The Top 10 ECM Software Your Business Needs in 2023

Advertising Disclosure

Advertising disclosure:

Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products or services we review (also where and how those products appear on the site), this in no way affects our recommendations or the advice we offer. Our reviews are based on years of experience and countless hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.

Are you struggling to keep your business’s content organized and updated? Do you feel like you’re wasting time trying to find important documents? If so, it may be time to look into enterprise content management (ECM) software. 

ECM software can help streamline your content management processes and save your business time and money. It’s an industry projected to grow to $92.5 billion by 2027. Content fuels digital transformation and contains vast information about your company and customers. 

However, most businesses struggle to harness this wealth of information due to fragmented data management processes and a lack of digitized content. "Content chaos" becomes increasingly challenging as a company's content volume grows. This article explores the top ECM software to help businesses manage their content and harness the possibilities it brings.


The Top 10 ECM Software Your Business Needs in 2023:


What Is Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Software? 

ECM is a system that allows businesses to store their digital assets in a single repository. This includes documents, images, audio, video files, web pages, email messages, and more. A cloud-based platform or on-premise server can be used to easily access these files. Additionally, the software provides tools for creating new content as well as editing existing content. This makes it easy for teams to collaborate on projects without worrying about tracking down multiple versions of the same file. 


Benefits of Using ECM Software 

benefits of using ecm software

Improved Efficiency

One of the greatest benefits of using ECM software is improved efficiency. Having all your content in one place makes it much easier to find what you need. 

For example, if an employee needs access to a document they don’t have saved locally, they can simply search the repository instead of tracking down the original author or another team member who has access to it. This eliminates wasted time searching through countless emails or different hard drives for the document they need. 

Enhanced Security

Another benefit is enhanced security. By storing all your business’s information in one secure location, you don’t have to worry about different versions being shared or stored on unsecured devices or networks. 

The software also gives you complete control over who has access to which documents and allows you to set up user roles with various levels of permissions based on their job duties within the organization. An ECM ensures that only authorized users can view confidential information or make changes to sensitive files.

Reduced Costs

Finally, using ECM software can help reduce costs associated with document storage by eliminating paper copies and other physical storage methods such as CDs and USB drives. 

It also eliminates manual data entry processes since all documents are stored digitally and accessible from anywhere at any time—even if there’s no internet connection available. This means less time spent manually entering data into databases.

An ECM saves money on labor costs and materials needed for physical storage solutions, such as filing cabinets or boxes full of paper documents that take up space in an office environment.


10 of the Best ECM Software in 2023

Here are the best ECM software solutions for small, medium, and large enterprises.

1. Alfresco

Alfresco

Alfresco is an innovative AI-enabled content management system that helps organizations efficiently manage their documents and files through a secure electronic archive. It’s a full-service ECM tool that encourages collaboration across multiple parties and provides AI-driven data classification. 

It can intelligently group similar content under one folder and deliver valuable insights about the content it receives. It’s one of the top ECM platforms that large organizations, such as NASA, the US Navy, and Harvard Business Publishing, use. 

Features:

  • Document management
  • Document scanning and capture
  • Enterprise Collaboration
  • Business intelligence, analytics, and insights
  • Process Management
  • Case Management

Ideal if: You need an ECM smart enough to run your content management process on auto-pilot

Pricing: Available upon request


2. Laserfiche

Laserfiche

Laserfiche is the best solution for enterprises that need their documents automatically captured and organized. Their simple approach to ECM focuses on two integral features—document capture and organization. 

They can seamlessly capture physical documents and archive them in your desired digital format. Captured documents are securely stored in a central server that can be accessed anytime. They also promote collaborations by letting users securely share files outside the organization. 

Features:

  • Simplified content management
  • Automatic file organization
  • Records compliance
  • Seamless connection with Microsoft 365
  • Customizable public portal

Ideal If: You want an easy-to-deploy content management software that can manage large volumes of data

Pricing (per user per month):

  • Starter – $50 
  • Professional – $69 
  • Business – $79

3. DocuWare

DocuWare

    DocuWare helps businesses cope with the challenges of data management in a predominantly remote-first workforce. It’s a cloud-based document management software that allows enterprises to set custom user permissions, so employees from any location can securely access and edit files. 

    It solves common challenges associated with digitizing invoice processing, sales and marketing, and HR processes. It also caters to small to medium businesses looking for a solution to transform their growing operations digitally. 

