Start with the right product
When you’re considering an investment in an enterprise content management (ECM) technology solution, what should you keep in mind in terms of the product? Every technology investment must be smart, it must be strategic and it must make and deliver on a promise to help you today and in the future. Consider:
First, you want to know you’re getting value for your investment. ECM vendors should offer deep functionality from their ECM product that doesn’t require custom code to create or expand solutions.
Make sure the solution will meet your needs now and in the future. When evaluating an ECM product consider the investment beyond the immediate need it solves. Will my investment yield a return today (with known needs) as well as tomorrow (where needs are unknown)? An ECM solution should easily accommodate your organisational changes over time. It also needs to scale to accommodate multiple offices and international locations.
The ECM product must be able to integrate with your existing departmental or enterprise-wide business management applications (ERPs, electronic health records, student information systems, and so forth).
You also want to ensure you can use what you pay for. If you’re implementing a departmental solution, are you paying for an entire enterprise software suite you’re not going to use? An ECM solution should be flexible enough to help you maximise your investment from implementation through the life of your solution.
How a vendor develops their ECM product is a strong indicator of the product’s depth and breadth. Development must include customer feedback to assure it meets the needs of its users.
The product should have flexible deployment options, both on-premises and in the cloud, and the vendor should have a proven approach for helping customers switch between the two options as organisational needs change.