A lot has been talked about enterprise content and how technology has enabled management of the same in best ways to benefit businesses and their goals. Today, let’s take a step closer to Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems and list out 18 of their top benefits. Here we go!
1. Information backup
ECM systems first started out as basic systems to simply store content for enterprises and for information to be accessed from them. Yet, they are the best resort to storing and backing-up critical enterprise and business information.
2. Save warehouse costs and render a paper-free environment
Since ECM systems allow enterprises to go paperless, they save tremendously on warehouse and storage costs. They also do away with the effort involved in managing paper, files and hard copy documents.
3. Paper like tasks and beyond in a paperless environment
ECM systems provide users all the flexibility to view, edit and manage the digitized documents with features such as secured annotations, watermarking, digital signatures, redact, audits etc.
4. Digitize structured and unstructured information
The beauty of ECM systems lies in the fact that they allow digitization of both structured and unstructured information. When you run an enterprise you know your business is exposed to all sorts of content and media such as customer records, papers, letters, videos, audio etc., each of which plays essential roles in your business. ECM systems allow you to store all these types easily for future access.
5. Easily integrates with other systems
In today’s cutting edge competition scenario, it is difficult for businesses to rely solely on one technology. It is but natural to then adapt to various technologies to run businesses. ECM systems are among the most flexible technologies that easily integrate with different systems. They have proved to be extremely useful when combine with Business Process Management (BPM) systems to yield superior performance results.
6. Conforms to standards
ECM systems allow business users to incorporate business rules and adhere to Industry standards. This allows the all departments of the enterprise to follow the set standards and deliver in accordance to the business rules. Standards include technology standards (WebDAV, CIFS, CMIS, etc.) and Government standards (HIPAA, SAS 70, BS 7799, ISO/IEC 27001). Adherence to standards is important as the ECM systems needs to integrate with other systems in the organization and also the documents in ECM systems can be used for legal purposes, too.
A natural by-product of going digital through ECM systems is automation. Enterprises that embrace ECM allow their departments to take advantage of ECM systems that provide easy adaptability to automation of business processes. Every department then accesses the information they need from the ECM system and move customer information between departments for further processing. All tasks that were manually performed before are now performed digitally. Also, redundant tasks and the time involved in performing them are done away with.
8. Increased efficiency and quality
As discussed above, ECM through automation and digitization allows enterprises to drastically see a difference in the way work is performed within and between departments. Higher quality of documents and information stored (via digital clean-up of data during capture) allows ECM users to easily make decisions to process customer requests thus resulting in better efficiency.
9. Increased control over information
Users accessing information in ECM systems are allowed only access to data that is required for their processing. This reduces chances for errors during processing.
10. Mitigated risks
Enterprises can store all information around the life cycle of data that enters the business in an ECM system. This allows for the right information to be accessed at the right time by the right department personnel. This greatly reduces risks and provides better control over the business information.
11. Increased productivity/reduced turnaround time
Easier access of information to respective departments and enabling them to process this information faster through good quality data/documents, allows businesses to reap increased productivity and see reduced turnaround time, enabling more case processing in the same amount of time as before adapting to ECM systems.
12. Better communication
ECM systems allow inter-department communication options. Using annotations, users can notify each other if there are any important notes required regarding the customer case being processed.
Enterprises have options of adding more storage capacity to the ECM systems they invest in, thus allowing for growth along with the business.
14. Better customer service
Clearly, customers get served faster when enterprises invest in a good ECM. This is simply because quicker processing and higher adherence to business standards enables better delivery of service allowing customer satisfaction to thrive.
15. Enables Case Management
An upcoming trend in the technology scenario is Case Management. With ECM systems primary focus on customer information, it is but a natural choice for enterprises that have ECM systems to grow and adapt to Case Management. Case Management allows users to access, process and store customer case information throughout the lifecycle of a case and thereafter through controls and dashboards specific to each department. Users do not have to move between systems since all information for processing of the case is provided on one screen with a complete case view.
ECM systems allow various departments in an enterprise to come together into a central, coordinated environment where all information required for processing is centrally available, so everyone is always in sync with the latest business rules, information and customer records.
17. Versioning and Indexing
It is a normal scenario for businesses to come across various versions of documents and information due to continuous updates over time. ECM systems provide for storage of all various information along with version numbers and indexing. This allows users to access exactly the right version of the information for case processing.
High levels of protection are provided for ECM systems. Administrators, business owners and various departments are allowed to access only specific information pertaining to their roles in the enterprise. This renders high security of all business critical information.