Enterprise Content Management Trends

Category: Blog  |

ECM trends – Enterprise content management is an initiative that organizations can leverage to efficiently manage content to ensure it’s accessible to support collaboration and business transactions, and also secure. Downtime or lag time involving data access just isn’t an option.

Businesses of all sizes are grappling with how to best organize, store and manage the seemingly never-ending amount of data. Industry experts at IDC predict that by 2025 the worldwide volume of data will increase tenfold to 180 zettabytes.

ECM technology is now such a critical component in supporting digital transformation that industry analysts project the market will reach $67.14 billion by 2022. This staggering increase in ECM adoption is indicative of the significant return on investment ECM generates in supporting digital transformation and improved efficiency.

As companies aspire to modernize the capture, management and control of data, so too, leading ECM vendors are continually innovating to empower business users with the means to transform the workplace.

Following are some of the biggest ECM trends reshaping the landscape today, along with “must haves” you’ll want on your requirements list when upgrading or implementing your ECM system.

ECM Trends – Usability Empowers Employees

Adopting a new software package should be an exercise in good research, judgement and execution to ensure team members embrace and engage the new solution. Software vendors and customers alike agree – usability matters.

Over the past decade, ECM vendors have been squarely focused on improving usability. Now that companies understand the business value of ECM, they want to be assured they can fully realize these cost and productivity saving. And their investment only pays off if users adopt the technology and users become advocates. To this end, ECM systems must be intuitive. When evaluating ECM options, make “easy-to-implement and deploy” a top priority. Look for a program that boasts efficient deployment time frames.

An ECM solution that presents an intuitive interface will ease introduction. Today’s top offerings boost usability with features such as intuitive drag-and-drop UI capabilities, pre-configured templates, document previewing and easy-to-use forms.

To further strengthen adoption, ensure you’re working with a package that can be customized to your business requirements and user needs. Being able to tailor features and functionality to specific workflows and processes will on-board fans faster as customization brings a heightened level of satisfaction, familiarity and control to the experience. The ability to customize the ECM platform’s look, feel, and flow to best meet users’ needs can ensure high levels of usage.

Some of the ways ECM tools help users intuitively locate information include:

  • Search by Context: Users can find documents through a “what” search versus a traditional “where” search to offer a more efficient and accurate data exercise.
  • Leverage Metadata: Advancements around metadata usage enables a boost in custom search abilities.
  • Content from Any Location Via a Single Application: Advanced ECM solutions offer the ability to maintain content in its original repository and prevent time-consuming (and costly) data migrations through the use of plug-ins and ECM advancements that search data across silos and distribute it to a central location for access.

ECM Trends – Mobility in the Workplace

Mobilizing the tools employees use can ensure a high level of productivity and engagement by enabling access to data and workflows anytime, anywhere.

Mobilizing the tools employees use can ensure a high level of productivity and engagement by enabling access to data and workflows anytime, anywhere.

Work is no longer done solely within a specific place and time and increasingly its being done in part or in whole on mobile devices. Research reveals a majority of employees want to telecommute and work from home and/or have the flex-time options. Mobilizing the tools employees use can ensure a high level of productivity and engagement by enabling access to data and workflows anytime, anywhere. The combination of ECM and mobility helps remote workers stay seamlessly connected to business content, processes and coworkers.

ECM Trends – Hybrid Solutions Support Agility

Data is a crown jewel today and being able to access it swiftly and efficiently is crucial. A critical component of business agility is being able to connect with information in a matter of seconds — from any location, at any time. Cloud computing caters to this requirement and is essential in today’s business backdrop. Yet, significant investments are grounded on-premise, and as our digital world continues to evolve, organizations need a stepping stone to move into the cloud. Many are taking a hybrid approach to responsibly modernize their IT infrastructure and transform content-centric solutions.

Being nimble, especially when competing again companies “born digital,” requires significant shifts in processes. Getting your company there through a phased transition (e.g., an ECM solution that supports a hybrid environment) is a smart, scalable option that protects your investments and offers flexibility for the future.

ECM Trends – Enter Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

As people, processes and technology intersect, advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are moving from sci-fi scenarios to real-world applications – and ECM is an area that stands to benefit tremendously. From increased productivity to reduction in human errors, applying AI and ML to content is helping users extract insight from unstructured data, accelerate business processes and distribute order up, down, and across databases. Let’s review these concepts, and how they can be applied to ECM.

  • Artificial Intelligence: AI is the simulation of human processes done by machines. It requires mass amounts of information to learn and function meaningfully. To fuel AI projects properly, the system must be fed a solid foundation of clean, suitable content to reap a rewarding data harvest. If the information is useless going in, the content coming out won’t be of much value either.
  • Machine Learning: ML is a type of AI that leverages statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” based on data patterns. A simple ML example we’re already familiar with is spam filtering for email. Based on key words or combinations, email software learns what data sets are likely to be spam to “sort” incoming email content as “spam” or “not spam.”

When applied to big data, these two approaches over tremendous possibilities for ECM. Consider the following ECM-related features fueled by AI and ML:

  • Digitization Acceleration: As companies convert text, images and other media into digital form, AI and ML can spur the process of organizing this content.
  • Intelligent Indexing: Applied to such processes as document scanning, AI/ML trains systems to automatically capture specific content and then independently initiate workflows.
  • Self-learning: These techniques automatically search for relevant index terms in similar documents.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): This practice contributes to data indexing as machines analyze the spoken and written word, taking into consideration semantics and syntax. Context and intent is then established to make information easy to find where relevant and needed.
  • Automated Governance: AI and ML helps support regulatory mandates by automatically handling data in accordance with specific parameters based on compliance requirements (e.g., for GDPR, HIPAA, OSHA, etc.).


New developments related to ECM bring an exciting new realm of possibilities as businesses look to automate and modernize the workplace and empower a next-gen workforce. A rewarding user experience drives success across the organization and fuels the business value by giving businesses the means to derive vital insights and value from the deluge of data being created each day.