Whether you’re implementing your first Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution or are considering an upgrade, evaluation of current circumstances and challenges, as well as establishing a clear vision of future objectives, is critical. In this blog series, we’ll cover a few elements of building an ECM strategy. First things first, let’s evaluate the current ECM systems in place].

Identify your Enterprise Content Management Needs

Start by identifying your needs and objectives versus the efficiency gaps in your current setup. It’s essential to know what types of assets your organization handles, how much information exists, and where it lives.

Determine how many information management applications are in use and how your organization’s end users locate information via current legacy applications and content repositories. Then, start asking questions such as:

  1. Which system is most frequently used?
  2. Which system stores information that could benefit more users than those who can currently access it?
  3. Which system costs me the most to manage and maintain?
  4. Which system could benefit from access to mobile, cloud, or other new technologies?

These questions and more are found in our How to Evaluate your ECM System guide. Answering these questions will help you identify where to start building and modernizing your ECM solutions.

Evaluate your Current ECM Systems

Most organizations already have at least one ECM system in place. It is vital to evaluate existing systems to ensure they are still functioning effectively.

  • How do your employees and staff feel about it?
  • How do your customers feel?
  • Are they experiencing the best service and experience you can deliver?
  • How secure is the system?

You can explore these questions further in our guide 8 Signs Your ECM System is Past Its Useful Life.

Analyze Critical Content Management System Pain Points

After evaluating security and end-user satisfaction, ask yourself the following questions to identify the critical signs that it’s time for an upgrade:

  • Can your system handle today’s rich media content alongside traditional content? Even with a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system in place, your systems may still be disconnected, which isn’t a viable option.
  • Are you able to scale horizontally instead of vertically, which is more effective and efficient? Can your ECM assign servers specific tasks to more evenly distribute CPU usage, a.k.a., intelligent scalability?
  • Can your users find and use content easily? Workers spend 50% of their time looking for information at work and an average of 18 minutes locating individual documents. Your ECM system needs to be cloud-native and have strong metadata models and technologies to relieve this burden and make content search easy.
  • Does your system struggle to leverage the latest innovations and technologies? Modern ECM systems are created with open standards and software development best practices. They also work with NoSQL and SQL databases to bear heavy workloads.
  • How secure and compliant are your processes and content? Your ECM system should provide layers of content protection for sensitive and confidential content via features such as metadata modeling, which verifies the identity of an authorized user and protects it from unauthorized ones.
  • How easy is it for users to share information outside of your organization?
    A robust ECM system can grant third parties temporary access to information and automate the expiration of that access, all while keeping your organization’s data secure.
  • Are you overspending on annual maintenance contracts, administrative fees, custom development expenses, and upgrade costs? Your ECM system should enable on-premises, cloud, or hybrid deployment options without yearly maintenance fees or upgrade costs while significantly lowering admin fees and custom development expenses.
  • Is it difficult to integrate other applications with your ECM system? Efficiency and productivity cannot coexist with disparate systems, so all of your information management systems need to connect. Users should be able to stay within one application to access, edit, and download content.

So are you ready for the next step? We’ll cover how to evaluate migration risks.