DMS vs. ECM: What are the Differences Between Document and Enterprise Content Management?

March 17, 2020 at 10:00 AM / by Dwight Moore - VP of Enterprise Solutions

Documents are the lifeblood of business, but in the 21st century, other forms of content are quickly gaining influence and value. The average company utilizes more than just documents in its business operations – videos, images, audio records, rich media, electronic form, websites, email archives, and more may all play a role in a company’s daily operations. For companies using varied content types, a document management system (DMS) is no longer enough. Modern businesses require a system made for all types of content: enterprise content management (ECM).

For businesses struggling to organize, secure, share, and maintain new forms of content within an evolving workforce, ECM is the next step up from a DMS. Read on to learn what enterprise content management is and why organizations embrace it.

What Is Enterprise Content Management?

Enterprise content management is a software suite that formalizes and centralizes the storage and management of a company’s operational content. In other words, it puts all the content an organization uses into a single productivity ecosystem. Users work within the ECM platform itself to access, create, update, or transmit materials.

ECM software is frequently deployed by organizations with complex content that goes beyond documents. Doctors, lawyers, universities, or government organizations benefit from this increased sophistication because they often have reports, case studies, or other materials that don’t neatly fit into a document management system.

The Features of Enterprise Content Management

An enterprise content management system has many features recognizable to those who have used a document management system. These include:

Document management capabilities: ECM handles documents like a DMS but offers users a plethora of additional tools.

Cloud storage: Storing content on the cloud keeps it secure and accessible to whoever has the proper credentials.

Automated backups: Regularly scheduled backups can be automated to ensure they’re never missed and that a company doesn’t lose any critical information.

Security benchmarks: Industries such as healthcare and legal frequently use ECM systems to attain compliance regulations and meet security standards.

Encryption: As security represents one of the key priorities with enterprise content, a robust ECM will provide encryption capabilities for all data and content types.

How an ECM Differs from a Document Management System

ECM and document management are both designed to streamline workflows, enhance document processes, and help companies handle the array of unstructured data that they frequently possess. Additionally, both solutions can assist with disaster recovery, green initiatives (such as going paperless), and reducing operating expenses in an office.

Document Management Systems

A Document Management System is primarily designed to digitize, archive, and manage documents. As they move through the office, these documents are transmitted, revised, or handled in other ways. A DMS is invaluable in keeping all users up to date with versions or ensuring that one user doesn’t accidentally overwrite the work of another. However, these systems are designed to only handle documents.

Enterprise Content Management

ECM handles document processes, but its primary focus lies in centralizing and securing all types of an organization’s content. Whereas a DMS tracks documents through the lifecycle – ECM configures and organizes high volumes of information that is brought into the environment.

The centralized nature of an ECM also makes it easier to scale and integrate with a broader office environment. This allows businesses to build custom operations as they grow and develop. ECM also makes it easier for an organization to embrace other types of content as they prove useful to employees and customers.

Laserfiche: The Management System Enterprises Need

Laserfiche’s world-class enterprise content management suite is built for businesses with diverse document and content needs. With Laserfiche, an organization can take advantage of these three features:

1. Process Automation

Laserfiche automates many of the most routine manual processes that otherwise eat up an employee’s valuable time. By leveraging artificial intelligence and analytics, users no longer need to worry about busywork like data entry or approval processes.

2. Content Management

Laserfiche’s system keeps businesses organized with advanced content management features. Digitally capture, secure, and organize content across the organization, no matter what form it takes. Laserfiche uses AI-powered organization to improve a company’s ability to make rapid, data-driven business decisions.

3. Platform Services

Whether satisfying compliance requirements or integrating applications, Laserfiche has the capabilities required. Businesses can enjoy advanced records management, enhanced security, and fully centralized operations created through integration.

4. Electronic Forms

Electronic forms replace paper forms with easy-to-design and easy to track web forms. Electronic forms offer your employees, customers, and partners access to the forms they need through public websites or embedded on your company’s intranet. These forms, once submitted, are then automatically routed into their designated workflows, eliminating the need for manual follow-ups or navigating the company hierarchy to ensure those who need to review the form receive it. Laserfiche’s prebuilt or custom-built forms help companies track employee workloads, eliminate lost paperwork, secure incoming data, and create transparency within the business.

5. Mobility

Whether working remotely from home or working on the road, employees need access to their documents and data wherever they are. ECM offers mobility to businesses with a dynamic, remote workforce. Secure, remote access to documents, collaboration on information, and engagement from workers away from the office are all easily achieved with ECM.

ImageNet Consulting Helps Enterprises Embrace Versatility

A document management system is an invaluable tool for any company, but sometimes an office needs more. Organizations with robust and dynamic information environments need enterprise content services. This sophisticated software provides the security and capabilities needed to embrace a variety of content types in a centralized, organized environment.

If your current document management solutions struggle to handle your company’s content or you have no way to categorize it in the system, it’s time to look into enterprise content management. Don’t let novel content types hamstring the office workflow – let them amplify the organization’s achievements.

ImageNet Consulting helps companies achieve operational efficiency by providing the right tools for the job. Get started with the right enterprise content management solution for your business today!

Written by Dwight Moore - VP of Enterprise Solutions

Dwight brings over 35 years of experience assisting clients with their document life cycle and business process needs to ImageNet. A graduate cum laude from The University of Central Oklahoma with degrees in Advertising and Marketing, Dwight spent his first fifteen years working for the Xerox Corporation in sales and sales management. With certifications from the Xerox Sales and Management Training Institute in Leesburg, Virginia, Dwight spent many years managing integrated solutions teams. Dwight joined the ImageNet Consulting team in 2003 and has been instrumental in developing the ImageNet Enterprise Content Management Solutions team and helping ImageNet become one of the top ten Laserfiche Value Added Resellers in the world. With 13 consecutive Laserfiche Winners Circle Awards and seven Laserfiche Million Dollar Club Awards, ImageNet has established itself as a top tier Laserfiche Reseller under his leadership.

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