Most of the enterprise content management solutions available today started as a simple document management to make it easier to digitize, manage, and circulate documents.
The complexity organizations faced while managing their content, increase in operational costs, and the need to stay competitive has played major role in evolving these solutions to a complete enterprise content management with powerful modules i.e. BPM, Records Management advanced data capture, etc.
The major addition to the ECM solutions was providing tools for the subject experts to automate their business processes without the need for IT intervention. BPM, if implemented correctly, has the ability to make big impacts on how organizations do business, reduce operational costs, and increase productivity.
The latest addition to the ECM industry and which became a necessity is the integration with Enterprise File Sync and Sharing solutions such as Dropbox and Box, making it easier for organizations to import documents into their ECM and locate them later in one single portal.
So what’s next in ECM industry?
The notion of having one single system (ECM) to manage all the organization’s content proved to be impossible to achieve. With so many applications being used in an organization to generate content, it became important for solution providers to start thinking about a Repository Neutral approach.
The idea to have the ability to search within your ECM solution all the content in your organizations whether they are imported or not to the ECM repository is very compelling.
Currently very few ECM providers have this capability but in the near future i’m sure many ECM will follow this path.
Process Automation by The Subject Experts
Almost all major ECM providers currently have a strong workflow engine to automate any department’s internal process but the major setback is that it requires their intervention thus costing the organization more money and time.
Lately we started to see some pioneers in the ECM industry providing powerful tools to graphically automate any workflow and create a digital form from scratch to be used by the person who knows the process without the need for their intervention.
Such powerful capability will allow the subject experts in the organization to re engineer the process, automate it, and publish it without costing the company any extra charges.
The shift from information management to intelligent information management can be achieved by using AI including text analytics, and machine learning.
Artificial intelligence can be used now while importing documents into the system allowing automatic classification and organization of content thus increasing productivity and reducing human errors with classifications.
When the technology advances more and more ECM providers start to use it, no doubt it will have much more deep impact on how we manage information.
More and More Integrations
There is no doubt now, for an ECM provider to be successful, they need to work heavily on their integration module.
Having integration with EFSS type of solutions, Outlook, Office, SharePoint, Sales force and others is becoming essential as it is most likely that any organization nowadays is using multiple systems across their departments and having such capability will play a major role in the provider future.