Your current enterprise content management (ECM) system may have served the business well for many years, but nothing stays the same in this age of rapid technology advancement. Now might be the time to modernize your ECM system before it’s too late. If you want to bring your IT tools and investments into line with modern standards, cut costs, increase efficiency and manage risks on both the business and technical sides of things, you are going to need to upgrade. This article will explain the benefits of modernizing your ECM solution, how to get started and what to look for in a new system.
Benefits of Modernizing Your ECM System
Many businesses find that, after a while, their ECM solution becomes more of a burden than a blessing. Outdated ECM systems often require increasing amounts of 3rd-party services, administrative costs, custom developments and maintenance expenditures to keep running. At the very least, an outdated enterprise content management system probably is not serving your current needs as well as it once did. Many older ECM systems are also incompatible with other modern technology tools for transaction / business process management, enterprise risk management (ERM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer / product information management and other applications. All these factors contribute to a high cost of ownership, decreased value, unnecessary inefficiencies and frustration for everyone who relies on the outdated ECM solution. With a new ECM system in place, enterprises are able to end these inadequacies and maximize workflow, productivity and the functionality of everything from records management and image capture to mobile devices and email systems. If your organization could benefit from a modernized ECM system, the sooner you get started the better.
How to Get Started
Identify key project participants, including a business lead from each business area (in scope) as well as corresponding IT leads.
Define a project charter, including key performance indicators and a shared vision for what success will look like when the project is finished.
Assess how well your current solution meets your future business needs and come to a solid understanding of the pain points in your current state.
Envision the future of content management at your organization and what business and IT capabilities are needed to get there.
Analyze the gaps between your current state and future vision to develop a list of prioritized initiatives that will help close the gaps.
Plan out the prioritized initiatives and develop a roadmap to achieve the vision.
Implement the roadmap.
Once you have a vision for what your new ECM solution will look like and a roadmap for how to get there, it is time to find a system that will be suitable for your goals. Your future-state ECM solution should not come from a no-name vendor offering the cheapest product available. Instead, look for a vendor that has a high level of experience, proven methodologies, expertise in your specific industry and business area, a knowledgeable team prepared to help you modernize your ECM system and a reputation for consistent research and development to stay on top of the latest technology innovations. Here are a few more things to look for as you move towards your new solution:
What to Look for in a Future-State ECM Solution
Minimal custom development
Includes leading practices for business functionality
Leverages industry standard information architectures
Integrates with leading solutions for collaboration, imaging, publishing, business process management, business intelligence, etc.
Available onsite or in the cloud
Supports business process interoperability, both inside and outside the organization
If a legacy ECM system is holding your business back from being as efficient, innovative, productive and profitable as possible, it is time to modernize. With the above points in mind, your team should be able to select and implement a solution that meets your enterprise’s current and future needs.
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Doug Vargo is Vice President and leader of Paragon’s Digital Information Management team. Doug provides business process and technology solutions that apply to the generation, management, use, compliance and disposition of enterprise content. Paragon’s Digital Information Management team focuses on ensuring organizations have effective, pervasive content management strategies, business processes and technology to ensure the right content is available at the right time, for the right person. Prior to joining Paragon, Doug was the Director of Records Information Management for Rusco, Inc., where he was responsible for the implementation and validation of Document and Records Management Systems at several life sciences companies with a specialization FDA compliance. Doug holds a BS in Environmental Science from Slippery Rock University, PA.