The Small to Medium Business (SMB) market deserves the same opportunity to benefit from Electronic Content Management (ECM) as larger businesses. Through experience and expertise, uses the newest in ECM technology to cost-effectively provide those benefits to the SMB market. We offer this document as an Introduction to Enterprise Content Management – History, Objectives, Key Elements, Market Definition, and Trends in ECM for Small to Medium Sized businesses.
In the early ‘90s businesses first starting by replacing microfilm with Scanning to create electronic images, TIFF’s written to Laser Disk, businesses began to accept that the Future is not paper and paper processes.
EDM – Electronic Document Management was born…
In 2000, EDM was combined with Web Content Management (WCM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) resulting in ECM – Electronic Content Management – WCM and DAM faded into the background.
The important distinction between EDM and ECM is that ECM is a broader designation that includes EDM as the central, pivotal component. ECM goes beyond EDM, adding components such as multiple System Integrations, Automated Document Classification and Data Extraction, Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Business Process Outsourcing.
Enterprise Content Management then, becomes the solution to hardcopy processing, of which EDM is a part.
Two other acronyms that have been brought into use by Gartner, the market research firm. In 2017 Gartner changed their ECM Magic Quadrant to CSP Magic Quadrant (Content Service Provider) – Michael Woodbridge, Senior Research Director at Gartner announced that “ECM was dead…” – To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of ECM’s death was greatly exaggerated. In the 2019 the Gartner report, CSP was replaced by CCP, Content Collaboration Platform, as a replacement for Content Services Platform…
It is safe to say that ECM Today! is the most widely used and inclusive designation for the services to the SMB Market with the caveat that EDM is the foundation of ECM, and often used as a synonym for ECM.
*Magic Quadrant is a series of market research reports published by IT consulting firm Gartner that rely on proprietary qualitative data analysis methods to demonstrate market trends, such as direction, maturity, and participants.
Enterprise Content Management Objectives:
- Offering immediate help to the SMB that sees the need to move into the digital present and future, an ECM solution should provide a fully functional and fairly prices system that will act as a foundation and introduction to the digital world-Making companies’ employees’ daily working lives more effective and efficient-Replacing paper processes and archives with processes based on electronic images and metadata as electronic documents of record i.e., Creating an Electronic System of Record.
Helping companies meet overarching business client goals:
- Regulatory compliance and risk management
- Providing for a remote, geographically dispersed working environment
- Maintenance and sharing of business knowledge
- Cost and time efficiency
- Innovation to prepare for the future
To meet these objectives the SMB needs solutions that include these key components:
- Ease-of Use
- Architectural Flexibility
- Feature Functionality
Market Definition – Offerings in the Market
ECM services can be either be implemented On-Site (aka Enterprise) or implemented as a Cloud solution. Many in the SMB Market are looking to Cloud ECM solutions as apply an operational rather than capital expense, for ease of implementation and ongoing support, and for flexibility with new implementations and future growth. ECM services provide products that support content and process related needs of operational business functions through:
Scanning and Image Processing
- Backfile Conversions of Hardcopy, Film, Existing Images to create electronic documents of record
- Ongoing Scanning of Hardcopy and ongoing Capture of images by email, FTP, etc.
Extracting Metadata indexing and upload to line of business applications
Electronic Archive / Retrieval
- Replacing hardcopy filing and storage
- Integrate with line of business applications to automate retrieval from within those applications
- Allow secure and audited access to internal and external users
Replacing harcopy forms with eForms and hardcopy reports with electronic report management. Use of Electronic Workflows to replace manual review, approval , transactional and other operations. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to replace repetitive manual operations. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) as a more cost-effective solutions to in-house operations such as AP/AR Processing, Billing, HR Onboarding, Account Opening, EOB Processing, etc. Outsourcing of Mail Room Functions through scanning/processing of mail and routing through image workflow.
Trends in ECM – A Robust Market
From Gartner – Strategic Planning Assumptions
Cloud-Based ECM Market expected to from USD 9.7 Billion in 2017 to USD 34.42 Billion by 2022
From IT, New Media & Software – Research Reports Inc.
ECM – 12% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) Growth: Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Software Market 2019: Growth, Trends, Demand, Share, Analysis and Forecast to 2024 –
The global enterprise content management (ECM) software market is expected to grow at a CAGR of +12% during 2019-2024. ECM software establishes smooth collaboration and coordination among the employees of an organization as it streamlines the cycle of information and automates various business processes.
From Harvey Spencer Associates
Worldwide Capture Software Market grows 15.4% Capture 2.0 Cloud Services and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) energizes market September 3, 2019 Northport, NY.
From Digitech Systems Inc.
Four key trends are driving technology purchases in 2020: cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), process automation, and data security. When combined, they represent more than $980 billion in opportunity.
- Cloud continues to be the number one technology strategy for businesses this year, because it delivers significant financial benefits. It’s a $330 billion market. (Bonus: it’s also critical for effective remote work, which cropped up as a fifth buying trend following the outbreak of COVID-19.)
- There is significant ongoing interest in leveraging AI and RPA to streamline business operations, representing $202 billion in opportunity.
- Automation continues to replace manual effort for many routine business functions. Companies will spend $166 billion on process optimization in 2020.
- Data security is critical because breaches are expensive! The global pandemic has sharpened the focus on core data security functions as more people work remotely. It’s a $282 billion market this year.
From Gartner – Trends across organizations regardless of industry
- Tackling content sprawl: Organizations have a multitude of content repositories, and with the increasing prevalence of SaaS, more silos materialize on a regular basis. The desire to rationalize this multitude of content sources did not disappear with the death of enterprise content management (ECM). Fortunately, there is an acceptance in the market that new techniques are required to tackle this issue.
- Delivering digital business transformation: CSP technology is in demand to underpin new operations and processes that utilize content as a key component in innovative ways. A common requirement is to join up fragmented operations by including partners, suppliers, and customers directly in system processes that include both operational and collaborative experiences. An insurance company might digitize and join up the entire claims processing cycle, for example. Customers can then interact directly with the organization’s back office, which, in turn, can collaborate effectively with other partners in the process. The open, yet secure combination of content and processes is an enabler of this kind of transformation.
- Modernizing work: Users’ expectations have changed for good, due to the ubiquity of compelling user experiences in consumer applications. There is increasing evidence that a workforce with a high degree of digital dexterity is more likely to help an organization realize its digital transformational goals. New modes of interaction with content (for example, synchronous editing in a non-document format such as Dropbox Paper) are required in order to modernize the work experience. Buyers’ needs require more agile, adaptive solutions, which are very different to the rigid, on-premises and monolithic solutions of old. At the heart of any digital business platform, a modern CSP must display the following characteristics:
- Cloud scale: The ability to scale to meet the demands of the workforce. Provision of seamless connectivity to a broad ecosystem of suppliers, partners and customers, while delivering continuous innovation, is essential.
- Protection: The provision of deeply embedded flexible and intelligent information governance, security and privacy controls. This is essential to operate in a world of ever-increasing threats and regulatory demands.
Fast time to value: The ability to deliver business value quickly — for example, through the provision of prebuilt applications and citizen-developer-based tools.
- User-centricity: A consumerized user experience with embedded mobility and consistency across devices. A focus on the overall user experience is of paramount importance for driving adoption and realizing the expected benefits of this technology.
- Intelligence: Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, including machine learning (ML) and deep neural networks, have enabled innovations for classification, productivity, and automation scenarios. Such capabilities should be embedded in all key areas of the platform, from security to collaboration, to align with the evolving expectations of the market.