    Features: 

    • Smart document control
    • Invoice processing
    • Employee management
    • Secure document archiving
    • Intelligent indexing
    • Electronic forms and signatures
    • Email integration

    Ideal If: You have a primarily remote workforce that needs an easy solution to digitize content

    Pricing: Custom pricing


    4. Microsoft 365

    Microsoft 365

    Microsoft products like MS Office, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint remain to be the largest and most widely used content creation software worldwide. The tools’ ability to work across devices without issue makes them ubiquitous for various users. 

    With Microsoft 365, users of the Microsoft Office Suite can take advantage of cloud-based software to help them store their content on the cloud and share and collaborate with other users. Using OneDrive, users can securely save and access their documents from any device. 

    Microsoft 365 is a versatile product that caters to personal, small business, and enterprise users. For enterprise users, it contains a wide range of various apps that help with work management, analytics, security, collaboration, and content creation

    Features:

    • Works with different devices and OS
    • Top-notch productivity apps
    • Access to thousands of templates, fonts, icons, and photos
    • Easy collaboration with other users
    • Advanced security and compliance capabilities
    • Robust analytics to help you understand how your enterprise functions

    Ideal If: Your team uses Microsoft office products daily

    Pricing:

    Business Plans (per user per month)

    • Business Basic – $6 
    • Microsoft 365 Apps – $8.25  
    • Business Standard – $12.50 
    • Business Premium – $22 

    Enterprise Plans (billed annually, per user per month)

    • Microsoft 365 E3 – $36
    • Microsoft 365 E5 – $57
    • Microsoft 365 F3 – $8

    5. Box

    Box

      The Box is a cloud-only SaaS platform that’s best for companies that need a collaboration-ready tool that can be quickly implemented out of the box. The platform integrates with Microsoft 365, G-Suite, and Slack and has a clean, intuitive UI that increases user adoption. 

      Box has come a long way from its humble beginning as a document collaboration tool in 2005. Today, it offers collaboration, workflow management, and security under one solution. It integrates with over 1,500 apps, making it the ideal ECM for small and large businesses. 

      Features:

      • Unlimited file storage for business plans
      • Has a Box Shield that protects against data breaches
      • Unlimited organization-wide and external collaborations
      • Data loss protection
      • Version histories and file locking

      Ideal if: You’re a small or medium enterprise looking for a robust and easy-to-scale ECM platform

      Pricing (per user per month):

      • Business Starter – $7
      • Business – $20
      • Business Plus – $33
      • Enterprise – $47
      • Enterprise Plus – custom 

      6. IBM

      IBM

        IBM is one of the most popular enterprise content management tools that help companies take advantage of the wealth of customer data in their stored documents. IBM is an advanced ECM that lets you capture, archive, distribute, and automate content. 

        It has an AI engine that helps analyze content to provide companies with new information that can help them improve how they engage and serve their customers. IBM also helps automate business processes and enhance collaboration among team members.

        Features: 

        • Content management
        • Secure collaborations
        • Cloud or hybrid solution
        • Document capture and imaging
        • Automatic document classification
        • Automatic data extraction
        • Automated workflows

        Ideal If: You’re a large enterprise that needs advanced features to increase customer engagement and improve employee productivity at reduced costs

        Pricing: Available upon request


        7. Hyland

        Hyland

        The 2022 Gartner Peer Insights recognizes Hyland as the Customer Choice for content services platforms. This is no surprise, as its product suite spans every ECM requirement, including secure cloud storage, access management, information management, and content creation.

        They also have a reputation for getting to know their customers deeply, so they can recommend the right products and solutions to support their businesses. As such, Hyland can create customized solutions that help companies efficiently manage content and retrieve them instantly. 

        Features:

        • Secure and easy sharing and collaboration of files
        • Deep insights and analytics
        • On-premise, cloud, or hybrid software deployment
        • Streamlined workflows
        • Document capture and management

        Ideal if: You need a customized ECM for your organization’s specific needs

        Pricing: Available upon request


        8. PaperSave

        PaperSave

        PaperSave helps organizations manage their digital files by providing a convenient way to capture documents, securely store them in a digital repository, and integrate them into a seamless workflow. The software then automatically indexes all the captured information for easy retrieval. 

        The system decreases approval time, increases employee productivity, and improves customer satisfaction. PaperSave also integrates with thousands of third-party solutions like ERP, CRM, and productivity tools.

        Features:

        • Secure cloud deployment
        • Intuitive web and mobile app
        • Version histories, regardless of system volume or complexity
        • Robust search functionality 
        • Consistent workflows

        Ideal If: You have a lot of physical documents that must be digitized on an ongoing basis

        Pricing: Available upon request


        9. OpenTex

        OpenTex

        OpenText is recognized as a global leader in ECM by Gartner, evidenced by thousands of clients who trust the platform for their digital transformation needs. OpenText serves companies in banking, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain, and many others. 

        It offers robust solutions for those who need an on-premises content management solution and those who need to migrate to the cloud for a fully remote experience. OpenText can also guide organizations transitioning from on-site to the cloud with their fully managed services.

        Features:

        • Easy-to-configure platform
        • Smart AI capabilities
        • Sophisticated analysis
        • Secure data exchange
        • Process automation

        Ideal If: You’re a large enterprise that needs support for employees working across the globe

        Pricing: Available upon request


        10. DocStar

        DocStar

        DocStar is a smart and robust ECM software that intelligently identifies and eliminates errors in captured documents to improve their quality. It has tons of advanced features aside from the usual capturing, classification, and indexing of documents. 

        You can also create customized and automated workflows to improve your team’s productivity. DocStar helps you automate accounts payable, create electronic forms, and efficiently manage HR documents. You can also automate sales documents and conveniently manage data in the cloud. 

        Features:

        • Intelligent data capture
        • Secure electronic forms
        • Streamlined workflows
        • On-premise, cloud, or hybrid deployment
        • AP, Sales Order, and HR Documents Automation

        Ideal If: You’re a small or medium enterprise that needs an automated document management tool

        Pricing: Available upon request


        Key Features of an ECM Solution

        Here’s a list of key features you should consider when evaluating an ECM solution. 

        • Robust document and asset management

        ECMs were created for one major thing—to help streamline and organize your company’s documents and data. Document capture, archiving, and retrieval are essential elements of any ECM tool. But having sophisticated search functionality with customizable folders and access verification makes the great ones stand out. 

        An ECM acts as the central repository of your company’s data, and searching for information from this repository must be fast and easy. Great ECMs will have the right filters to help employees quickly search for the documents they need.

        • Security and Compliance

        ECM builds the backbone for remote and hybrid work arrangements. As companies migrate their data to the cloud, a great ECM must be able to provide secure collaborations among internal and external players. 

        Managers should be able to monitor how documents are handled, and any revision histories must be documented for a proper audit trail. Accessibility permissions and user verifications must be on-point to enhance data security. ECMs should also follow regional and industry-specific regulations that deal with data acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use. 

        • Third-party integrations

        As the central data repository, your ECM must be able to receive information from various sources such as your website, CRM, vendor management portal, HRIS, and ERP. A great ECM software has APIs that securely connect with these third-party vendors, resulting in a seamless operation. 

        • Hybrid hosting environment

        ECMs should allow you to choose how to store your data. Depending on your industry and needs, you may want a pure cloud-based solution, so remote employees can easily access information anywhere they are. Or you may want an on-premise solution to ensure the highest security of your sensitive data. 

        • Sophisticated analytics

        Great ECMs don’t just store data; they analyze them. With the wealth of information in ECM software, your organization should be able to gain valuable insights that drive strategic decisions. Some ECM even provide AI-assisted capabilities to further enhance the knowledge they present. 


        Final Thoughts

        Investing in enterprise content management software is a wise decision for any business looking for improved efficiency and better security when managing digital assets across multiple departments or locations within an organization. By providing users with quick access to data from any device at any location, businesses can save time and money while maintaining control over who has access to sensitive files. 

        Whether your company is large or small, investing in ECM software could be your solution for streamlined document management processes that improve collaboration while keeping data secure from unauthorized viewers.

        Frequently Asked Questions

        What is the future of ECM?

        ECM has a bright future ahead as organizations move to a cloud-based and hybrid work environment. The past years have shifted how people view work, and with it comes the need for better and more secure data management.

        With technological advances in AI and big data, we can expect that ECM will continue to evolve to be more than just a central data repository to become a more powerful business tool. 

        What is the best ECM?

        These are the best ECM software for 2023:

        • Alfresco – best for running workflows on auto-pilot 
        • Laserfiche – best for easy-to-deploy ECM
        • DocuWare – best for a predominantly remote workforce
        • Microsoft 365 – best for a company that relies on Microsoft products
        • Box – best for small to medium enterprises
        • IBM – best for large enterprises 
        • Hyland – best for customized solutions
        • PaperSave – best for those with huge volumes of physical documents
        • OpenText – best for enterprises with a global workforce
        • DocStar – best for automated ECM

        What are examples of ECM applications?

        ECMs are used for the following functions:

        • Digitization of content
        • Document management
        • Compliance with data policies and regulations
        • Knowledge management
        • Secure collaborations across teams from multiple locations