Significance of ECM & BPM in Business Transformation

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 Rahul Bhatia – Vice President – Sales & Practice Head – ECM And Conversational AI at Finesse talks about the growing significance of ECM and BPM in business transformation and how they can simplify and streamline work.

In the evolving digital era and growing business landscape, organizations face immense pressure to adapt and transform to stay competitive. Business Process Management (BPM) has emerged as a critical component in driving business transformation. Whether you own a small, medium, or large enterprise, implementing the business processes is of utmost importance to function efficiently.

Here, one of the core business processes is to manage the content lifecycle. And this can be achieved by implementing the ECM (Enterprise Content Management) throughout your organization.

What Is BPM?

Business process management is a set of processes that ease the business process via process automation, management, and optimization.

BPM works in combination with ECM that enables the automation of various activities such as accounts payable, contract management, content management, information security and governance etc.

Organizations employ BPM to optimize and standardize business processes, automate complex tasks, create and maintain SLAs, reduce dependency on manual tasks, elevate knowledge worker skills, and achieve digital transformation.

Further, businesses can reduce ad hoc workflow management tasks and scale the business processes to achieve future goals.

The most common examples of using BPM in the organization are: 

  • Account opening and customer onboarding
  • Accounts Payable
  • Vendor Management
  • Contract Management
  • Expense Management
  • Effective data management
  • Project Management
  • Service Requests Automation

Well, these are just the tip of the iceberg. BPM processes accomplish hefty tasks enabling smooth functioning business processes.

Benefits of Business Process Management

Businesses that are unorganized and distorted not only prove inefficient for the workforce but also for their customers. Imagine a business full of bottlenecks and traditional methodologies.

That said, scalable Business Process Management helps remove bottlenecks, scan and eliminate the inefficiencies effectively.

Here are the quick benefits of adapting BPM in the organization:

  • Run daily business processes in automation
  • Assess the risks in advance and mitigate them
  • Optimize the complex operations
  • Plan larger organizational goals
  • Track processes as they move through the workflow.

One of the major components of this holistic BPM process is ECM (Enterprise content management). The major goal of this part of business process management is to reduce the dependencies on paperwork and manage the content lifecycle of the organization.

What is ECM (Enterprise Content Management)?

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) refers to a set of strategies, processes, and tools used by organizations to manage the creation, capture, storage, retrieval, secure, distribution, and archiving of digital and physical content throughout its lifecycle.

ECM encompasses a wide range of content types, including documents, images, videos, emails, web pages, and more.

The major goal of the ECM system is to reduce the dependency on paper documents, forms and organize the information in hierarchies or as the admins wish.

Importance of ECM

One of the major USPs of ECM is the way this approach works. It’s like having an x-ray of your content distribution system. ECM solutions are created to tackle the changing technology and organize the content silos to deliver the right information at the right time.

Here are the quick benefits of ECM systems in the organization:

  • Better management of vast repositories of data to reduce clutter and provide visibility
  • Increased accessibility to various types of data helps lower costs and save significant time
  • Minimal use of paper-based tasks by leveraging cloud-based storage services.
  • ECM also archives and collects the previous information in a structured way that can later be accessed from anywhere and anytime
  • Connect and collaborate with the content team, stakeholders, team leads using a single unified dashboard
  • Secured exchange of documents and risk management practices to avoid unauthorized access to documents.

ECM and BPM: Know the Difference OR Commonalities

The common misconception regarding the ECM and BPM is that it is almost the same. Though the two processes work towards a common goal, it would be wrong to consider them similar or to separate them with each other.

While ECM is a process that addresses the lifecycle of your content systems, BPM is more oriented towards improving the business process tasks in an organization such as the modification of existing processes and automation of the business indicators.

To explain it further, an ECM system is responsible for organizing, indexing , and preserving the specific files in an organization whereas BPM improves the business processes that don’t solely affect the content and document management.

Still, the confusion between ECM and BPM is because of some common features they possess. Let’s say, some BPM tools tend to improve document management functions whereas some ECM tools improve the business process life cycles.

However, understanding the key functions of ECM and BPM can help organizations leverage the right tools to optimize both their content management and business processes. Let’s understand how ECM and BPM can work together.

How Do ECM And BPM Work Together?

BPMS or Business Process Management suite is a more holistic system that contains the features of both BPM and ECM. One of the major benefits of using BPM and ECM together is because of the system’s vast range of features along with customizable platforms.

The ECM and BPM should have some joint features that save costs, and time and boosts productivity. For example, ECM must contain digital signatures so that it guarantees the validity of the documents.

Integrating ECM and BPM

Imagine an example of an eCommerce website. A customer does market research, adds the products to the cart, makes the payment, and gets the shipment delivered.

Now, there is a vast amount of data and questions that you would want to collect:

  • Are they satisfied with the website experience and content?
  • Are they loyal customers?
  • Which suppliers do they prefer the most?
  • How long is the time to deliver the shipment?

A single customer process may contain  large set of data that could potentially benefit your business.

The combined power of BPM and ECM integration empowers organizations to automate end-to-end processes, manage content effectively, improve collaboration, and optimize decision-making.

It fosters a holistic approach to managing both structured processes and unstructured content, driving efficiency, agility, and innovation across the enterprise.

All in all, the interoperability between ECM and BPM in BPMS helps make data-driven decisions based on real data. This enables better customer satisfaction, increased operational efficiency, and scalability.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, ECM and BPM create a powerful synergy that facilitates business transformation. ECM and BPM can turn out to be instrumental in transforming the business process through the use of modern technologies.

By embracing these disciplines, businesses can unlock their full potential, achieve operational excellence, and thrive in the digital age.

Combination of ECM and BPM lays a strong foundation of a digital enterprise.

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