modification, archival and ultimately its relinquishment.

One of the most important ways, ECM applications are delivered is as a software as a service (SaaS). It provides information as web access which is stored on the software manufacturer’s system. These applications are also labelled as Content Collaboration Platforms (CCP).

As defined by Gartner, the content collaboration platform (CCP) market covers a range of products and services that enable content productivity and collaboration. CCPs are aimed at individuals and teams, inside or outside an organization. Additionally, CCPs increasingly support lightweight content management and workflow use cases. Core user functionalities include  • Mobile access to content repositories. • File synchronization across devices and cloud repositories. • File sharing with people and applications, inside or outside an organization. • Team collaboration, with dedicated folders. • A content repository. This can be cloud-based or on-premises, native to the CCP platform or based on other file servers or repositories

Discussing the history of ECM in brief, the technology that is being used right now is of the Document Management System(DMS) from the late 1980s and early 1990s. The DMS provided functionality in either of the four areas which included imaging, workflow, document management orERM. Through the late 1990s, the DMS industry continued to grow steadily. Early leaders already offered multiple stand-alone EDMS technologies. The first phase was to offer multiple systems as a single, packaged "suite", with little or no functional integration. Throughout the 1990s, integration increased. Beginning in approximately 2001, the industry began to use the term enterprise content management to refer to these integrated systems. In 2006, Microsoft (with its SharePoint product family) and Oracle Corporation (with Oracle Content Management)  also entered the entry-level "value" market segment of ECM.

Benefits and significance of ECM:

·         ECM provides an all-inclusive centralized platform where content can be maintained and promulgated in a manner which is aligned by all the compliances. ECM helps in avoiding single-use processes created spontaneously which can make an enterprise vulnerable to compliance risks.

·         An effective ECM can streamline access and business processes, eliminate bottlenecks by reducing storage, as well as paper and mailing needs, optimize security, maintain the integrity and minimize overhead, which ultimately is a huge productivity intensifier.

·         It also helps in both duplication or non-duplication of data, whenever needed.

·         Financial fraud and data breaches -- and regulations designed to prevent them -- have made effective information governance essential not only for compliance reasons but also to help protect the organization's reputation.

·         Enterprises also need to manage content effectively for integration with business intelligence/business analytics

Future of ECM:

·         ECM solutions are becoming popular because of the increased demand of effective management of the immense volume of content which is available right now and also new content is being manufactured on an everyday basis due to the growth of E-commerce, Digital Transformation and the surge in the use of Social Media.

·         The high requirements of the security of sensitive data and the need for immunity against loss of data and data breaches are also steering the rise of ECM solutions all over the globe.

·         Deployment of the content maturity model and end-to-end cross-platform solutions is also likely to offer lucrative opportunities for the market players for the future to come.

·         The Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector is expected to hold the largest market size owing to the growing demand to reduce employee workload as well as improve the overall customer experience.

·         Challenges expected to be faced with ECM solutions:

o   Data migration from legacy systems to new systems

o   The rise in security issues associated with cloud and mobile technologies

o   Aligning ECM strategy with the organizational strategic initiatives

o   Lack of technical proficiency among enterprises

ECM solutions and services are being increasingly adopted by verticals, such as transportation and logistics, healthcare and life sciences, consumer goods and retail, manufacturing, and energy and utilities, to automate and protect the valuable data, thus, fueling the growth of the ECM market across the globe. Consumer goods and Retail verticals are expected to hold the largest market size. However, the transportation and logistics segment is also expected to represent prospective opportunities during the forecast period for ECM vendors.

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) enables organizations to go beyond traditional document management by providing an integrated enterprise platform for managing the complete life cycle of information, automating content-centric business processes and enabling records management.