With so many options available it becomes confusing to choose the best suitable enterprise content management solution (ECM). You should be aware of your organization’s specific needs, preferences and budget constraints. Each ECM is different therefore you need to analyze and find out how it streamlines the current operations, enhance document security and reduce costs.
I shall give a list of things you should consider before choosing the most appropriate ECM.
What is ECM?
The early definition of ECM, i.e., in 2010 was strategies, methods and tools. These tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes.
But in 2017 Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) changed the term ECM to Intelligent Information Management (IIM).
ECM is an umbrella term that covers document management, web content management, search collaboration, records management, digital asset management (DAM), workflow management, capture and scanning.
ECM organizes data in one central pool. Improves workflows as it enables staff to access documents from anywhere.
Things to avoid when choosing an ECM solution
You have decided to select the perfect ECM solution for your organization. Here are top 10 things you need to consider before selecting the ECM.
1. Alignment with business objectives
When you decide to go to ECM, you have to make a significant decision. That is why it should align with your business. It should help your business go ahead and achieve its overall objective.
- What does the management and rest of the company expect from the solution?
- How will it impact the current process and workflows?
When you do the analyses the ECM’s features should be a value addition to the current operations.
2.Ease of use
There are many software or platforms to maximize adoption across the business the ECM solution needs to be easy to use the platform at expected levels for individuals.
- Is the solution easy to use
- How much training do the staff need so they can easily use ECM?
The staff should be able to use the ECM with minimal training easily.
3.Ease of integration with existing system and applications
It can be very stressful when it comes to integration and implementation of the application with the existing IT environment. The right ECM system will integrate seamlessly with your existing systems and application.
- How much configuration does it require to ensure that it works with the existing system?
- How much time will the team spend on managing the ECM integration on an ongoing basis?
Your team should not waste too much time to make the ECM work with the current network. Choose an ECM that requires little or no programming. As that would provide enough and a wide range of compatibility across the system and applications.
Your company will grow with time so should the ECM you choose.
- Is the ECM flexible to adjust to the expanding work with the growing organization?
- Can it scale with the addition of new staff members with the business expansions?
Can you add more features and capabilities to support future needs?
This way you don’t base your decision on the company size. You have a futuristic ECM.
Having cloud-based storage system will give you increased scalability, accessibility and security.
- Is the solution cloud ready?
- How secure is the solution?
A cloud-based ECM will provide easy access to a secure private or public cloud. Before you opt for a cloud-based system, you need to take care of the security measures and protocols.
People are increasingly accessing documents and files through their laptops phones or tablets. Your ECM needs to keep up with these devices.
- Can your staff easily access any information they want from different devices from any location?
- Can your staff upload and edit documents on the go?
This is highly important for companies managing remote or mobile staff.
7.Automation and digitization
As mentioned in the definition above, this is the main feature of an ECM. Automatically capture, process and store paper documents into digital format.
- Minimise human error of manually processing files
- Increase the accuracy of documents
- Enhance productivity with easy access to any needed information
This will free up a lot of physical space.
You need to make sure that the ECM solution is secure. Security is an essential concern for any business especially if the data is stored in the cloud.
The security system in your ECM should grant the following:
- Individual and group access permissions at all levels.
- Allows regular automated back-ups.
- Monitor the document usage.
- Have total visibility and control
In the event of any data breach, it is worth asking for measures and procedures.
There is a constant struggle for compliance with legal, a regulatory requirement for any organization. The regulations for the digital data are getting complex day by day. Therefore your ECM solution should be flexible enough to any record- keeping & security requirements.
10.Provide experience and support
Before you, the ECM provider you need does a background check. As you are investing your money, you should know the history of the provider. Consider experience, expertise and track record of the ECM solution provider as you need to work with them more like a partner.
- The vendor and provider should specialize in document management solution.
- The vendor should provide training and ongoing support.
You should cautiously consider the services your ECM provider will implement before and during the implementation process. It should include a training program for all your staff at all technical skill levels.
Conclusion- Be aware, sort all your suitable options and choose the best fit for your organization. In case you have any queries, let us know in the comment section below.