Enterprise Content Management and Electronic Document Management Systems in government institutions: competition or co-evolution?

9 april 2014

“Information management automation of government institutions shows a gradual trend of evolving from use of Electronic Document Management (hereinafter referred to as EDM) to Enterprise Content Management (hereinafter referred to as ECM) systems. However, still more often than not governmental institutions go no further than using EDM, mainly exploiting their basic document management and work progress monitoring functionality”, – said Yury Arefyev, expert of the Analytical Center, speaking at the Conference “Electronic Document Management Systems 2014: global trends in Russia” that took place in Moscow on April 8, 2014.

According to Yury Arefyev, the demand for EDM is higher than that for EMC systems. This can be easily explained: the benefits from EDM use are easy to grasp; moreover, because of high bureaucraсy levels in government institutions the results from EDM introduction come fast. However, soon the euphoria fades away after it becomes evident that incoming and outgoing documentation is by no means all information that needs to be taken care of in the organization, and that EDM do not provide for automated management of other kinds of corporate information. According to the expert, this is when a government institution might start considering evolution of their EDM system up to ECM level.

Most of the ECM platforms nowadays either have the functionality making it possible to process the information without addressing the document itself or are able to intake/provide the requested information in a set format from/to the external systems, so there’s no need to stop using the working EDM platform with the basic functionality.

“Introduction of a full-featured ECM system can help a government institution to significantly enhance the efficiency of its information management. What is equally important, ECM systems can serve as a platform for boosting the organizational learning curve, helping to accumulate the expertise and to pass it over to the next generation of workers”, – says Mr. Arefyev.