Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Strategy Framework is a formal structure used to plan and strategize enterprise-wide content creation, publication, and governance in support of business and support processes and activities.

The concept of an ECM represents integrated enterprise-wide management of the life cycles of all forms of recorded information content and metadata, structured and organized according to corporate taxonomies, end-user personalization, and supported by appropriate technological, control and, governance infrastructures.

In the current ecosystem and digital transformation environment, ECM strategy encompasses enterprise policies, procedures, and processes that ensure content is automatically and rule-based published, edited, republished, repurposed, and archived in appropriate technical and business manner at the right times.

Digital is quickly becoming an organization’s primary communications, sales, marketing, a channel of choice for content expressions spanning channels, devices, and touch-points. Content has become joined at the hip with digital, and this amalgamation has led to increasing difficulty and complications, for example, in delivering a quality, error-free, highly personalized data-driven experience.

Within this digital ecosystem, content is far more dynamic and complex, measuring the full value of content requires data analysis, testing, and optimization tools. In this regard, it is a necessity to embrace a new strategic mindset and skills to address the creation of a logical, pragmatic, and user-friendly ECM strategy.

ECM Strategy Framework: Benefits

With a formal and well-structured ECM strategy, organizations can successfully develop and deploy a clear blueprint and cohesive business and technical solutions for effectively managing, content, knowledge, documents, records and business processes across the enterprise.

The benefits realized by the successful crafting and implementation of an ECM strategy include:

  • Mitigate business and legal risks, reduce costs.
  • Attain and sustain a competitive advantage in the targeted market.
  • Enable smart and timely strategic and tactical decision-making.
  • Provide improved quality assurance for corporate information and knowledge assets.
  • Engage all customer segments throughout the customer lifecycle with improved effectiveness and efficiency.

ECM Strategy Framework: Elements

An ECM strategy is a highly-structured collaborative effort, among business and technology employees, to create an enterprise-wide content management strategy that focuses on the four mission-critical ECM strategy Elements: People, Process, Content, and Technology)

An effective ECM strategy assimilates the four Elements through a harmonized framework that recognizes and responds to specific ECM strategy drivers that are uncovered and quantified during the ECM strategy information gathering and analysis phases.

The ECM Strategy Elements are as follows:

People Element

It provides a focus on the human element supporting the ECM technological implementation. This Element encompasses end-users including, executives, knowledge workers, IT support staff, technology partners, and other stakeholders.

Process Element

ECM provides focus on the organizational strategies, policies, protocols, and tactical procedures required to support business and support activities, facilitated by content management. This focus includes current (As-Is) and future (To-Be) business process workflows and associated problems (pain points) and opportunities.

Content Element

ECM provides a focus on structured and unstructured content (and knowledge) handling and storage within enterprise storage systems. ECM supported content includes e-mail, video, documents (both physical and electronic) and other types of content. This Element also focuses on content metadata, tagging structures, and rules necessary for personalized experiences and semantic searches.

Technology Element

Provides focus on the current and future enterprise technology environment and systems architecture and digital infrastructures needed to support successful content lifecycle management, within an ECM strategy.

ECM Strategy Framework: Review and Evaluation Considerations

Like any strategic initiative, a successful ECM strategy adoption, development, end-user acceptance requires relevant organizational interventions, user orientation and retraining, and close attention to building new or changed business and technical infrastructures, processes and content-supporting technology.

The key considerations that organizations engaged with ECM strategy creation should consider in their analysis include:

  1. Current enterprise-wide content strategies, policies, processes to support content, knowledge, and records management.
  2. Enterprise problems (pain points) that ECM will potentially solve and opportunities that will potentially exploit or leverage.
  3. Current and future enterprise-wide business units and activities and types of participants and their roles and responsibilities.
  4. User requirements: employees, customers, and business partners and appropriate prioritization.
  5. Content and enterprise strategy alignment.
  6. Comply with governmental, industry and, international activities, including, for example, W3C norms, DCMI standards.
  7. Scale up ECM for deployment to additional business and support activities.
  8. Content Logistics:
  • Enterprise system business work-flow touch points and content types.
  • Enterprise content silos and boundaries inhibiting efficient and effective content management.
  • Embed user decision-points in business process workflows.
  • Content sources and uses across enterprise.
  • Content structures and formats to support content requirements use.
  • Content publishing channels.