Enterprise content management software can dramatically improve team collaboration, preserve an organization’s records, and be a key part of its digital transformation.
However, various challenges can derail ECM projects or limit their value to organizations, which content managers should remember when considering strategies for implementing ECM software. Projects are more successful if they effectively plan for these pitfalls. Although risk management methods differ from company to company, no team or organization is immune to the potential effects of a failed ECM strategy.
Learn about eight common ECM challenges that organizations and content managers face.
1. Customer service
ECM software and processes often confuse users, especially those who are accustomed to paper documents or legacy file systems, so organizations must work closely with users to understand their needs. Ad hoc support opportunities, such as office hours, can offer users a way to learn from others and build dialogue and partnership between IT staff and users.
2. Storage and migration
Without an ECM policy, organizations can suffer from missing or unavailable information. Business-critical documents can be stuck on someone’s personal computer, an inaccessible file system, or be paper documents.
Content managers should allocate adequate storage for ECM software. To do this, they must estimate the potential costs of staff storage and maintenance time. Project success and customer adoption can influence these estimates, which content managers need to revisit occasionally. While storage remains an expense, its associated costs continue to decline, such as eliminating the cost of floor space for paper documents that users cannot access remotely.
Additionally, an organization may need to force the adoption and migration of software. If it has an old ECM system or ad hoc means to store and share content, it can move valuable content to the new system. To facilitate this, content managers need to find ways to minimize manual, rote work by users and move from old to new systems and from disconnected to connected processes.
Even small ECM software projects can be expensive. In the planning process of an organization, it must develop financial measures that balance costs and benefits. These metrics show how customer satisfaction, information security (infosec), digitization of information and other benefits outweigh the costs of the software. In some cases, companies can power down existing systems and remove the associated hardware and software costs.
Even in this context, content managers must manage the costs of software and development personnel to ensure they are on budget. Periodic cost-benefit analysis with finance and management can help content managers understand whether each phase of the project is worth the cost.
Each organization should assess its comfort levels with the security, compliance, and financial implications of ECM software and its associated technologies.
If an organization deploys ECM in a cloud environment, it could save money on maintenance and infrastructure costs and have higher system availability. However, this makes organizations beholden to the goals and technical decisions of another company, as they cannot customize the underlying cloud technology as well as they can with on-premises resources. Additionally, organizations can have complete control over on-premises security, but they may not deploy ECM software as effectively as a SaaS provider.
Ultimately, only the organization can decide the best ways to create a usable, scalable, and supportable system to comply with its business rules.
Right from the start of the project, content managers need to listen to users, understand the weak spots in their current workflows, and find ways to make their jobs easier. If content managers listen to problems and offer solutions, users are more likely to adopt ECM.
Some users may prefer to manage paper documents rather than electronic files, while others may have electronic systems with overly complex legacy workflows. A radical listening approach with a small user base can help in these situations. This enables content managers to be more attentive to the effects on customer satisfaction, to meet user needs and to learn from them for the benefit of future users.
If the project involves process automation, content managers can engage in their change management strategy to ensure they are automating the right processes and not just duplicating current processes – and potentially less. effective -. As content managers move through teams, they can focus more on UX.
6. Take too much at once
While organizations want their ECM strategies and systems to address content challenges and opportunities across the enterprise, they shouldn’t be trying to do everything simultaneously. Content managers can find where process automation could improve workflows, productivity, and other areas. Managers can then address these areas and integrate use cases and user communities into the system.
Even small businesses have various content lifecycle opportunities that the needs of the management, finance, human resources, IT, engineering, sales, and marketing teams drive. Content managers can tackle these workflows one by one.
7. Performance tuning
If content managers take each step one by one and focus on adoption, they may find that users are pushing the system to its limits. A small adoption success can bring a well-thought-out ECM system to its knees, slow response times, and frustrate users.
To avoid this frustration, content managers should prioritize stress and load testing for their systems. What if all users logged in at the same time and performed the most CPU-intensive tasks? When does the system deform under pressure? Managers need to bring their systems to the point of failure, fix any resolvable issues, and then add this process to the test suite to stay ahead of the system adoption load.
If an organization only considers infosec at the end of its ECM deployment process, it may need to rethink processes, workflows and interfaces, otherwise it puts the system and sensitive content at risk of theft or accidental disclosure. Instead, when content managers consider change management, adoption, performance tuning, and migration, they should see security as an underlying element.
No system is perfectly secure. Content managers should try to balance usability and limit the risk of data loss, theft, or leakage. Too many controls can hamper usability and adoption, which can force users to push their content to potentially less secure tools and processes.
Key points to remember
Organizations shouldn’t let standard ECM challenges overwhelm their digitization plans. If content managers remember the following key points, they can prepare more effectively for deploying ECM software.
- If an organization takes stock, plans its project in incremental steps, engages with customers, and helps through the change management process, it can better respond to technical and adoption issues.
- If an organization monitors its system’s performance, stress tests it, and guides and automates user migration, it can manage user experiences as they migrate, limit manual labor, and deliver a system. as fast or faster than before.
- If an organization has an infosec layer, it can maintain or improve the security profile of its content.