What is Enterprise Content Management (ECM)?

There are as many ways to describe enterprise content management as there are ECM solutions

If you are new to the concept of enterprise content management (ECM) and enterprise content management solutions, you may find it confusing at first. And for good reason.

The enormous number of terms associated with ECM - document management, BPM, case management, imaging, records management, full text indexing – is bewildering. If you are asking these questions, you are not alone.

So let's start with some basics.

  • Enterprise content management is an umbrella term for the technology, strategy and method used to capture, manage, access, integrate, measure and store information.
  • The value of enterprise content management software should go way beyond simple scan, store and retrieve solutions. The ideal enterprise content management system encompasses the ECM building blocks mentioned above.
  • Sometimes the term transactional content management is usedbut it’s only a part of ECM. Like we said, ECM is an umbrella term, and these days transactional content management, often associated with business processes that use content to help drive actions and decisions, is just another term under that umbrella.
  • Think of enterprise content management more like your enterprise content strategy. Remember, ECM has evolved into a term more associated with business process and content strategies than as an enterprise content management system.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for content services platforms