What is enterprise content management?

Enterprise content management (ECM) solutions enable an organization to take full advantage of the customer information and company knowledge embedded in its content. ECM solutions capture, store, activate, analyze and automate business content, providing new value from data that was previously unstructured and unavailable.

When effectively managed across the organization, content can be used to engage customers, automate business processes and enhance collaboration.

Why is ECM software important for my business?

Content is the currency that fuels and funds digital transformation. Content possesses information about customers — their behaviors, sentiments and value to the organization — but only if you can harness it. Collectively, content buried in repositories, file shares and cloud folders across the enterprise represents the knowledge of the organization. 

As content grows at unprecedented speeds, organizations are taking concrete steps to streamline their processes relating to content services. “Content chaos” — the lack of digitized content and the inability to access the right content at the right time — is a pervasive barrier to businesses today.

Now, more than ever, ECM software is an essential element on the journey to becoming a digital business.

How do I get started with ECM?

Organizations that are serious about digital transformation need to start with the basics. First, capture the content at the first opportunity. Next, classify it and apply governance rules. Then, control who can access it, and give people tools to find it quickly. Finally, put the content in motion for business processes and collaboration.

Identify the role content plays in your business

Successful adoption of ECM begins with an assessment of the enterprise. Where are paper documents slowing down results? Where is business content located in the enterprise? Are they in file shares, cloud repositories or an ECM system? And what is your strategy for governance, compliance and document retention?

Select an initial project

ECM solutions are scalable and often start with a department or line-of-business application. Once all stakeholders are engaged and have provided input, you develop a vision and measurable goals for a management solution. Then, after thorough testing and user training, deploy the solution. Often, the success of the solution spreads to other departments, which start lobbying to be the next project.

Extend ECM across the enterprise

ECM is best deployed as an enterprise solution. Once the first project has been completed, many elements and procedures can be reused, making subsequent projects less expensive and faster to deploy.  Many businesses develop a shared-services strategy to maximize their investment in people, content and technology.

How can IBM help me?

One of the founders of the enterprise content management system, IBM has been a leader in the industry for more than 30 years. As part of its comprehensive business operations automation platform, IBM offers ECM services and solutions that support your digital transformation and help you build a cognitive business that is confident, streamlined and competitive. Only IBM offers the complete set of enterprise content management capabilities to capture, protect, activate, analyze and engage with content for greater insight and action.

Content management

Manage your content where it is created. Securely collaborate on and share content wherever needed — and do it from any device. Protect it and make it easier to find. Implement enterprise archival and retrieval. Deploy it in the cloud, on premises or as a hybrid solution.

Document capture and imaging

Capture both paper and digital documents wherever they enter your organization. With automatic classification and extraction of data, you can accelerate customer-related business processes and reduce the overall cost of document management.

Workflow and case management

Automate workflows to present the relevant information for cases in context of content-related processes like customer service, loan applications or claim adjudication.

Learn more about ECM

Moving content management applications to the cloud

Learn how to strategically plan to move content to the cloud and assess the right cloud deployment model for your organization.

Putting an end to content chaos

Discover how cognitive, cloud-based ECM helps you protect your content while giving you a competitive advantage.

Harnessing content to deliver a superior customer experience

Explore information management solutions for employees who rely on content every day, but don't have a document management system that can help them access the information they need. 

Digitizing global trade with a cognitive solution

See how HSBC, working with IBM, deployed an automated solution to simplify how millions of international commerce documents used daily get processed.

Need to talk to an expert?

IBM offers a scalable platform for rapidly prototyping solutions that automate and augment critical business processes, decisions and content. The IBM ecosystem and industry expertise can help you start quickly and scale to enterprise-wide deployment, without the fragmentation of product and skills common to other solution providers.