Developing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Objectives
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is a strategy, methods or tools utilized by an organization to capture, manage, store, archive and deliver data or information relevant to the organization’s processes. An ECM strategy allows an organization to manage information wherever that information is being stored.
The objective of the ECM should be aligned with the requirements of the organization and its business strategy. It is best advised to utilize solutions available on the commercial market with the option of configuration rather than utilizing customized solutions.
There are some necessary requirements to consider in developing a successful ECM system which are as follows:
– Data Management and Accessibility
The ECM within an organization should provide tools for its users and processes to be stored in a managed source and configured to facilitate the searching of content and its retrieval.
The ECM system should make content accessible and available to authorized users within the organization and limited access to external users.
– Content Security
The ECM should be equipped to restrict unauthorized persons from accessing content which is deemed to be of a confidential nature or critical to the continued existence of the organization.
– Authentication and Legal Requirement
A well designed ECM should have a retention policy which indicates time content which should be kept in accordance to company, legal and regulatory requirements. This also shows authenticity of ECM content.
– Content Management Cycle and Compatibility
Within an organization the ECM should manage content throughout its lifecycle of content creation, modification, retention and disposing of content. In the disposing of content the relevant authorization should be received and legal retention periods taken into consideration.
The design of ECM should make it easy to integrate with other content systems being utilized by the organization.
– Performance and Reliability
The ECM system should be able to process high volumes of content for the users’ access on command within reasonable time whether through conducting searches or retrieving content.
– User Friendly
The ECM system should be easily understood by its users and facilitates an environment for persons to adapt.
Guiding Principles of using ECM in a organization
– Set User Guidelines
This speaks to rules or policies put in place for users to adhere to, in managing content throughout its lifespan. Users should be informed of what is expected of them in this regard and the necessary training implemented for them to utilize these rules in their work processes. Regular monitoring and assessments should be done to ensure compliance with rules and guidelines.
– Process Content
The use of paper content should be kept at a minimum and should be quickly converted to electronic format. Documents that were received in electronic format should be kept as such and do not require printing for paper storage or scanning.
– Classify Content
Clearly identify a method for the organization and categorization of content and utilize automation or manual indexing to facilitate ease of access to search, access, retention and disposition by users. Ensure that the indexing process s structured to address accuracy issues and possible errors.
– Minimize Duplication of Content
I order to avoid unauthorized duplication of content it is best to share information by using links to the content rather than providing copies. Try to have full authorship of content in the same place it will be viewed and avoid the use of shared computer drives and email attachments. Measures should be put in place to ensure users are adhering to the required procedures.
– Make use of ECM Capabilities
The business should do an assessment to ascertain whether or not it is taking full advantage of its ECM capabilities. This should be in line with its strategy in order to improve business productivity and improve automated content for ease of use.
– Make ECM system User Friendly
ECM systems should display speed, accuracy and reliability in the content it provides to users and should be clear of any ambiguity. Authorized users to include those in distributed locations should have ease of access to content when prompted.
– Secure Content
The organization should put control measures in place with the use of ECM system capabilities to protect unauthorized persons from accessing pertinent content or unauthorized duplication. The organization should do periodic reviews of control measures and make adjustments where necessary.
In order to get maximum benefits from an investment into an ECM system, an organization should be clear on the type and specifications of an ECM system that best suits their requirements and should follow the guiding principles while implementing it in its record keeping processes over the years in order to reap fruitful results.