10 questions you should ask your provider before ECM decommissioning
Organizations like yours are looking to archive and manage multiple content types and aging on-premises archiving platforms are being replaced by modern solutions. It’s time to replace your legacy EMCs with the next generation Unified Information Governance and Records Management solutions. This process is not simple but with the right tools and partner you can reduce up to 50% the existing content management costs and boost user adoption while accessing the latest metadata management capabilities as part of comprehensive information governance and records management.
The term “Enterprise Content Management” (ECM) was traditionally used to describe products with a range of capabilities for managing unstructured enterprise content like: scanning and document imaging (producing images of paper documents), document management and collaboration (check-in/check-out, metadata, authorizations, viewing, sharing), workflows (reviews, approvals), records management (retention, policies, compliance).
Cloud, mobile and analytics technologies have transformed demands and expectations for content in digital business. The variety and volume of content continue to grow. So does its importance: IT and business leaders are increasingly using content to complement or even drive digital business processes. Content Services Platforms are the next stage of enterprise content management, representing a shift from self-contained systems and repositories to open services.
Content Services Platforms Key Capabilities:
- Capturing and ingesting content in digitized formats, including scanning, content migration, user- created content or auto-generated content.
- Managing and retaining digitized content and associated metadata, including content associated with systems of record, file sync and transfer, search and findability, and metadata management.
- Processing digital business content, including developing workflows, and integrating with enterprise systems and data, line-of-business (LOB) processes, and purpose-focused applications.
- Improving user productivity through more-effective finding and use of digitized content in digital business initiatives.
- Providing platform services that combine integrated, content-related services and micro-services, repositories, publicly available APIs for application integration, and administrative tools.
- Integrating and extending the platform, content and interfaces to commonly used productivity, LOB and ERP systems through publicly available APIs for application integration, multi-repository support, data integration extensions and out-of-the-box connectors.
Considering the above capabilities is no wander that, according to Gartner, by 2020, 25% of large enterprises will have dropped their traditional ECM provider in favor of a provider that offers consumer like content services.
Legacy ECM challenges
Let’s take a closer look at the challenges for a typical company running legacy ECMs and how this impacts your daily business:
10 questions you should ask your provider before ECM decommissioning:
- Was this solution built for best user experience? Take into consideration you’re your business / non-IT users and how the application is focused on simplicity and productivity, from desktop to mobile devices. Does the solution has mobile clients for iOS and Android for example?
- Is this a metadata driven platform? From ingestion, to security, content discovery, retention and collaboration, all can be built around metadata. Moreover, metadata-based automation capabilities can automate ingesting, classifying and managing content metadata for an exponential increase in efficiency of information governance company-wide;
- Is this an all-in-one solution or will you need additional modules for everything? Try to find if the proposed solution is designed as a content services solution to address full content management needs, including document capture, OCR, workflow, records management (file plan, retention, and holds), information life cycle and archiving;
- What are the capabilities for capturing and ingesting content? Does it include scanning, “application-aware” content migration and ingestion of user-created content or auto generated content?
- How easy is to implement, integrate and connect this solution with your existing systems? Is the application ready to deploy both on-premises and as a service (multi-tenancy capabilities)? How extensive are the APIs and interfaces, does it uses open standards for integration (e.g. CMIS) and what standard connectors/ migrators are in place (SAP, SharePoint, Documentum, etc.)?
- How easy is information retrieval and discovery? Will the business user be able to find and see the data however he needs (unlimited perspectives) or does it have the same rigidity of legacy ECM applications (folders)?
- What will be the involvement of the IT guy in running the application? It’s possible for business users to operate an “IT independent” information governance environment?
- What about Security? How does the solution addresses content share outside the corporate walls for litigations, audit or compliance purposes? How easy is to apply security rules and policies? Can the content be encrypted and does the application has digital signature support?
- How well does your potential partner stand in relation with the migration tools and services? It’s important that a proven and tested methodology is in place to enable content and metadata migration out of legacy EMC systems into the new platform without adding restrictions on existing system architecture. This will save you a lot of money and time that can be successfully redirected to core business activities;
- What is the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)? Even if this is a bit harder to obtain from a single question, building the right image could save you from a lot of headaches, especially after deploying. Here are a set of question that will help to build your own answer and cut to the clutter. You should ask about the pricing/licensing model and structure especially for large number of users; is this price capacity or user based? Ask how long it takes to implement the solution and try to figure it out how quickly will this be adopted by business users. Also, you should not forget to ask about maintenance costs as this can be the unseen part of the iceberg.
Care to find out more? Simply drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be more than happy to help.