Enterprise content management (ECM) systems provide many benefits for companies dealing with large content inventories. This software solution focuses on digital asset management, document control, content personalization, image processing and other functionality revolving around your content workflow. As more businesses seek ways to tame their information overload, this growing market segment may reach $59.87 billion in 2020, as Markets and Markets predicts. You have many vendors vying for your business, so following a set strategy for ECM evaluation guides you to the right decision.
What Are Your Business Goals?
Business goal misalignment may lead to short- or long-term failure of your ECM deployment. Set yourself up for success before you begin your vendor search, to avoid adding to the 45 percent of over-budget IT projects. Start the procurement process by looking at your end business goals. Identify the biggest problems an ECM solution fixes. Your company may need help locating relevant content or automating document retention.
Who Are the Primary End Users of the ECM System?
Do you have ECM end users among your decision makers? One way to avoid missing the mark on your software selection is through employee buy-in. Solicit feedback from the departments and teams most impacted by a new ECM. If your organization has no experience with an ECM solution, plan for significant business process adjustments in the post-deployment period.
What Features Do You Need the Most?
ECM solutions come in all shapes and sizes. Make a feature priority list that addresses the problems your organization encounters and the ideal solutions. Your end users supply a lot of insight on desired functionality. Standard features included in these systems are
• Document library services
• Image capture
• Document access security
• Content creation
• Automated retention policy
• Mobile access
Does It Play Nice With the Rest of Your Infrastructure?
Your existing enterprise infrastructure may use specialized applications to support your business operations. Customer relationship management, enterprise resource management and contact center solutions commonly form the application backbone of companies. Some ECM software integrates with third-party solutions so you can share document and data out of the box.
Do You Want On-Site or Cloud-Based Solutions?
On-site solutions minimize your vendor dependency and give you full control over your ECM. However, you maintain the entire system, from the servers to the software. A cloud-based solution offloads most responsibility to the service provider. You pay a monthly, annual or usage-based fee to gain access to the system. If you’re interested in a cloud-based solution but you handle sensitive data, double-check industry regulations to confirm any off-site application keeps you in compliance.
How Much Does the ECM Solution Cost?
Consider the total cost of ownership for the ECM solution. The upfront costs are obvious, such as a subscription to the service or software licenses. However, factor in the indirect costs associated with the ECM procurement and deployment process, ongoing maintenance and other expenses. You may find a solution that appears to fit your budget at first, but quickly goes over when you consider the entire situation.
Is the ECM Vendor Reputable?
Pay particular attention to vendor reputation if you choose a cloud-based system. You don’t want to go through the procurement process, get your company used to a new ECM, and then have the vendor disappear overnight. Look for leading businesses in the industry, seek out recommendations from your peers, and research the overall company stability during your purchase decision process.
An ECM system transforms your company’s document management processes. It forms an essential part of your IT foundation, so you have to consider many factors when picking the right vendor. Use these questions to narrow down the field and figure out the right choice for your business goals.
Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ May 31, 2016 at 02:09PM