What is enterprise content management?
Enterprise content management (ECM) is a set of tools and methods that allows a corporation, agency or organization to obtain, organize, store and deliver information crucial to its operation. The fundamental objectives of ECM are to streamline access, eliminate bottlenecks, optimize security, maintain integrity and minimize overhead.
According to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), ECM can be broken down into five major components called capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver. The purpose of each component can be briefly defined as follows:
- Capture: Create, obtain and organize information.
- Manage: Process, modify and employ information.
- Store: Temporarily back up frequently changing information in the short term.
- Preserve: Back up infrequently changing information in the medium and long term.
- Deliver: Provide clients and end users with requested information.
ECM has become increasingly important and complex in recent years for a number of reasons. Financial fraud and data breaches -- and regulations designed to prevent them -- have made effective information governance essential. There are new sources of content, such as unstructured data from social networking websites. Enterprises also need to manage content effectively for integration with business intelligence/business analytics (BI/BA) applications that help them to use the available information to guide business decisions.