Technology is driving advancements all over the business world, and ECM is no exception. The goal of managing content at enterprise levels has always been to improve efficiency and security for businesses, even when ECMs simply stored unstructured data. The parallel goals of ECM vendors and the businesses they serve have converged to put this industry on the fast track to being a high-tech field.
Over time, businesses that use ECM systems have seen the value of centralizing content to increase efficiency, both in storage space and workflows. Having access to such huge amounts of data has also spurred a desire to harness it with analytics. In response to these demands, as well as technological innovations, ECM vendors have evolved to allow businesses to derive valuable analytics, meet the evolving demands of our increasingly digital society, and maneuver and manage content with even more efficiency.
There are a few major areas where technology is enabling exciting advancements in the ECM field.
Managing Huge Amounts of New Content Types
Gone are the days when all we needed to store were invoices and company documents. Each day businesses need to manage vast amounts of content that include everything from social media posts and interactions (especially crucial for government agencies) to phone conversations and online chats. Capturing so much data provides extensive potential for mining analytics that can drive better business decisions. But the first challenge is just that: capturing so much data in all its forms so that businesses can utilize it later. ECMs are on the forefront of tackling this challenge for businesses, and they’re simultaneously evolving to make this data more valuable.
Workflow Efficiency & Security
Advancements in ECMs have made it easier than ever to centrally store data and allow multiple company stakeholders to access it, while ensuring that each user’s permissions determine what they can or cannot reach. Storing data this way increases both security and information consistency across organizations. It also facilitates a complimentary advancement in the automation of workflows and document life cycle management. With an ECM, it’s no longer necessary for someone to shuttle a document around for signatures or to watch for the dates when content needs to be deleted. Everything can be automated and tracked through the software.
Machine learning is a hot topic in artificial intelligence, and it’s no wonder, considering the advancements it’s facilitating in numerous fields. Thanks to machine learning, the ECM industry has been able to keep up with the technological advances around it. With increasing amounts of data, it would be difficult to build a single ECM product that could meet each business’ dynamic needs. However, machine learning allows ECM vendors to create software that learns about your business’ needs over time by analyzing data and extracting information from it. This technology has opened the field to incredible analytics advancements, as well as features like automatic indexing, that dramatically increase the efficiency of capturing, accessing, and utilizing data.
We can hardly talk about technological advances without discussing “the cloud.” The availability of cloud storage has made ECMs accessible to more businesses and made content available in more ways. SaaS ECMs have expanded the availability of their products by eliminating the overhead of purchasing and maintaining onsite servers and by making the cost an operating expense, rather than a capital one. ECMs with cloud (or even hybrid) capabilities are also helping workplaces meet modern demands for flexible work situations.
So, what do all of these advancements mean for businesses that use ECMs? In short, they deliver major savings on a variety of levels. Be sure to tune in in a couple of weeks to learn more about the value an ECM can add to your company. In the meantime, comment below with the ways you’ve seen ECM technological advancements impact your business!