Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Unlocking the value of enterprise content management

By Mark Brousseau

It’s one thing to have enterprise content management (ECM) technology, it’s another thing altogether to get value out of it, Gartner Analyst Mark Gilbert told attendees at Systemware’s user conference, SWUC 11, last week at the Westin Galleria in Dallas.

Companies seem to be getting Gilbert’s message. Many are focusing like never before on ECM applications that provide more value, he told attendees. This trend is being driven by increased expectations from ECM buyers and users, new demands for faster and richer process management and information delivery, increased archiving, compliance and information governance requirements, and the evolution of social media into a tool targeting supply and value chain management.

“The ECM market is strong, and it is reshaping itself as the technology becomes more adaptive and customers make more demands on it,” Gilbert explained, noting that the ECM market now tops $4 billion a year in sales. He added that, “Companies are now relying on ECM to drive business efficiency and achieve better results.“

When it comes to ECM, “ROI matters,” Gilbert said flatly.

Some key elements of the ECM business case that Gilbert identified include:

… Faster, better, processes.
… Better customer service
… Better, less costly regulatory compliance
… Better management decisions
… Better front-line decisions
… Better teamwork

“When we talk to customers, these things come up time and time again,” he said.

Gilbert offered several tips for ensuring your company meets its business case:

… Build a vision for how ECM can transform and drive your business.
… Survey ECM use-cases in your industry.
… Establish roles and an organizational structure to support your ECM vision.
… Set scope for your ECM initiatives by assessing risk and the value of information assets – across the breadth of the content continuum.
… Leverage existing technology and vendors and determine what you have and how it supports the ideals of information infrastructure.
… Accept the fact that technology alone will not succeed; policies and governance models are critical for long-term value.

What do you think?

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