Implementing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software means entrusting a third-party solution provider with your data and workflows, but how do you know that their solution is right for your business? Simply ask away.
With so many Enterprise Content Management technologies on the market offering different strategies to centrally store, manage and organise your information, finding the perfect ECM vendor for your business can be an arduous task.
While some ECM solutions might be more effective at digitising your paper documents, others could offer stronger data protection features. There are ECM technologies whichare only Cloud-based; on the other hand, other hybrid options give the possibility of storing your documents on premise or in the Cloud – or both. In short, no two ECM solutions are the same and each vendor has a different strength – whether it’s cost, reputation, or advanced collaboration features.
There is a myriad of factors to consider and although it’s not easy to choose a provider, we’ve prepared a series of key questions that you can ask to help you make the final decision.
The size, function and industry of every business is different; therefore, the first and most important question is finding out whether the ECM solution is suitable for your needs – both present and future.
For example, organisations in healthcare or government might want to implement an ECM solution that protects sensitive customer data from internal and external cybersecurity threats. In this case, they would prioritise an ECM solution with strong security capabilities. Likewise, a company that plans to move to the Cloud in the near future shouldn’t opt for a web-based ECM software.
It’s crucial to start off by identifying your businesses’ challenges and growth ambitions and then match them to an appropriate solution. Once you find a few potential ECM partners that tick all the boxes, your next step is to find out more about their services and features to help you identify the best ECM for your business.
While its essential that your ECM is tailored to your specific company, finding an ECM system that supports both remote and hybrid working is crucial in the digital age.
Digital transformation and uncertainty are fast-tracking our ‘work from anywhere’ culture. Therefore, organisations that cannot provide the right tools that enable remote or hybrid work to be implemented, will find it harder to compete in the business landscape.
An effective ECM software should give easy and secure access to all employees, regardless of place or time. But it’s not just about having access from any location, it’s also about making your organisation more mobile. From document searching on a PC, to a tablet or mobile phone, employees should be able to have all the information they need at their fingertips using any device. If your ECM provider fails to offer these features, cross them off the list.
Ask your potential ECM provider as many questions as possible.
All the people involved in your business, from employees to customers, will need to be made aware of the process changes. Implementing an ECM means a complete restructure to the way you work and eliminating many existing processes.
Your business should evaluate various factors and how each individual will be affected by your chosen ECM solution. Will tasks be made simpler and quicker for employees? Will customers receive a better service using the new system? Will vendors be easier to collaborate with?
Ultimately, the perfect ECM solution will make everybody’s life easier and not aggravate current processes. Pay close attention to the features offered by different ECM solutions and observe whether they match the needs of the people in the business.
If your employees struggle to adapt to your ECM software and are unable to use the technology correctly, your workplace collaboration and productivity could be negatively impacted – completely defeating the purpose of ECM.
Getting your users on board is one of the initial ECM challenges that you need to overcome. In particular, employees who are accustomed to traditional processes may be reluctant to using ECM, but if you make them aware of the potential benefits and show that that it’s easy to use and logical, then they’re more likely to embrace change.
Your chosen ECM should be focused on simplicity and productivity, while taking into consideration your business needs and the capabilities of your staff. Look out for providers who offer free employee training and who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure your ECM is well integrated into your business.
Your ECM software has been implemented, the team trained and you’re ready to get under way with your new technology. But suddenly an issue arises. You contact your provider, but an automated message appears, apologising for the delay due to unusually high call volumes and emails. That’s exactly the type of situation you want to avoid.
Once your ECM software is implemented, you should ensure that you will receive quick and reliable support from your provider. It is crucial that they are easy to contact and have the knowledge and capacity to resolve any problems or doubts you may have. Like with any technology, there will be instances when software problems occur such as user errors and you will need technical assistance – your provider should always be available to help you.
ECM migration can be time-consuming and costly for those who fail to do their homework. One bad choice could mean you having to go through the whole process again: researching providers, testing the software, training your staff, implementing the technology.
It’s a solution you want to get right first time, which is why you need to find out everything, from the ECM features offered to the provider’s experience and reputation. Don’t shy away from asking as many questions as you need to come to a final decision.