Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is many things at once. And SMAC capabilities are among the emerging trends in ECM. What is ECM and how is it different from any content management? What is SMAC and how is it used to serve enterprise needs?
Beyond Content Management
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is a catchall term that encompasses strategies, procedures, and tools that are used to capture, store, manage, and deliver information critical for the functioning of key organizational processes in an enterprise.
The need for ECM arises when document management won’t suffice. ECM is beyond traditional management of content. ECM can be seen as specialized content management at an enterprise level. It offers the ability of accessing the appropriate version of a document which is imperative, especially for large enterprises to accomplish their objectives. With ECM, you can identify duplicate and near-duplicate content thereby allowing enterprises to retain only a few essential copies of a particular document rather than countless redundant copies.
The Right Mix
As aforementioned, ECM is an umbrella term which consists of a dynamic mix of crucial tools and techniques. Although at the crux of ECM lies Information Capture, Document Storage and Records Management; there are certain emerging trends that are set to reshape the ECM architecture. Two of such trends are the SMAC capabilities and deeper integration.
The Right Package
SMAC is the acronym which stands for Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud. This quadruple package can be seen as the four pillars of an organization because it touches every facet within the organization. Social is important to stakeholders, mobile reaches out to the end users or employees and analytics is imperative to the CEOs and leadership and finally the cloud is reigning the IT department. All of these four pillars provide the right platform for every enterprise.
Social media is only around a decade old but today it has become an unavoidable necessity. Social media tools and platforms have taken sharing of information to the next level. It is now possible to communicate easily with individual customers and get real-time feedback. Information on these interactions can turn out to be of great value to enterprises and that is why it becomes essential to manage it well. Social Content Management Applications enable content analysis and sentiment analysis of content gathered from social networks. These applications capture contextual metadata that adds more value to the information gathered. Social ECM does this at an enterprise level. Furthermore, the Discussion Forums, Q & A, Bulletin Boards, and intra office chats enhance collaboration between stakeholders. This facilitates skill based expert identification and process designing.
Smart phones are rapidly replacing desktop devices. Mobile devices are altering our daily lives as well as business environments. As mobile technology advances, the processing capabilities of mobile phones are increasing. It is now possible for enterprises to manage the entire lifecycle of content by only relying on their smart phones. More and more features are becoming available in the market enabling the business workforce to arrive at business decisions in real-time.
A popular trend that the powerful computing capability and advanced broadband connectivity has brought along is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). The adoption of BYOD by enterprises lets the employees use personal mobile devices to access business applications and business information.
Analytics is the scientific process of analyzing data to understand underlying information and reveal obscure patterns. With the arrival of Big Data, the volume and variety of structured and unstructured data have proliferated. Advanced analytics are streamlined to produce meaningful and contextual insights from the gathered Big Data. These accurate insights reshape the decision making process of enterprises and ensure that better decisions are made.
The cloud emerged with the adoption of virtualization and later the Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) were adopted by enterprises to transform their IT departments. Cloud computing provides features like data portability, security, reliability, and scalability. All these coupled with the benefits of cost reduction made cloud services an integral part of IT department in several enterprises.
The Whole Enchilada
The benefits of SMAC are multifold if the four pillars are adopted collaboratively rather than separately. But the adoption of SMAC is not a success destination; it is more like the first step towards the achievement of business goals. These four pillars need to be effectively structured and collaborated to ensure the success of your business. Another concern after adoption of SMAC is securing the information these technologies handle and addressing privacy issues that may rise from their usage.
Adopting SMAC and implementing it effectively addressing the aforementioned key issues can modify the overall organization’s culture. Deploying SMAC can give your enterprise a business advantage in terms of operational efficiency, cost reduction, customer analysis and return on ECM investment.
Share your thoughts on how SMAC influences content management in enterprises today.
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