Within the industry, it is known that when an organisation fails to research their needs for an ECM system that there is a good chance that the project will fail, or the resulting implementation will leave a lot to be desired.
Therefore, the most cost-effective step you can take when purchasing and implementing an ECM system is to not rush through the process of choosing your supplier. This is assuming that you have identified a need for an ECM system in the first place, and that your employees are invested in an ECM solution.
To ensure that your ECM implementation will be a success, here are five points that you should consider:
1. Requirements Gathering
It is imperative to start with finding out what your needs are, and how they will be addressed by your potential ECM solutions. You must gather feedback from all areas of the business who will be using the system. As ECM is a huge product category, and ECM suppliers provide a very wide variety of products and product features, it is vital to define and understand what functionality is required before moving further.
2. Supplier Selection
It can take a considerable amount of time to research a supplier, the customers they have and whether they “fit” your company, but it must be done to give your ECM implementation the greatest chance of success. Important questions to ask every potential supplier should include:
- What type of training and support do they provide?
- What technology platform do they use and how scalable is it?
- What do they know about your industry and potential problems within that industry?
- Do they have success stories and testimonials from other clients?
3. Post-Implementation Support
It is important that after installation and configuration, that post implementation support is available, and you know the cost for that support. Ensure that you feel comfortable with the technical staff who will be providing that support.
4. Flexible Deployment Options
Many ECM systems can be run on-premise or in the cloud, with different methods of accessing each. In the future you may need to setup users with different configurations, to adjust to the needs of your business. This includes flexible licensing options, which may allow for greater customisation in the long run.
5. Integration with Third Party Applications
It is important to ensure that your solution can be integrated with any third-party apps or data that you currently use. Miss out on this step and you may end up having to take more steps to accommodate for those apps, resulting in more work for users.
When choosing an Enterprise Content Management solution, ensure that you cover all the above points. There are other things to consider of course – as each organisation has different needs. Choosing a solution that doesn’t meet the needs of your organisation could be costly, so invest time and money in clearly defining your needs and selecting suitable partners.
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