ECM: So Much More Than Document Storage

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Most people think of ECM as a way for companies to store content. Many people also think it’s one of the most boring topics they could possibly read about. But if that’s you, you probably aren’t familiar with the modern benefits it brings to businesses.

Technology has dramatically changed pretty much everything, including ECM. It’s true that it started out as a way to digitally store unstructured data (that’s the boring part). However, as businesses and technology have evolved, so has ECM, resulting in an invaluable and almost indispensable tool for businesses. Take a look at these four ways it could impact your business:

1. Improved Security and Regulatory Accountability

Storing content in an ECM’s centralized repository is a huge benefit for businesses. Companies can now control permissions for access to digital content resulting in increased security (compared to hard copy files that could be destroyed or accessed by unauthorized persons in the days of old). Those security measures help companies adhere to regulations (such as HIPAA) and track their adherence in demonstrable ways.

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2. Increased Efficiency

When multiple team members can access the same document, it not only increases informational consistency across a company, it also allows document workflows and lifecycles to benefit from automation. Employees can focus on meaningful work, rather than worrying about repetitive tasks like passing a document around for signatures or deleting data after an expiration date. And with the introduction of machine learning into ECM software offerings, the potential for customized workflows is greater than ever. They can also find relevant information in the blink of an eye with amazing features, such as automatic indexing, which means they can do their work faster.

3. Money Saved

Beyond the savings of a more efficient team, ECMs can significantly cut down on material costs. The “paperless” office was once an impossible dream. Today, it’s a reality. In fact, the ability to store content in digitally shareable spaces means that some teams can even do without the overhead of an office. But even beyond decreasing the need for paper documents, the combination of cloud storage with ECM technology has allowed SaaS vendors to also eliminate the overhead of purchasing and maintaining servers for some companies. This advancement benefits companies by making ECMs not only more affordable, but also by reclassifying the expense as an operating expense, rather than a capital expense.

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4. Better Business Decisions

ECMs store more data than ever before. From online chat bot conversations, to emails, to the standard array of business documents, your company’s unstructured content is a gold mine of information that can inform important decisions in every area of your organization. Artificial intelligence has brought incredible analytics capabilities to the ECM field to help you find and understand significant trends and information, making data-driven decisions easier than ever.

Could your company benefit from an ECM? The answer is probably yes. Businesses of all kinds could benefit from some sort of ECM. If you’re struggling to determine how an ECM could fit in your organization, or even if you’re ready to figure out which vendor works best for you, feel free to reach out to us with your questions!

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