Understanding Content Management
When delving into the world of document and information management, technical jargon can often be difficult to comprehend. What is document capture and retention? What is the difference between DMS and ECM? Where can I look to find the most effective and secure solution for managing our company’s sensitive documents and assets? What is the difference between structured and unstructured data? If you’re a newcomer to the world of digital storage and content/data management, then perhaps you’re not alone. These complex systems, platforms, and terms can be a bit difficult to digest, so let’s see if we can get down to the nuts and bolts and make sense of it all.
As businesses continue to acquire and implement new technologies, they generate an ever-increasing amount of data every year, so they’re forced to put systems in place to handle that load. When a company generates a payment, or issues a sales order, they need to track this data, simplify the business processes involved, and save the data/transaction securely. The documents generated in this process—the pay stubs, the invoices, the sales receipts, the data charts— all need a way to be neat and transparently managed so that the company can reference them as needed. These records are often generated and stored in physical form and are later filed away and indexed, locked away for retrieval at a later date. Remember the legal ramifications of not being able to present that data in case of litigation, or to adhere to government mandates such as Sarbanes-Oxley or other such mandates. At any rate, these are mission critical documents that a company must manage and retain for years, if not infinitely.
Have you ever seen the way an old library works? The books housed within the library are stored upon individual shelves. They are then recorded under specific sections, genres, shelves, aisles, rows, columns, authors, and they’re enumerated per this metadata to streamline recognition and retrieval by the visitors, or the librarian. All this metadata is stored and filed in the same manner so that the librarian can easily reference a neatly laid-out archive to find that specific sci-fi novel you’ve been dying to read. Imagine going to a library where there was no labeling upon these shelves. I bet finding your information would be a horrific experience.
This is mostly why Document Management Systems (DMS) exist. They offer the set of tools that enable your company to capture and store your documents so that they can be neatly organized and easy to access. It focuses on eliminating physical documents entirely. Instead, DMS optimizes your business to digitize from the start and keep a manageable digital system of basic controls and functionality. DMS gives your business the tools necessary to structure your content and readily access it later using DMS’s user-friendly interface.
AIIM says that “document management is one of the precursor technologies to content management”. DMS technologies primarily focus on preserving documents and enhancing how they are retained within your digital system. They allow for security, version control, audit trails, timestamps, notes and annotations, and check-ins/check-outs for the documents your company creates and manages. These technologies help convert your paper documents into digital format, archive them, allow easy access, provide an audit trail, and lock down your digitized documents to limit their access or editing. OpenText DMS products/solutions integrate into your business processes and workflows so that your users can securely retain their documents and collaborate on them with other users, all while enhancing the security of your sensitive information and allowing for the indexing of that data to make it quicker and easier to search for.
THE KEY FUNCTIONS OF DMS:
- Audit trails
- Records Management/Retention
Content Management systems allow your company to automate workflows, retain audit trails on documents, provide indexing, and enable granular control of document security per user, per folder, or even at the individual document level. These tools and processes are meant to cut down on the time spent managing physical documents and help your company speed up the retrieval of important content. The added security controls also give a layer of safety for protecting your documents while they’re in digital storage. The organized accessibility within folders and documents allows for speedy recovery for litigation purposes, and for discarding documents in a timely manner once their legal retention periods have been met.
AS ERP systems, such as SAP ECC and Oracle ERP cloud technologies, are the tools that allow your company’s processes to effectively integrate with each other, while OpenText Document Management products and solution suites are the customizable, adaptive “back-end filing cabinets” that manage and store the underlying documents.