What is ECM?

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) enables organizations to save time and money by efficiently managing documents and information. Through the use of robust back-end technology, ECM allows structured information to be easily defined and shared across multiple departments or teams.

According to MarketsAndMarkets, the market size of ECM is expected to be $37.7 billion by 2026.

ECM helps organizations digitize documents and automate document-driven processes, allowing the right people to access the right information at the right time. In particular, these processes include:

Instant Document Capture

Managing an organization’s content begins with document capture—the process of importing all your information into a digital repository.

Secure Document Storage

With robust ECM systems, organizations can easily store business-critical documents in a digital repository and instantly view or make edits to them.

Full-Text Search and Retrieval

Instantly find documents by identifying specific words or phrases within their text, metadata, annotations and entry names.

Automation of Business Processes

With digital automation, organizations can easily diagram the steps of a business process and automatically route documents to the right people at the right time.

Granular Document Security

Take control of information across the enterprise by restricting access to folders, documents, fields, annotations and other granular document properties.

Digitally Capture, Route and Approve Forms

Replace paper forms with electronic forms to digitally capture information and share it across the organization.

Who Uses ECM?

In recent years ECM has become increasingly important and complex due to financial fraud and data breaches, which have resulted in more regulation. In fact, International Data Corporation (IDC) is projecting a 50x growth rate in digital content from 2010 to 2020. Therefore, organizations that can automate and organize document-driven processes will not only have a business advantage, but also reduce compliance risk.

ECM can provide a comprehensive solution for the entire document management lifecycle, so it’s especially valuable for IT professionals and business managers.

IT assumes a more valued role in the organization by replacing information silos with a central point of control. By offering standard ECM tools that individual departments can customize, IT gains a better and more cost-efficient grasp over software and hardware maintenance.

Business managers can evaluate efficiency in departments without putting work on hold. Information collected by ECM software shows who is editing or viewing each document, how long each person takes to review documents and who is responsible for tasks related to each document.

Heifer International Streamlined Field Operations in Developing Countries

See how Heifer transformed its document management process using Laserfiche.

What Are Common ECM Features?

Features of ECM include business process automation, document management, records management, workflow, capture, forms and information security.

A fully functioning ECM system can streamline access to documents, allowing organizations to eliminate redundancy and minimize operational overhead.

What Are the Values of ROI and ECM?

With ECM, organizations can recapture lost hours, reduce overhead expenses, increase profitability and improve client service.

The average cost of processing an invoice in an environment with a low level of automation can be up to 20x greater than in an environment with a high level of automation.

The average cost of processing an expense report in an environment with a high level of automation is 39% lower than in an environment with a low level of automation. For an organization processing 1,000 expense reports monthly, that’s an annual savings of $97,680.

Organizations can gain rapid ROI from an ECM system by investing in robust ECM software, computing and network technologies, process integration, training and shared services. In any ECM implementation, the goal is to scale the solution to your organization’s needs. Download our ROI Guide for ECM to calculate your organization’s potential cost savings.

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Centralize content and optimize costs


Eliminate busywork to save time and resources


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Contact Us for Your ECM Needs

Whether you have product questions, support needs, or want to partner with us, we’re here to help you on your digital transformation journey. Fill out the form and a Laserfiche team member will be in touch as soon as possible.