In the pursuit of businesses and organizations to accomodate a wide range of possibilities and requirements of their industry, the management utilizes a powerful technology platform which brings solutions to management predicaments and serves as a content repository for all forms of information. This industry solution is called an enterprise content management or ECM.
Usually what businesses and organizations do is map their current processes to be able to find and then scrutinize system overlapping or failures. Since documents and information of all forms are integral to the processes of all businesses and organizations and these are the elements which are more likely to acquire internal problems, to set improvements and solutions using an enterprise content management technology has become a significant framework in every business and organization.
To define what an enterprise content management is, we should rely on the definition of the most credible association for all the in-depth explanations, the Association for Information and Image Management or (AIIM) International. The AIIM is the worldwide association for enterprise content management.
In 2005, AIIM defined an enterprise content management as set of “technologies used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes.”
In 2006, AIIM refined the term enterprise content management by adding to its definition:
“ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization’s unstructured information, wherever that information exists.”
Consequently, in 2010, an enterprise content management is defined as “the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM covers the management of information within the entire scope of an enterprise whether that information is in the form of a paper document, an electronic file, a database print stream, or even an email”
AIIM refined the meaning of an enterprise content management system several times because as technology progresses, the scope and substance of information management expand as well. Today, an enterprise management system also encompasses the conversion of data among various digital and traditional information forms like paper and microfilm.
Also, within the scope of an enterprise content management system is a document management system and workflow, but the system has been redesigned in order to focus on preserving and giving solutions to the internal information of a company.
AIIM has developed the 4 fundamental Cs of an enterprise content management system: Compliance, Collaboration, Continuity, and Cost. Thus, the benefits of these fundamental elements overlap each other in creating an opportunity to develop common business processes.