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    From WCM to ECM - Why the move is important

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    Enterprise Content Management

    Creating content and making data available has never been a challenge for any organization. But these are virtually useless unless they are analyzed and made actionable. We as organizations need to be able to use the information at hand to move up the value chain and convert the knowledge we have, into realizing the organizations’ business goals. Marketing technologies have grown exponentially in the past few years, the rise and expansion of interactive marketing demands a better system that is adaptive in nature and facilitates an organization to make the most optimal use of their resources. Just as people are company’s valuable asset, data is its richest resource.

    Now, we have seen the term “web content marketing” gaining traction and its definition seems to be largely unclear. The process of creating and delivering content on various online marketing platforms including your company’s website is what we term as web content marketing. But there a lot of other elements, or shall we call them, its peer-disciplines that also play a vital role into bringing any digital project to life. Like we said in the beginning of this article that creating or making content or data available is not a challenge; analyzing and consolidating it is. Hence, in this article, we are going to take a detailed look into the shift from Web Content Management (WCM) to Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and how it is continually helping organizations grow, be more productive and reduce their overheads effectively.

    Let us start with defining the two terms that we are going to be focusing on today:

    WCM: According to the AIIM website, "Web Content Management is the process of authoring content, be it textual, visual or aural, and posting that content to a website, often through a Web Content Management System.”

    ECM: According to Prescient Digital Media ECM is, "the technologies used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization's unstructured information, wherever that information exists."

    Let’s not miss that this definition mentions “documents” separately along with “content”. This goes to show that WCM is only a subset of ECM and that adapting and building on an Enterprise Content Management System rather than a simple Web Content Management is much more advantageous. ECM offers capabilities to tackle complexities of a growing organization and the thick forest of data it creates along the way. The vital components include WCM, Real-time Communication, Document Management, Records Management, Digital Asset Management, Business Process Management and more. The ECM technology has the capability to take unstructured content and deliver it in a structured format eliminating the threats posed by bad data.

    We seem to have mastered the art of building a web presence and deliver personalized content to targeted audience across digital platforms. What we now need to emphasize on, is how we as enterprises manage our resources, skills and expertise.  The ECM technology understands the complex concept of “content lifecycle” and addresses all the related problems that companies face, spread across different verticals. Starting from issues your employees face; like the constant need to share information and files on a real-time basis, through secure platforms in a cost-efficient manner while working on projects with remote teams, all the way to solutions that integrate analytics and intelligence to predict, capture, analyze and turn data on the web into majorly important insights that aid in important business decision and analysis, Enterprise Content Management offers it all. There are sophisticated software in the market that offer these services enabling client organizations to embrace and leverage these practices optimally. These Enterprise Content Management Services ensure that companies have a vantage point in terms of staying competitive, productive and efficient, hence, maximizing their ROIs. Let us take a brief look at the peer-disciplines of Web Content Management that make up the ECM technology:

    Communication and Collaboration: Implementing technology solutions to multiple platforms across your organization that encourages interactive work environment and strengthens team work. With multiple teams working on so many cross-functional projects, they need a common platform that enables them to communicate efficiently. Moreover, with offices spread all over the globe, the work places are more remote than ever and hence companies need such a platform to be able to share large files securely across portals. Communicating through emails and physically moving data in storage devices are the things of the past. Collaborative platforms provided by ECMs efficiently unite processes, people and information to ensure informed decision making.

    Enterprise Mobility: Availability of information on our finger-tips in this digital age is a requisite. Be it your customers or employees, make yourself successful on multiple channels addressing the target audience. We all know how popular the mobile retail apps are, to engage your customers. This would improve their experiences with your company prompting them to make more purchases. Also, applications to be used for back-end operations by employees will enable them to share information and documents in real-time with their colleagues. This in-turn will help you keep a track of your employees on the field and collect timely and relevant data.  Moreover, the information available on the mobile applications and portals can have customized need-based access for the employees.

    Documents and Records Management: Thomas Redman has rightly said that if bad data impacts an operation only 5% of the time, it adds a staggering 45% to the cost of operations. Not all data that is created is worth saving and not all the data saved is worth using. Hence, in order to avoid repetition of content or losing any important data, you need to integrate a software that manages and regulates your business documents. It is an efficient way to secure all the important information and records with a proper recovery plan. Moreover, structured data makes the work of all the departments much more efficient and reduces the risk of misuse.

    Business Intelligence: With huge chunks of data coming in at every step of the operations, the need to analyze this data in real-time has become more pressing than ever. The first stage is to consolidate and compartmentalize the data so as to be able to make it actionable by further analysis. Business Intelligence services enable you to apply IT analytics across multiple platforms in order to help your organization in optimizing business processes and receive enhanced outcomes from the same. With personalization of digital experiences on the rise, the need to have right data at the right time is all that matters right now. The stakes for getting it wrong are quite high. Amplify the accuracy of the business trends and the leads your organization receive with customized dashboards, reports & alerts.

    I strongly believe that marketing today is not just an art, it’s a science and marketers need to be more methodical and agile in their approach of strategizing and execution. And the answer is right in front of us; upgrading from a simple Web Content Management to a full-blown sophisticated Enterprise Content that will enforce a much needed control and discipline when it comes to data and content management.

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