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The Low-Down On Enterprise Content Management, Content Management Systems, & File Sharing Platforms…

The Low-Down On Enterprise Content Management, Content Management Systems, & File Sharing Platforms…

Those just discovering the capabilities of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) might have a hard time separating its capabilities compared to popular cloud storage and file sharing platforms like iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.  And Content Management Systems (CMS) just seem to add to the confusion– these are used to create, publish, and manage content online.  You might be wondering what the difference is between the three, ECM, CMS, and file sharing platforms. How will they help you manage data that continues to grow in capacity? Sure, there are some similarities between them, but each of these programs function differently and offer unique benefits in the world of business. As you narrow down your options and choose the best solution for your company, it is important that you know how each one functions and whether or not it will help you achieve your long-term goals in the areas we will discuss below.

ECM Automation 

One of the biggest advantages of an Enterprise Content Management System is its ability to streamline workflows and automate labor-intensive processes in each department. Processes like handling invoicing or accounts payable often require employees to complete the same repetitive actions monthly, and some documentation could be associated with strict approval processes or routing. These tasks create a door of opportunity for human error, delays, and, in some instances, misplaced or lost documentation. ECM technology is able to digitally capture and import documents, then automate payments for repetitive, pre-authorized invoices electronically. It may also reroute any invoices to others if needed and send alerts to those who need to sign off on them. Real time visibility will allow any authorized user to locate where an item is in the approval process and then send additional alerts automatically if any delays occur or a follow-up is necessary.

CMS Automation

Content Management Systems are generally focused on marketing functionality which includes analysis reports, data collection, entering contacts from online forms, registration, and payment processes for events, etc. The automation capabilities needed for other processes within a business is typically limited with a CMS.

File Sharing Platform Comparison Automation

Considering most file sharing platforms were created for consumer use, their business functionality tends to be limited. Basic automation may be achieved when you pair the file sharing platform with a third-party application, however, maintaining several platforms could lead to issues with compatibility and duplicated data.

ECM Functionality

In your ECM repository, you have the ability to use full-text search or search based on the names of users, creation date, or any metadata. Current ECM systems leverage artificial intelligence via voice assist, cognitive computing, and machine learning for document retrieval. Data that may have been undiscoverable in the past can be accessed and used to improve business decisions.

CMS Functionality

Typically, CMS platforms do not integrate a business’ data entirely, therefore the search functionality is limited.

File Sharing Platform Functionality

These platforms do not yet have artificial intelligence capabilities beyond simple commands and given that rules for file structures are rarely established or enforced, finding documentation can be inconsistent and time consuming.

ECM Security

ECM technology offers advanced data encryption to minimize any external and internal threats. Access to view, edit, change, or print metadata may be limited to only those who have authorized access. This helps minimize the risks of data loss, corruption, and business interruption.

CMS Security

Certain professional CMS platforms feature adequate security measures. However, a study was conducted, and it found that 73% of all WordPress installations, a common CMS platform, were vulnerable to hacker attacks.

File Sharing Platform Security

The majority of file sharing platforms do not offer adequate protection against sharing files with unauthorized parties. Many of these can be accessed using a simple URL link, and once the URL has been shared, it can be difficult to control how it is distributed to others. If a person quits or is fired from a company, they could still have unauthorized access to files.

ECM Compliance

In addition to those security measures that are required for privacy and compliance, documents that are needed for audits can be managed and accessed digitally which allows reports to run with the simple click of a button. Compliance can be further streamlined through processes that automatically archive or delete outdated documents to ensure that only the latest versions of such are kept for use.

CMS Compliance 

Since third-party apps or plug-ins are required to maximize a CMS’s capabilities, each one might need to be thoroughly vetted for compliance and security purposes.

File Sharing Compliance

For most businesses that require strict compliance, including education, healthcare, and law firms, standard file sharing and document storage platforms will not work.

After comparing each platform by feature for use as a business solution, it is obvious– ECM systems outperform the standard CMS or cloud-based file sharing platforms. Enterprise Content Management systems have the ability to grow with your company and become an integral part of your long-term business strategy. Each company is unique and will require varying levels of data management functionality. 

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About Information Consultants

Information Consultants uses Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software by Laserfiche to help businesses create, organize, manage, and access all documents and forms through secure, easy-to-use programs. At Information Consultants, we work closely with each of our clients to consult, train, and operate Laserfiche in order to boost efficiency and profitability within the company! We are a leader in global technology services and solutions consulting based in South Florida with offices in Pembroke Pines and Downtown Miami.
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