14 Key Things You Need to Know When Implementing ECM

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If you have already started looking for an enterprise content management solutions for your business you know there are dozens of options.  Businesses looking to implement an ECM solution are often using a variety of different systems to manage their documents and are looking for a more comprehensive and scalable solution.  Depending on which of the systems listed below that you are using now there are some key areas you should focus on when considering a new system. For organization dealing with high volume high transaction

1.  Legacy Document Management System:  New technology is making legacy document management systems that relied on a variety of modules to provide functionality obsolete.  New technology uses a smaller IT footprint requiring fewer resources and providing greater scalability with mobile access.  Legacy document management systems most often lack the type of workflow functionality that is required for transactional content areas such as accounting, human resources, and insurance.

2.  Network File Shares;  Historically companies have used network file shares to store documents and collaborate across departments.  But the network file share has some significant limitations that impact both security and productivity.  Securing your files using this method is difficult.  Employees often find themselves using outdated version of documents and spend an enormous amount of time searching for documents that have no standard naming taxonomy and can be stored in a variety of different folder locations.

3.  Sync and Share Solutions:  Employee mobility and free cloud-based solutions have converged.  Without stict security policies in place employees are developing their own workarounds for sharing content.  The use of free sync and share solutions for collaboration is increasing.  Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and others are being used by employees on a regular basis but these solutions lack both security and record management features that are required by many industries.

4.  SharePoint:   Companies have been using SharePoint for years as a substitute for a robust ECM platform.  They have built whole IT teams to support their SharePoint deployment, taking great pains to dump all of their documents into the system and create department facing portals.  While SharePoint can be integrated with a number of other products to provide those functions it requires intense customization and constant maintenance to do so. SharePoint is resource intensive collaboration platform that lacks the records management, compliance, and business process tools of today’s ECM solutions. SharePoint was designed for sharing and creating dynamic content not for dealing with static transactional content that is tightly integrated with business applications and processed through complex workflows.

Regardless what systems your organization happens to be using now there are 14 key things you need to know when implementing an enterprise content management (ECM).

1.  Document types:  what business critical documents will you need to put into the system

2. Document sources:  where does each document typical first enter your business and what is the format?

3.  Document volumes:  how many documents will be entered into the system on a daily basis? This information will help you properly size your storage whether you are using an on-premise system or require cloud-based storage.

4.  Physical characteristics:  what the the physical conditions and sizes of the documents?

5.  Meta Data:  what is they key information and attributes (metadata) on each document that should be indexed?

6.  Search characteristics:  how do end users normally search for documents?

7.  Retention Policy:  how long should each document type be retained?  What state and federal regulations apply?

8.  Security:  who should have access to the documents and at what level?

9.  Business processes/workflow:  how are documents routed through your business from beginning to end?

10.  Taxonomies:  how do you want your documents named?

11.  Integration points:  what other applications need access to the documents?  Does the system you are purchasing have the ability to be seamlessly integrated with your other core business systems?

12.  Processing Costs:  For transaction content, how long does it take to process a typical document and how much does it cost?  Having this information ahead of time will help you determine your ROI.

13. Users: Who will the end users be? Are they on-board with implementing a new solution? How will they be trained? User adoption is often the single biggest challenge to a successful ECM deployment

14. Location: Where will users scan and access documents?


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