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Current Trends in Enterprise Content Management

March 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 214

Enterprise Content Management or ECM for short is the control and development of the computer hardware and software that is applied to the creation, capturing, managing, storing, preserving integrity of and disseminating of, all information within a commercial business. Both formal and informal information. The holy grail of ECM is to perfect the accuracy of information, preserve it intact and use it to make better commercial decisions and thereby maximize revenue and profit. Current trends in ECM are developing along two distinct paths. One is the internal working of the ECM systems and the second is in the relationship of the ECM process and outputs to the regulatory authorities outside of the enterprise.

1) ECM systems are rapidly becoming more efficient and user friendly. Take website Content Management Systems as the best known example of a sub ECM. Developers behind systems such as Wordpress and Joomla are honing the tools within their offerings so that geographically and organizationally disparate people can read, use and even edit content without contradicting one another. What is more they can do this for themselves without any special technical knowledge or training and avoid expensive duplication or errors. The trend is to no longer need expensive outsourced consultants to install and operate information and even system changes. It all speeds up work flow, enables database searches and moves everyone closer to the paperless workplace. ECM is transforming the processes of many enterprises by integrating all content and making related changes in real time.

2) ECM also has to help the enterprise comply with regulations, manage the risks of potential failures in compliance and meet the demands of 'ediscovery'. At the turn of the year in 2007 the federal rules on civil legal procedures was amended to reflect the huge amount of information now stored electronically. Unfortunately the trend in ECM is only now catching up with this potential legal minefield. The amendments were all about electronically stored data in the discovery phase of any litigation.

The Federal Rule of Civil Procedure applies to all organizations, large and small, commercial and not for profit. It makes the role of the organizations' records manager central. It is this person's job to ensure that there is a robust records management process and clear audit trail from any decision or action from origin to output. This means both paper records and electronic and all kinds of information, not just financial. The evidence for this external facing ECM trend can be found in the explosion of job advertisements on websites such as CareerBuilder and Monster for expert records management roles. The most important thing for enterprise content management is to develop and apply without exception, rules for storing records of integrity, especially electronic records such as emails, documents, website postings, instant messages, databases or even flash drives and laptops.

ECM is the ideal answer to the question of organizational record keeping for litigation proofing. IBM, ECM and Interwoven are all developing 'ediscovery' modules to make records and documents legally acceptable during the discovery phase of any litigation.

Craig Bailey is a Sydney based technology consultant. He blogs about technology at

Source: EzineArticles
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