Welcome to Part One of our Enterprise Content Management (ECM) series. We know that there’s a lot of jargon out there with enterprise software so we thought we’d spend the first part of this series describing exactly what is meant by “enterprise content management”.

If you’re already familiar with the term, feel free to skip to our strategy checklist in Part Two of this blog post series. But if you’re having trouble differentiating your DAMs from your DMS and your CRMs from your ECM, please read on.

What is Enterprise Content Management?

Enterprise content management meaning

Enterprise content management meaning by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM):

“Neither a single technology nor a methodology nor a process, it is a dynamic combination of strategies, methods, and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver information supporting key organizational processes through its entire lifecycle.”

If you understand this enterprise content management (also know as intelligent information management)definition, then you realize how it can facilitate a convenient means for tracking your data. If you consider the fact that the most valuable asset a company has is data, then it makes sense to provide immediate access to relevant data, at any time for authorized users.

Many enterprise companies already have a difficult time managing all of their information. They ask, what is an enterprise content management system?
To remain competitive in any industry, it is essential to have a system that offers easy organization and delivery in a timely manner. ECM technologies were designed to do just that and more. With an ECM system, you can centralize your documents so that they are searchable and instantly sync to aligned accounts and end users.

Yet, as of March 2017, AIIM retired this general ECM definition, and even the term ECM altogether, instead using the term “Intelligent Information Management” (IIM).

As technology in the ECM space has evolved, IIM is a more comprehensive term that defines all the strategies, methods and tools utilized to capture, create, store, secure, analyze, deliver and automate the data.

In fact, IIM doesn’t just refer to the management of content, but it also conceptualizes the management of data. Plus, it refers to the conversion of data between paper and microfilm to digital and more. When you think of ECM, what is really important is the fact that it encompasses all of these items:

  • Search
  • Collaboration
  • Records management
  • Digital asset management
  • Workflow management
  • Capture and scanning
  • Document management
  • Template management
  • Web content management

This is a management of the entire data and content lifecycle from creation to archiving and disposal.

In terms of ECM delivery, it can be applied in four ways:

  1. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  2. On-premises and SaaS hybrid
  3. On-premises software
  4. Infrastructure-as-a-Service

In today’s hyper-connected world, it no longer makes sense to have files and documents scattered across various hard drives, email accounts and smartphones. You don’t want to waste time looking for critical pieces of data while your competition is already out there, transforming the industry.

The rise of cloud-based enterprise content management should come as no surprise. Many enterprise companies have sought out an ECM solution to address content issues around distributed workforces who need data access from anywhere, at any time.

According to report from Markets and Markets, the cloud ECM market is expected to grow from 9.77 billion USD in 2017 to around 34.42 billion USD by 2022. In addition, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is 28.6 percent.

ECM is so attractive because it offers a defined set of methods and processes to store, organize and deliver data at any time to its intended recipients. Since data can double in a matter of months, ECM is a critical for overcoming the challenge of handling too much paper and removing bottlenecks to information.

What is Enterprise Content Management Software?

Whether you want to call it ECM or IIM, ECM software will index and file your content so that you can quickly and conveniently find information through keywords–just like a search engine. It can also integrate with other systems your company uses to produce a cohesive workflow with a central repository.

The software captures important documents, files and more from any location. You can then identify your content with commonly used tags and labels. Furthermore, you can control access depending on a need-to-know basis.


An ECM solution can offer access control, workflow, indexing, electronic forms management, Web content management, versioning and more. Also, with a cloud enterprise content management platform, you don’t have to worry about space or the security of your data.

This is the good news regarding how far ECM technologies have moved forward. As a result, remote workers can share and edit documents from anywhere with workflows, audit trails and version control. At the same time, companies can keep sensitive data protected behind firewalls. Not to mention, this proves vital in terms of disaster recovery where file syncing can be utilized offsite for an improved backup and recovery system.

Integration and Compliance Across Apps

One of the most compelling cases for enterprise content management in the cloud is the ability to integrate across all apps. To illustrate, Templafy offers centralized management of documents, presentations and email content so that compliance is no longer an issue.

Plus, all your content is on-brand. When you think of the fact that employees can produce thousands of documents, presentations and emails daily–you want a system that keeps all those files in alignment with the latest company standards.

Not to mention, without centralized governance, your company faces the consistent risk of legal incompliance. Furthermore, since Templafy is a Microsoft Gold Partner, it can streamline and govern all employee communications created in Microsoft Office 365.

You can even use Dynamics to personalize individual employee details. When you think of enterprise content management Microsoft, you can think of Templafy.

Increase Productivity

According to Forbes Insight, 95 percent of organizations agree that information management is imperative for success. One of the many enterprise content management benefits is the ability to make data more accessible so that employees can work on the same document from anywhere and from any device.

This is where a cloud-based ECM solution helps enterprise companies to improve external communications and collaboration. In addition, an increasing number of employees are already used to working with quick technology solutions right from their personal devices. They don’t want to deal with cumbersome processes.

Instead, they want the ability to share content smoothly and securely.

Read next: Enterprise content management (ECM) strategy

Final Thought

While every organization has unique objectives and needs, a cloud-based ECM solution offers a collaborative solution that puts a priority on security. Connections can be made on everything from service contracts to customer correspondence to marketing materials and more. When authorized users need to know the whole story around a project, they can find it – easily.

Watch short 30 second video about the Templafy Template Management solution: