There is little doubt that with the introduction of the internet came a sea of change in terms of how businesses compete.  Seemingly overnight, the competitive landscape became broader than ever before as globalization became a real force that companies had to contend with. Just as the buying market grew, so too did the selling market, creating more aggressive competition than companies had historically ever before faced. Competition that was once only found down the street, or at most in the same geographical region, was now found across the world. The emergence of the internet made global competition a reality that could no longer be ignored. 

In order to understand the full effects of globalization for a business, it’s important to be aware of how advancements in the way knowledge and information are transferred and shared have dramatically increased the amount of ongoing change that companies now face. The continued evolution of the internet, faster shipping services, technological advancements, and faster production methods have led to both greater innovation and lower costs for products and services

Where businesses were previously able to drive and implement changes on their own timetable, globalization is creating competitive forces that are now pushing organizations to become much more nimble in order to survive.  They are adapting to this new landscape by embracing ways to become more efficient in their business operations and more agile in response to shifting market demands.

Two disciplines in particular that have come to the forefront in facilitating this adaptation are being applied across all sized companies to assist them in managing the competitive forces of globalization.


Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

  • Using a broad definition, ECM is a practice that is focused on the capture, management, storage, preservation, and delivery of content across an organization.   It is the management of a company’s unstructured information, in both paper and electronic form, such as business records, e-mails, contracts, etc. 

  • ECM allows organizations instant and secure access to important information relating to their business processes so that companies can be more effective and efficient in their daily work and also compliant with the required regulations.

  • For example, consider a contract dispute that arises during the renegotiation of terms.  This has the potential to negatively impact revenues if a customer is lost over it and also has the potential for negative legal ramifications depending upon the nature of the dispute.  If a company has easy access to the original contract, along with any and all related versions and supporting documents, the dispute can typically be resolved quickly and easily.  However, if any of the documents were lost or worse have been destroyed, the outcome is not likely to be as good.  With ECM properly in place, the legal risk will be mitigated and the possibility of business being lost to competition will be greatly reduced because the complications associated with missing contracts will have been eliminated.

Business Process Management (BPM)

  • BPM can be understood as an approach to achieve maximum efficiency within a company’s business processes.  The function of BPM is often systematic in nature and includes the following phases:  Define, Analyze, Model, Automate, Manage, Optimize, and Continually Improve.  The goal of BPM is to reach Operational Excellence, in that a company can derive maximum value from its business processes with the minimum amount of resources required, in essence becoming as nimble and streamlined as possible.
  • With the removal of inefficiencies often found in traditional business processes, BPM enables organizations to minimize cost expenditures, streamline operations and generally react much more quickly to changes in the marketplace, resulting in a quantifiable competitive advantage. 



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