Enterprise Content Management (ECM) tools are proving to be vital solutions for businesses that are looking to streamline operations and manage important content more effectively. With data volumes on the rise and with no real end in sight, organizations are leaning on ECM solutions more to meet today’s standards of workplace collaboration, shareability, and manage regulatory compliance. The main function of enterprise content management is to give organizations the ability to gain consistent access to their most important data, no matter where it lies, whether virtually or physically, on-premise, in the cloud, or in some other disparate location. Here are the top ECM questions you should be asking yourself before making a decision about which offering is right for your organization:
How will I educate my users?
As soon as an ECM system has been chosen, the IT department should start advocating for use of the solution to the employees who will be utilizing it. Explain how it is going to facilitate business operations, reduce risk, and assist in finding information more easily. Managing ECM is not about forcing new users into this approach of managing content – it’s about helping them realize how much easier the tool will make their day-to-day operations. Illustrate how tedious tasks will be eliminated, if not largely reduced, and how the frustration of navigating the company’s content will be put to an end.
Certification in the ECM platform is not always necessary, but you want your users to understand maintenance routines, daily tasks, and what to do in the event of an error. Many ECM solution providers offer training, as well as training materials for professional development. Once your IT department embraces working with ECM, your business will be on the road to a successful implementation.
On the ground or in the cloud? Or a hybrid of the two?
The benefit of having a hybrid ECM cloud model is the ability to have on-premise infrastructure that can support the average workload for your business while retaining the ability to use the public cloud for failover or extra compute when the workload exceeds the computational power of your organization’s architecture. ECM in the cloud has also become an increasingly attractive option for companies that need access to their information anytime, anywhere.
Many consider on-premise ECM solutions to be the most logical and natural approach to ECM because of the speed, security, control, and solution functionality. However, cloud ECM services can offer more cost savings, and a heightened urgency to ensure the security of content is quickly outperforming on-premise solutions.
What functionalities are important to me?
ECM solutions come with a variety of functionalities and it’s important that you decide which features you and your IT team demand in a product. By planning ahead of time, goals that you intend to meet by implementing your new solution will be met quickly and at a lower cost. This is important because cloud-based products, in particular, increase in cost-per-feature. Consider narrowing your functionalities in order to cut out the fluff and cut down on costs. Most companies cite functionalities such as indexing and retrieval, workflow, scalability security tools, and flexible deployment options as must-haves.
Have more ECM questions and want more information on ECM and content services solutions? Consider downloading our Content Management Buyer’s Guide! This free resource gives you the ability to compare the top 20 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles. The guide also offers five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask your software provider before purchasing. It’s the best resource for anyone looking to find the right content management or content services solution for their organization.