What is enterprise content management(ECM) software?

What is enterprise content management(ECM) software?


An enterprise content management (ECM) software is a system that is normally developed for the sole purpose of governing a firm’s records and information. The content management system (CMS) usually captures documents like purchase orders, HR employee applications, contracts, and employee leave application forms in their format then saves them in a secure digital repository. The documents are then availed to the right personnel at the right time.

There are several ECM software options available from which companies can select one they like best. A company can for example decide to select Microsoft’s SharePoint for a content management system role. The ECM software also comes in the following varieties:

  • Web Content Management- It controls the overall appearance of a company’s website making sure that technicians can update the site while complying with the set guidelines.
  • Collaborative Content Management- This type allows for several people to access and edit the same document. It is suitable for situations where a firm has an ongoing project acted upon by different individuals.
  • Transactional Content Management- this type is best suited for a company that utilizes different kinds of content.

What is a good ECM SOFTWARE?

Good ECM software possesses the following elements:

1. Secures documents.

The software should have some security configuration in place such that it restricts access to some files according to the firm’s needs, monitors all log-ins and log out and the documents accessed/created/modified or deleted.

It is important to note that most companies emphasize implementing an ECM solution because businesses tend to soar once the recommendation is implemented. Usage of ECM software like SharePoint for content management has the following benefits:

i. Employees do away with paper which as a result streamlines business process,

ii. Employee productivity and customer experience improve due to automation of business processes,

iii. Minimized storage costs since only the needed documents are stored at the repository while the documents that are not needed are deleted.

iv. Due to a reduction in storage cost, the firm also enjoys a reduction in operational costs,

v. Business continuity is assured since information is stored on a secure repository in case a disaster occurs there will be backups that enable the management to initialize the recovery process.

2. Captures documents digitally

The software should be able to capture and import the firm’s information to a secure repository. The information is captured by doing the following things:

  • Creating a document digitally from scratch,
  • Scanning hard copy documents,
  • Managing the already existing digital documents and
  • Filing the documents while dividing them into their respective categories from the servers or the selected location of storage.

3. Stores information in a secure repository

After capturing all the documents needed the ECM software then stores the documents in a secure repository location.

4. Retrieves documents easily no matter the place it is stored

Once the documents have been stored the software should allow an individual to access a file (depending on the accessible rights issued to the account by an administrator) by just searching the title of the file. This will enable employees to give information to customers or other parties interested in the piece of information quickly.

5. Automates document associated processes

The ECM software should have some automation features such that it takes documents that need approval through all stages of review till the final stage of approval automatically.