ECM (enterprise content management) is a strategic infrastructure and technical architecture to support a single lifecycle of unstructured information (content) of various types and formats.
The ECM system provides management of digital documents and content of other types as well as storage, processing and delivery of content within the organization. At the same time, content may be poorly structured, i.e. represent electronic documents with different sets of fields, drawings, graphics, presentations, scanned images, emails, web pages, videos, audio files, etc.
The Gartner research and consulting company defines modern ECM systems as software solutions that implement the following key functions:
- document management – export, import, version control, security, and library services for business documents;
- document imaging management – capture, transformation and management of paper documents;
- records management – long-term archiving, automating storage policies and regulatory compliance, ensuring compliance with legal and industry standards;
- workflow management – support for business processes, transferring content along routes, assigning work tasks and states, creating audit logs, etc.;
- web content management – automating the role of the webmaster, managing dynamic content and user interaction;
- digital asset management – management of graphic, video and audio files, various marketing materials, such as flash banners, commercials, etc.;
- knowledge management – support systems for the accumulation and delivery of business-relevant information;
- document-oriented collaboration – sharing documents by users and supporting activities of project teams.
The difference between the functionality of ECM systems and electronic document management systems (EDMS), which are more common in the CIS, is not only that the basic unit with which EDMS works is a document that must have requisite and information parts. EDMS necessarily includes the office automation module (work with incoming, outgoing and internal documents). EDSM may also include automation modules for working with contracts, citizens' appeals, etc.
ECM also works with documents, but the objectives of document management are different and, accordingly, the composition of modules is also different. The purpose of ECM systems is to create a common information space of the organization, ensure the consistency of information contained in different documents, and provide each user with all the necessary information in a convenient form.
In the IT Enterprise system, the concept described above is implemented in the product "Document flow and ECM"