From ECM to content services: towards an efficient use of information
With the amount of information produced and needed by businesses that continues to grow, traditional Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions are no longer sufficient to ensure effective access and management. Therefore, technology must take another step forward. Let’s take a look at how content services help companies improve their productivity and mastery of their information.
ECM is evolving towards content services
The classic concept of ECM – a stand -alone repository that acts as a digital closet for record managers and legal departments – is no longer in this form. The ever-increasing stream of new sources and forms of information, as well as the wide possibility of use and associated risks, must continue to be assessed, contextualized and made available. But it goes beyond the scope of the classic ECM.
Content management services represent the next step in the evolution of ECM technology development. It is a collection of platforms and applications that overlay on existing ECM infrastructure to extend content management capabilities. Each function of a content service supports specific tasks: for example, certain specific functions can be integrated into critical business applications to extend lifecycle management to hitherto isolated content. Others simplify and speed up the dissemination of information or even center it in a user -defined area.
Most platforms and applications of this content service are hosted in the cloud. They provide the foundation for remote access to information and functionality, while providing greater efficiency for deployment and updates. Their container architecture provides both the flexibility and deployment options needed to integrate into a variety of cloud and on-premise environments. They are also easy to customize: connectors and open APIs allow them to be tailored to each company’s needs.
The development of content services technologies is primarily dependent on the needs of businesses in terms of access, use and management of information.
Access to information on the age of hybrid employment
Employees gradually left the office and some of them never returned. They now work in different environments, each in specific contexts, making it more difficult to center information. Therefore, companies themselves must ensure efficient access to data and other content in order to innovate, make decisions and optimize the customer experience.
Ease of access to information is one of the basic principles of content services. By connecting centralized content management platforms with data from applications (ERP, SCM, CRM, CEM, HRM, etc.), it is possible to extend the content and data lifecycle management protocols up to that point. isolated. Thus, information can be automatically identified, analyzed and classified as it appears. Life cycle rules, whose definition is centralized, are applied to them. This information remains within the system in which it was created and therefore does not need to be consolidated into a single storage. However, employees can find relevant information through a central search function that covers all connected systems.
Another benefit of cloud-based content services applications is that users have access to relevant information wherever and whenever they need it. This greatly simplifies IT staff, who no longer have to manage remote access to each of the systems, among other things, avoiding bottlenecks.
Optimizing collaborative work
From entering forms to managing support tickets and collaborating with Microsoft Office, all of these business processes are driven by information that, through the results produced, is conditioned on other relevant process. The pandemic paralyzed the processes of many companies by disrupting the highly structured flow of information: different departments could no longer communicate with each other due to lack of staff, making it impossible create, share or consume information effectively.
In the future, distributed teams will require access to an automated flow that carries all relevant data and content across the enterprise in real time to maintain business continuity. Again, the capabilities for integration and automation of content services have proven invaluable. Lifecycle management rules and metatags applied to different systems can trigger a chain reaction: once an action is performed on one system, the associated data appears on another. For example, important SAP data can appear automatically and in real time in Salesforce. When a collaborator opens a client profile, he or she no longer has to navigate between the windows of several software programs or constantly log in to different accounts. This form of automation and integration can be applied to any number of processes, for example retrieving incoming documents.
In addition, content services promote collaborative work: some of the functions can be integrated into Microsoft Teams, for example, and extend its functionality so that distributed project teams have access to everything related data and content from all business systems. At the same time, the corresponding functions immediately classify the information produced by this collaboration, manage it and add it to the company’s central content management program to make it available to other employees.
Better information management
For compliance reasons, IT departments need to maintain control over the growing and diverse amount of information. ECM platforms were originally intended to provide a legally valid basis for managing corporate information. It should apply to the management of all information, wherever it comes from and how it is used by different departments within the company.
Content services capabilities enable deeper integration with systems and processes within the IT ecosystem. The management rules defined in the central management platform can be extended to previously separate data and content, wherever they come from and wherever they are stored. When companies share and use their information between different network platforms, they must also consider legal obligations, particularly for the protection of privacy and end-to-end data, and adapt them to the current state of the information. For example, SAP data is subject to a particular legal framework, but this can change when employees use it in their work on another project.
While a holistic approach to content services gives employees access to relevant information and its source, the technology also fully monitors how teams share and modify that information to meet compliance requirements. .
Information is an important content in a company, so it must be quickly and directly accessible by all employees in order to be valued. However, it becomes clear that the classic ECM is no longer sufficient. Therefore, the technology of content services will be the center of information management in the future.