ECM or Enterprise Content Management is comprised of an array of systems, strategies and tools designed to improve organizational processes

Making the Business Case for Enterprise Content Management

Posted on January 30, 2014 under Advice by

Enterprise content management (ECM) spans a broad category of systems, strategies and tools designed to improve organizational processes that involve the capture, management, preservation and delivery of information. ECM systems can encompass document management, imaging, records management, workflow, regulatory compliance management and collaboration capabilities. These tools help organizations of all sizes and in all industries better organize their structured and unstructured data in an effort to better manage and harness an ever-increasing amount of content.

Numerous analysts firms, industry trade associations, media entities and other organizations have devoted significant resources to study how enterprise content management systems can help companies achieve greater operational efficiencies, improve productivity, protect against data loss and secure confidential information. We’ve published a white paper entitled The Business Case for Enterprise Content Management that features a collection of such research, and is designed to provide organizations with fact-based data points that reinforce the business case for deploying an ECM solution — and below are a few highlights from this resource.

The Business Case for Enterprise Content Management - A Collection of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Document Management Research Data

Reducing Operational Costs

The costs associated with creating, storing, searching for, retrieving, printing and copying files are growing at a phenomenal rate. Beyond the sizable labor costs related to handling and maintaining paper documents, hard copy storage also incurs ongoing material expenses. Printing and copying do not disappear entirely in a paperless environment, but when paper no longer constitutes the primary medium for information storage and distribution, an organization prints and copies significantly less.

  • Organizations can reduce the size of their server farms by 30% to 50% if each document or email attachment is stored just once. (AIIM)
  • Changing to a culture of electronic-only filing would reduce office space allocated to filing storage from 14.5% to 5.9% — a 60% reduction. (AIIM)

The Impact of Lost Data and Information Security Breaches

Without an effective enterprise content management system in place, organizations spend enormous amounts of time, effort and money searching for lost and misfiled documents. This often results in poor decision making due to out-of-date or incomplete information, duplicated efforts and lost productivity.

  • 59% of middle managers say they miss important information almost every day because it exists within the company, but they cannot find it. (Accenture)
  • The average cost of a data breach within the U.S. has risen to approximately $7.2m. (Ponemon Institute)

An enterprise content management system can improve organizational decision making and productivity by eliminating inefficiencies in document retrieval processes

The Intersection of Information Management and Compliance

The compliance arena is becoming more complicated and complex each year. The requirement for companies to adhere to industry regulations and standards has led to a growing realization that maintaining reliable, electronic-based and searchable records is critical to the well-being of an organization.

  • There are more than 14,000 federal, state and industry laws, standards and regulations that dictate how long to keep paper and electronic records. (Cadence)
  • More than 90% of respondents cite meeting regulatory records retention requirements as the main reason their organization has implemented, or is planning to implement, a records and information management program. (IDC and ARMA)

Organizations face increasing pressure to improve efficiencies, optimize business processes, comply with the growing complexity of regulations and reduce costs. Without an effective strategy and system in place to effectively manage vital information assets, organizations are at risk for operational inefficiencies, information security breaches, data loss, compliance and audit challenges, legal issues and a host of other negative consequences. Effective enterprise content management solutions enable companies to meet these challenges head-on, while simultaneously mitigating risks, improving collaboration and decision making and delivering a strong ROI.

For more information read our white paper: The Business Case for Enterprise Content Management

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Greg is the vice president of marketing at M-Files Corporation, where he oversees worldwide marketing initiatives and manages M-Files’ North American operations. Prior to M-Files, Greg served as CEO of Alibre, Inc., a 3D CAD/CAM software vendor, as well as Vice President of Marketing for Knowledge Revolution, an engineering software vendor acquired by MSC Software. He also co-founded AccelGraphics, a 3D graphics hardware provider that grew to IPO in three years and was the eighth fastest growing public company in Silicon Valley in 1997. Greg holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

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