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ECM evolves to support business goals

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Over the years, enterprise content management (ECM) has become much more than a method of storing documents. It is an enabler for numerous business processes, including collaboration and automated workflow. In addition, ECM supports seamless customer engagement, from the time of first contact until closure. According to the IMARC Group’s report, “Enterprise Content Management Software Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2022–2027,” the ECM market reached nearly $60 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow nearly 14% per year to reach $131 billion by 2028.

Driven by increasing volumes of information and the need to use knowledge more efficiently, organizations are turning to progressively enhanced ECM systems to support their business goals. O’Reilly’s report, “The Cloud in 2021: Adoption Continues,” reveals that 90% of organizations now use the cloud, including both public and private clouds. This widespread adoption has made information-centric collaboration more feasible, along with providing better access.

Cloud-based ECM benefits humanitarian aid

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to humanitarian crises throughout the world, assisting those whose lives have been disrupted by conflict or natural disasters. Relying on a staff of 13,000 and more than 10,000 volunteers, IRC helps people regain safe and purposeful lives. Its extensive network supports people in need across Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, and dozens of cities in the United States. 

In order to function most effectively, IRC teams needed to be able to find information and share it with co-workers and partners quickly in locations throughout the world. However, the existing IT infrastructure was not adequate. Information was difficult to find on the organization’s intranet, and internet connectivity was not reliable. As a result, employees had to invest valuable time searching for it, and collaboration was a challenge. In addition, since protecting sensitive information was a priority for IRC, a more secure IT environment was important.

As a first step, IRC’s new CIO, Madeleine Fackler, visited some of the organization’s sites to gain an understanding of the obstacles field workers faced. She identified improved connectivity as an immediate priority. With the support of the organization’s infrastructure director, connectivity was improved, and the percentage of sites which met the baseline standard increased from 33% to more than 96%. Once that was accomplished, the sites were in a position to effectively use a cloud-based solution for content management and collaboration.

IRC selected Cloud Content Management from Box as the content platform to support Interact, the existing intranet platform. The result was a much faster system and a greatly improved search capability. In addition, Box provided much greater flexibility in terms of data storage and greatly enhanced data security.

Protecting sensitive content is essential for IRC. It shares information with nearly 1,000 partners, including many other nonprofits, but the organization maintains a commitment to protecting privacy, ensuring that users see only information appropriate to their roles. Box helps the IRC comply with the ISO 27002 security model. Box Shield was added subsequently to provide the ability to monitor the system for suspicious behavior and to classify critical content. Because of the added security, IRC now feels much more comfortable sharing sensitive information.

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