Three Things to Look for When Selecting an Enterprise Content Management System (ECM)


The biggest hurdle to digital transformation is selecting the right ECM system. Most agencies use the RFP process to determine which ECM they choose and implement, train, and support the system. Unfortunately, the risk is that the wrong choice harms the entire organization via lack of compliance with mandates, unhappy staff, and misclassification of essential records.



Plus, it’s not just a matter of jumping over to a new ECM——you’ll need an entirely new project plan, implementation strategy, and training—making the right choice of critical importance.


Consider usage


Buying the solution with all the bells and whistles that are not put into use leads to over licensing, increases the learning curve, and possibly wastes of budgeted funds. To make financially sound decisions, analyze your usage against platform features. Remember, the aim is to select an ECM that offers the most value.


Laserfiche includes workflow functionality for each full, named user. Traditionally, workflow is the Laserfiche feature that offers the highest ROI. I am probably preaching to the choir, but automation truly makes obstacles feel like opportunities. With decades of experience in software implementation and support, I’ve never encountered such an extensible, robust tool.


Think about content consumers and creators


To an extent, our users can choose what channels they wish to create, find, store and manage documents. However, if the ECM system is easy to use and the UX is designed to offer flexibility for staff, staff will use it. Also, consider if staff is WFH or if mobile capabilities will facilitate fieldwork. If you are an agency, your constituents will appreciate e-government capabilities, such as forms for service requests. Also, review your behavior when you consume content. You may have more insight than you think.


Laserfiche is very flexible, so you will likely get very close to your desired implementation if you choose it. We’ve been implementing Laserfiche for a few decades, and we’ve not found any information management scenario where it doesn’t work.


Integrations


Pre-built integrations are often developed by the ISV (independent software vendor.) They’ll add functionality to your digitization effort. Frequently, Implementation and Service Partners (of the ISV, for instance, CPS is an Implementation and Service Partner of Laserfiche) also have upskilled their development team to produce customizations, integrations, and apps.


The ability to perform these services is critical because your organization’s systems cannot always communicate with each other, meaning that the agency’s information is scattered across disparate business software rather than in one place. AKA, it takes longer to find the documents than it does to complete the task.


Systems integration brings together component sub-systems into one functional system and ensures that all components work together to increase productivity and accurate data analysis. Typical information exchanges include records requests, facilities reservations, citizen inquiries, and many more. Here’s CPS’s list.


I hope this post was helpful; if you are interested in learning more about what to look for when buying an ECM, please ping me at jdunn@cps.247.com.

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