ECM is not dead, long live ECM (MOTW34)

24 Aug 2018

Over the past months you may have seen media reports that have proclaimed Enterprise Content Management’s endangerment – or even its death! But, ECM hasn’t gone anywhere; its definition has merely been shuffled around a bit.

The reality is, the core of ECM is still as relevant to business today as it was three years ago, if not more so. Managing content, structuring data, ensuring business information is readily accessible and used appropriately, is still a huge part of what makes the modern enterprise tick, and a big contributor to any enterprise’s digital transformation strategy.

The worry has been that with the modern explosion of data and resulting chaos of the information businesses need to manage, that for some, the definition of ECM isn’t big enough anymore to encompass everything. Hence, the sensationalised media reports of its “death” and efforts to shift its definition.

The reality, on the other hand, is that ECM is more relevant than ever to any business’s ongoing success. In fact, enterprise research conducted in December 2017 indicated that 40% of respondents experiencing growth said they used ECM, and that the ease of access to information it facilitates had a marked impact on sales performance. 63% of respondents experiencing weak growth, meanwhile, had no ECM system in place.

Dead? I think not.

So, our advice in the face of this, is to seek out ECM solutions with the following key characteristics:

  1. Automation of content-based processes with technologies such as workflow and content automation and digital transaction management.
  2. The ability to put digital content to work, but not as a siloed Digital Asset Management repository.
  3. Intelligent content analytics that unleash the "dark data" locked inside documents.

If you come across customers referring to reports of Enterprise Content Management’s death, tell them that it is not about the term, it is about the outcome. The focus is on Digital Transformation and leveraging digital technologies that enable the innovation of an entire business or elements of business and operating models. The business improvement statistics prove that ECM offers massive business benefits, and whether we call it ECM or Digital Transformation, the aim is towards improved decision-making and better business outcomes.


JP Lourens
Software Product Manager
KYOCERA Document Solutions South Africa 

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