Which device are you reading this article on? Your desktop? Possibly your mobile device? Below the piece of glass with which you are reading these words is the possibility to access endless information. Knowledge on any topic imaginable can reach your device in the blink of an eye. Ease of access to documents, content, and data can now streamline business processes and automate workflow. However, just because we have all this information does not mean that each piece is as valuable as the next. As such, the collected material must be adequately organized to be optimally utilized. Involved in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) are the tools and procedures to collect and organize the aforementioned data, so as to be of value to the reader (whether the reader is a senior manager, client, etc).
There are a number of components within ECM which aid in achieving the goals listed above. The processes involved include capturing, managing, storing, preserving, and delivering information.
– Capturing information is accomplished through data transformation whereby physical documentation is converted to an electronic form, this being merged with your current catalogue of electronic information to deliver an inventory ready to be managed. An electronic catalogue would include pulled metadata which describes that piece of data.
– The Managing aspect includes the networking of data, records, and web content management to utilize information. Included with the above means are document management and business process management. The 5 components can either be working together, or separately.
– Storing data places an emphasis on the interim, with the information that is either not required or frequently changing backed up in the short term to allow for editing, if necessary.
– The Preserve component backs up the information that is opposite of what was listed in the last point, that is the infrequently changing and required data being backed up via Records Management Systems.
– Finally, Delivering the information provides the requested information to the user requesting it.
Documentum is an example of Records Management that is found in all stages of ECM. As Michael Trafton of BlueFishGroup states “Documentum is like a hard drive on steroids” due to its incredible practical applications for medium and large sized enterprises. There is still the ability to store your crucial files, however a difference compared to a hard drive stems from the ability to access these files. This ease of access does not take away from the notion of security, with Documentum providing the ability for certain parties to view (or not view) sensitive information, and allowing the capability to edit information through authorization.