You’ll often need to explain the goals of your Enterprise Content Management (ECM) program in more detail than an elevator pitch. Here are the objectives and guiding principles applicable to most ECM programs.

Your ECM initiative’s goal should be to standardize on a portfolio of ECM solutions that can address the breadth of business requirements for ECM capabilities that exist across the enterprise. You should aim to use commercially available out-of-the-box software rather than developing solutions, and favor configuration over custom development.

Eight Requirements of an ECM Strategy

Your strategy should address the following 8 requirements:

  1. Content capture, indexing and a managed repository. Your ECM environment should provide mechanisms for users or processes to capture content into a managed repository. In addition, your ECM environment should be able to assign metadata to content to facilitate search and retrieval.
  2. Accessibility and availability. Your ECM environment should provide a mechanism for authorized users to search for and retrieve content. In addition, the ECM environment should allow certain content to be accessible to external users such as vendors, agents (e.g. in financial services) or customers.
  3. Security and protection. Your ECM environment should restrict access to content that is private, confidential, privileged, secret or essential to business continuity.
  4. Retention and integrity. Your ECM environment should retain content for defined periods of time, taking into account legal, regulatory, fiscal, operational and historical requirements. In addition, it should provide a suitable guarantee of authenticity.
  5. Lifecycle management. Your ECM environment should manage content throughout its lifecycle of creation, modification, retention and disposition (purging) of documents upon expiration of defined retention periods (both time- and event-based). In addition, it should support a formal approval process before purging, and support override of purging in cases where content is under legal hold.
  6. Integration. Your ECM environment should provide a standards-based architecture and open API that allows integration with other systems in use at your company.
  7. Scalability and performance. Your ECM environment should handle the ingestion volumes to provide users with access to documents when needed within business processes. In addition, it should provide reasonable search and retrieval response times.
  8. Ease of use. Your ECM environment should be straightforward for users to understand in order to encourage adoption.

Seven Guiding Principles of an ECM Initiative

Here are 7 guiding principles for your ECM initiative: