7 goals of enterprise content management
Information and data are the lifeblood of business. Documents and, even more generally, content in all its forms exist solely to organize and communicate that information and data.
How information is found, accessed, moves, and is stored form the primary purpose for developing your enterprise content management strategy. But your goals for it should be much more focused.
Here are 7 common goals of an ECM strategy.
1. Improve access and responsiveness
Have you ever misplaced a document
Like most of us, the answer is probably yes. It’s maddening, right?
And it’s worse when you or one of your customer service representatives can’t find a document when talking with a customer.
Creating a centralized and structured way of organizing and handling your documents and content reduces the risk of lost documents or missing data. This ensures documents are available to your employees when they need them. And when they have what they need, they can be more responsive to your customers and vendors, and to each other.
2. Support remote work
This goal may be relatively new, but it may be one of the most important today.
Although enterprise content accounts for all created content, the simple reality is that the majority of content today is created and stored digitally. This makes it ideal for a remote workforce.
The challenge? Having all of the content secured, organized, and accessible. An enterprise content management system implements the processes, tools, and systems needed to achieve this, turning anywhere into a workspace.
With internet access and a VPN connection, authorized employees can access documents, data, and other content to work with, review, or approve, keeping digital workflows moving.
3. Shift document and information management from a capital to an operating expense
File cabinets, paper, and, of course, other physical media used for content production and storage require capital expenditures. Software applications, especially cloud platforms, typically bill as an operating expense.
For those of us not in accounting, this means lower costs upfront and a much lower barrier to use.
4. Reduce document-related costs
Creating and storing documents and other content comes with a cost.
Producing physical content requires the media and print supplies to create it. There is also the time required to proof (as needed) and get it where it needs to go.
Then, there’s the space and physical containers (file cabinets, boxes, etc.) required to store it. For enterprises, that can be quite a bit of space, and offsite storage is not cheap.
Finally, retrieval of hard copy documents – particularly those stored offsite – takes time. Third-party storage like an Iron Mountain involves added costs.
While these content creation and storage processes were fine once, today’s technology makes them a burden to customer service and business agility.
And while unstructured digital document storage may introduce some improvements, it comes with its own burdens. For example, have you ever struggled to find a digital document? Most of us have, and some of us may have even thought, "This wouldn't have been a problem if I'd only stored it in a paper file."
Enterprise content management gives structure, control, and centralization to your content, eliminating almost all of these challenges.
5. Streamline and create agile workflows
Today, paper or any other physical media simply moves too slow. Companies know that structured digital and automated workflows allow them to respond faster to customer requests, increasing the speed at which they do business.
Many content management systems include workflow automation tools, further enabling businesses to increase the speed that work gets done. Documents never move, but employees can complete their tasks working from anywhere.
Almost all systems allow companies to build workflows for recurring processes like AP/AR (some even have out-of-the-box workflows built). Most also allow for ad hoc workflow creation, adding to the agility businesses can take advantage of.
6. Increase employee productivity
Documents interfere with productivity when they need to travel from one PC to another and live in disconnected systems. Waiting for a file creates downtime.
The centralization, access control, and structure offered by enterprise content management remove barriers to productivity. By removing the physical element of movement, employees can retrieve, interact with, and store documents quickly. Many systems offer automated capture to reduce manual tasks like data entry.
Plus, by storing all content digitally and in a single location, employees can stay productive wherever they find themselves.
7. Ensure business continuity
Digitally stored documents can be backed-up easily. And cloud backup and disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solutions make it easy to store your backed-up content offsite.
Cloud-based enterprise content management systems typically offer multi-location redundancies. A service as much as a platform, these systems give companies the comfort of uptime guarantees, meaning your content and data are not only backed-up but guaranteed to be available.
In a world where remote workforces have become the norm, these uptime guarantees help meet business continuity goals.
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