Why ECM Really Matters


There has been one force driving ECM projects since before the entire space evolved out of Imaging. Storage. We are talking two types of storage here. There is the type sold by the folks over at EMC, and the type that costs even more. The first is easy. If we only store one copy of an electronic image, that is less storage and less for applications to manage. Reducing the second can help save the world.

Save the World?

I’m not kidding. Let’s look at some numbers that I pulled from U.S. Immigration. There have been 5 million Immigrants obtaining permanent legal status over the last five years. There is a lot of documentation that is submitted by each applicant. These approved applications, and all of their supporting documentation, must be kept for decades. This takes up a lot of space.

This isn’t just space being taken away from nature. That would be a parking lot. This is climate controlled facility with security. Every day, people drive to the storage facility, or facilities, to protect and maintain the records. Power is being consumed to keep the air at the right temperature and humidity. Let’s also take into account all the resources used to get the records to the facility and the energy and waste that the records generate upon destruction. Did we even talk about the trees that where cut down to create the paper in the first place?

Saving ECM

It was recently suggested that ECM might be a failure. A lot of this was attributed to a lack of Passion. Look at the drivers listed above. It is a little dull. Even with the environmental benefits, it doesn’t get very exciting. However, there is the future of ECM. This future makes ECM the foundation for the entire Enterprise. This future is exciting, and we in the industry need to start spreading the message about it.

This isn’t replacing the old drivers. It is just a new and exciting way to make ECM relevant and usable to the entire Enterprise.

Why This Post?

Two reasons. One is that I am participating in Blog Action Day. It is an effort to see how many bloggers can raise awareness about the environment through increasing awareness. It is a noble effort and does not negatively impact the environment at the same time. You can follow the progress here.

The second reason? I recently watched my wife give birth to my second child. I now have two kids that I want to teach baseball and soccer to when they get older. They will need a world that they can breathe in and venture out into so that I can do that.