Best Practices for Implementing ECM

Best practices for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) implementation

Building a shared services solution should be a priority for companies today, according to Craig Le Clair, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. Learn why this approach to content management can help establish governance with your organization while driving down costs and streamlining business processes. 

Video Transcription

[Craig LeClair, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research]

As an analyst, I cover things like enterprise content management, and business process management. I did a lot of the early work and development of smart process applications and dynamic case management.

What are the three best practices for developing a content management strategy?

Companies today are in a tough situation with content management. They have over the years acquired many platforms.

Goal 1: Build a shared services solution

Best practice now is to organize segments of content usage based on the business and how the business uses content. One category might be transactional if it might have aspects that deal with the core lines of business of claims, process a customer, or onboarding (core processes that have lots of content and are very document intensive). They need strong workflow, business process management, multi-channel capture, and needs a lot of these transactions are oriented things. When you do that, all of a sudden the problem becomes more manageable.

Goal 2: Establish governance in each segment

You can have governance which is very important. You can create expertise, competency centers, governance capability around each of those segments. It's not this overall, you know, reaching a “boil the ocean” type approach that has been tried in the past. One of the important aspects of that is, given that you've done this segmentation.

Goal 3: Focus on core capabilities across segments

That would be records management and e-discovery. Defensible destruction of content is becoming a very popular notion. The ability to really prepare or the content that you need put it under policy that's defensible and be able to manage that well that that's a that's a clear best practice it doesn't drive revenue directly but it does lower risk which is which is very important for companies.

So the consolidation of content solutions being part of that segmentation is a really strong best practice. The establishment of governance around those segments, there's another best practice. The ability to focus on foundational capabilities such as records management. Those are three that I would highlight, and say that if you're working on those, you're probably getting to the right place.

How should you evaluate an ECM vendor?

You need to look at that segmentation map to understand what set of technology you're needing to support the various transactional versus office versus shared services segments, or foundational components. So you need try to match the business requirement to the technology provider in the best way.

Does the vendor offer an ECM platform?

You need more than just the content components today. You need a platform really that has content management that has a good work flow and process management that has case management it's really an innovation platform for smart process applications to be able to build and deploy specific domain and industry solutions such as invoice processing, customs or a service request case management.

Do they provide enterprise integrations?

Given that you're going to move towards stronger governance around a real strong ECM roadmap, you need to look at an ECM provider that has enterprise content integration capabilities that can help you with that problem, and convert content from an older repository into the newer one. It's important that they have a wide pool of professional services, so that you're not dependent on, perhaps, a real small company to be able to get the services. You want a company that has strong partnerships.

Does the vendor have experience in the cloud?

You also need a company with strong internal capabilities to be able to do things I would put cloud support that you know on that list. You will be looking at outsourcing some pieces of ECM over time. You want a vendor that can do that and has a track record of doing so. Those are just a handful of things.

How do they capture and manage content?

Some of the aspects of content have gotten you know more commoditized over time. The ability to be able to search and retrieve from repository, we got that down. You want to look around the edges towards that enterprise content integration. You want to look at multi-channel capture, so the ability to do mobile capture and get that trailing document. Imagination is very important; to be able to take an email and with a PDF, tease out the PDF and put it through the same document processing that the traditional paper channel came through. Not all the providers do that well; that's very important.

What analytics do they offer?

Analytics is pervasive in almost every application area. In technology, analytics for content management is very important on the capture side. In terms of forms processing being as separate content coming in and dispatches. It's also very important in the retrieval side, being able to have strong enterprise search capability that can really extract transparently the entities you need to search and find the ability to associate metadata using analytics. So that you can auto classify content records management is very important.

I would focus on analytics, enterprise content integration, flexibility in terms of cloud support focus, and a provider that's been around for a while. I can help you achieve better governance for content management you probably put two wrong