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Everything You Need to Know When Evaluating Managed Content Software

Bill Dermody
11/16/2021
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With so many managed content technologies available, choosing the right enterprise content management (ECM) solution for your business can be overwhelming. Here are our primary tips to consider when choosing the ECM solution that will satisfy your business’s needs and align with your business goals.

Before diving into any project to upgrade your content management technology, first identify your key business challenges and pain points. Although many business challenges can be translated across different businesses and industries, every business has unique challenges in relation to business information workflows and processes.

For example, your main challenge may be that you’re overwhelmed by information because it is disorganized, misfiled or lost. Your business would benefit from an ECM solution that reduces the time it takes to retrieve files, making documents searchable and easier to file. You will benefit from streamlined workflows and more carefully categorized. Here’s three points we ask our customers to consider when moving to a new content management system.

Determine the Right Amount of Complexity

Companies need to know what each proposed solution requires and the basic functionality that it is capable of providing. At its core, a managed content solution should streamline business process management. With each additional layer of capabilities built into it, be certain that you are eliminating pain points and not just adding more complexity.

By understanding how much is too much, companies can choose the right content solution for them, cloud-based or not, rather than selecting one that is too much to handle.

To guarantee that your ECM meets your company's needs, it’s important to gauge ease of use. Software should be as easy to use as it is powerful. Even though consumer technology has made us more aware, it’s also possible that it’s made us more impatient.

We expect to have information delivered instantly through a streamlined application, and we sometimes fail to recognize all that goes into delivering it. We think it is important to test drive the technology before implementing to make sure your people find it helpful.

Solve Real-World Problems

It’s easy to get seduced by a software solution that offers automated processes or even artificial intelligence technology. But before choosing a solution, see what your people are struggling with to find the product that will be the best fit for your organization.

Spreadsheets have a purpose, but primarily for identifying features and basic needs. They are not good for building advanced use cases and workflows for an organization. For that, you need usage scenarios, which offer a more complete picture and help uncover useful questions.

A scenario is a story that explains how a user's interaction with the system to achieve a business objective. A scenario encapsulates lots of specific requirements and gives them greater meaning and context.

These are the four attributes of an effective scenario:

  • It is written with specific users in mind.
  • It addresses an important and commonly executed task.
  • It references the content that you intend to manage.
  • It is open-ended enough to expose the difference in product design and approach.

Evaluate Cost Compared to Value Delivered

You’d be surprised how many IT departments forget to consider profitability when researching new solutions. Unfortunately, the economic recession has many executives demanding to know what their enterprise content management is delivering an they want to see a cost/benefit analysis. 

To ensure that your content management solution is serving the needs of your people, make sure to have the right people involved in the decision. Your technical and business teams need to come together to take inventory of what they currently have in place and how other solutions can impact the way they do business.

If you’d like help evaluating your businesses’ managed content needs, contact the ECM experts at the Gordon Flesch Company. Our team of analysts will help you tackle any workflow challenge in a pragmatic and thoughtful way.

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