Enterprise Content Management involves capturing structured and unstructured content that’s generated all over the enterprise, storing that content, processing it into information, delivering that information to those who need it for decision-support, and finally transferring it to long-term storage for preservation until it can be removed safely from the system.
Enterprise Content Management seeks to prevent duplication of functions and redundancy in resource usage that are typical where each department and function uses dedicated stand-alone systems.
Earlier articles identify capture, storage and preservation, and delivery components. This article explores the “management” component that works on other components to achieve desired results.
This management component manages content capture, processing and transformation, and information delivery. It uses databases and access-authorization systems to do this. It also attends to the archiving and final removal functions.
Elements of the Management Component
Document Management: Document management involves:
- Check out/Check in facilities for working with the content,
- Version control to make different versions of the same content available to users,
- Search and retrieval facilities for locating and accessing needed information, and
- Viewing facilities to see the information in overview and other kinds of views
Collaboration Management: Collaboration management involves providing facilities that make working together possible. These facilities include:
- Using common databases
- Designing workflow procedures for more than one person to work on documents and processes
- Providing facilities such as white-boarding and video conferencing that allow a number of people to hold discussions from different locations, and also add files and notes for reference and actions
- Providing facilities for administrative tasks such as appointments scheduling
Web Content Management (WCM): Enterprise content management systems typically include a web portal with interactive facilities available to employees, customers, suppliers, and business partners. This means that web content management has become part of ECM.
WCM typically allows users to create content even if they do not have HTML and other kinds of programming skills. WCM includes facilities for:
- Creating and editing content
- Creating editorial reviews and modifications where necessary before publishing the content
- Accepting content in different formats and converting to standard formats
- Publishing the content
- Personalizing page displays by users to meet their needs and preferences
- Separating public and non-public content and restricting access to the latter
Records Management: Deals with the logic of achieving storage, archival, and removal objectives. Procedures and functions are developed for:
- Filing and indexing systems
- Retention and removal schedules
- Protection of sensitive and confidential data
- Document and information-retrieval metadata
Workflow and Business Process Management: Workflows can be along standard or custom sequences determined by the user. Workflow objectives are achieved through workflow engines that control the flow and workflow solutions with autonomous clients.
Managing workflow involves planning, capture, processing, delivery, administration through delegation, deadlines, monitoring and reminders, and documenting the process.
Business-process management seeks to integrate different workflows and applications into an integrated business process. It also involves generating business intelligence by mining the data warehouse.
The management component of Enterprise Content Management seeks to integrate all the other components into an integrated process that helps achieve business results.
It incorporates different disciplines and technologies such as Document Management, Collaboration Management, Web Content Management, Records Management, Workflow Management and Business Process Management.