Get an overview of enterprise content management (ECM)

A professional working with enterprise content management

Many enterprise organizations are burdened by content management. From producing internal documents and catchy marketing materials to publishing fresh blogs and website pages, there is a huge scope — and a never-ending supply — of content that companies have to maintain.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant end-to-end process of sourcing, creating, managing, and delivering content. And that’s not to mention personalizing, optimizing, and marketing it across channels and measuring the customer experience. Decision-makers and executives need a single solution that takes care of it all — enterprise content management.

What is enterprise content management?

Enterprise content management (ECM) is a term for any technology platform used to capture, analyze, manage, archive, and deliver content. ECM solutions are robust enough to handle both web-based marketing content and internal document management.

The document management side of ECM is sometimes called “content management.” It refers to the technology’s ability to combine physical and digital content in a way that integra"tes seamlessly with existing information systems and processes. Document management deals with an organization’s transactional, process-driven content.

The other side of ECM is often referred to as “content services.” Content services deals with data. It is a full-service functionality that captures, tracks, analyzes, and delivers informational content where it’s needed, when it’s needed.

These two pillars — document management and content services — combined in one ECM platform allow organizations to adopt a single-solution overlay. One with the strength required to overcome today’s existing obstacles and the flexibility to overcome tomorrow’s unforeseen ones.

Key benefits of ECM

Enterprise content management is not new. But while the term was coined in the early 2000s, it hasn’t been until recently that technology has grown enough to fully deliver on everything ECM implies.

Here are some of the key benefits that modern ECM solutions offer an enterprise organization:

key benefits that modern ECM solutions offer an enterprise organization

  1. Data accessibility. ECM helps to eliminate data silos and reduce costs by combining data from multiple sources and archives. It allows for immediate access to comprehensive data, giving companies content storage that is clear, uncluttered, and cost effective.

  2. Content organization. ECM software has advanced search capabilities to analyze and explore internal data. Companies use it to create pathways that connect and extract otherwise disjointed content, allowing them to uncover — and profit from — previously untold data stories and optimize internal reference centers.

  3. Content capture. ECM allows organizations to streamline and optimize content inputs and do it intelligently. This means capturing content across all classes like spreadsheets, marketing materials, audio, video, and paper documents.

  4. Paperless processes. ECM speeds up transactions and processing in efficient, environmentally friendly ways. Transitioning to an all-digital platform also facilitates easier compliance with industry regulations and improves content security.

  5. Data distribution. A full-function ECM software distributes data across all content streams, including online destinations, on-site storage systems, and customer or vendor terminals.

ECM software is the simple solution for improving processes and performance across each phase of the content lifecycle. These intuitive systems and tools help organizations to produce more while working less.

Implementing these solutions generates natural effects that create space for organizations to not only grow, but also flourish. ECM allows organizations to redirect their energy toward external initiatives like collaboration, partnership, and innovation instead of staying bogged down by internal organization.

How do I get started with ECM?

Implementing such an expansive solution may seem just as overwhelming initially as the problems that necessitate it. Here are a few recommended steps for getting started:

How do I get started with ECM

  1. Define content. Brainstorm ideas for consistent, personalized user experiences for both customers and internal managers.

  2. Plan a roadmap. Communicate with key stakeholders and decision-makers to conceptualize your ideal software framework.

  3. Identify inefficiencies. Illustrate the ideal content flow and lifecycle across all organizational channels.

  4. Go digital. Phase out paper-based processes and single-point digital solutions to facilitate a smooth transition to full-service functionality.

How Adobe Experience Manager can help

Enterprise content management solutions are equipped to provide continuous benefits as your organization grows, shifts, and scales. But informed evaluation of these systems is essential to producing the most profitable outcomes.

Combining digital asset management and content management, Adobe Experience Manager is an industry-leading, unified solution designed to augment ECM. Its expansive capabilities help you source, adapt, automate, and deliver timely, relevant digital experiences in a fully streamlined, always-on, and up-to-date cloud service.

Watch this video to find out more about how Experience Manager can transform your organization and meet your ECM needs.