6 major criteria for choosing a top-notch ECM solution

With this era’s technological booming, ECM solution providers have become dispersed in every corner of the world. Choosing an ECM solution has become a difficult task due to the competitive solutions out there. Deciding on a vendor can really become a hassle, so what should you look for in choosing an ECM solution? These key criteria are of utmost importance to your selection process.

Integration with your existing software applications:

A quality ECM solution must have the capability to easily integrate with third-party legacy applications. It should give you the most compatibility with the widest range of software platforms with minimal development effort. To make the most of your technological investment, an ECM solution must offer you flexibility to manage and store documents related to structured data in third-party applications. It must provide you with a 360 degree view of your information, instantly enabling you to seamlessly access files and documents related to your accounting entries, HR files, procurement data, proofs, contract etc….

Scalability and Modularity:

An effective ECM solution should be able to grow as your company’s requirements grow, in terms of both features and number of users. Do not base your decision on your current needs; instead, select a solution that supports your future requirements. In order to achieve that objective, you need to consider two aspects: Scalability and Modularity.

A scalable ECM solution must be flexible enough to support the ability to scale up server specifications, to cover the increasing load and performance requirements. As the implemented solution becomes more and more critical to your business, it must be able to scale out to add the needed number of servers by supporting a more complex hosting architecture.

With business requirements growing over time, a modular solution must enable you to add additional features and capabilities, without reconsidering any initial investments made or affecting the overall system performance.

Cloud Ready:

Traditional business applications have always been very complicated and expensive. The amount and variety of hardware and software required to run them are daunting. Cloud has today replaced traditional business applications and has grown in popularity; thousands of companies are rebranding their non-cloud products and services to support the Cloud.

It is pivotal that you go with a cloud-ready solution, to allow your organization to access, store and manage your content securely on a private or public cloud.

Therefore you must clearly understand the vendor’s cloud strategy, or roadmap before you proceed with the selection process.

Cloud is highly recommended, as it requires a minimum capital investment, provides improvement in productivity and efficiency within a few weeks from implementation, and offers a high ROI.

Mobility, Cross-Platforms and Cross-Devices:

Accessing information has become needed anywhere, anytime and through mobile devices. Mobility has become an essential driver for the expanded use of content in various organizations and industries. Mobility increases the productivity of individual employees, improves team collaboration, reduces errors and helps streamline decision-making processes.

An up-to-the-minute ECM solution must provide mobile capture, mobile processing, as well as the ability to search and find content through mobile devices. In addition, it should enable browsing, deleting and restoring past document versions, as well as downloading documents for offline access.

Security, Monitoring and Reporting:

While content is currently displayed on the internet, it has become jeopardized by threats such as security holes, web hacking, spams, viruses, and other security breaches.

Therefore, it is crucial to secure computing facilities, physical assets, building and personnel, as well as access control and power. The ECM solution you choose must offer a content security matrix that secures content, implements content privacy, provides encryption and mobile security, and gives access to authorized personnel.

In addition, the ECM solution must be backed by a monitoring engine recording user activities versus content in order to maintain full control and governance over your content accessibility.

Return On Investment:

It is known that ECM solution prices vary between low and high capital investments. Therefore, it is important to select an ECM solution that suits your company’s requirements and offers you a high ROI. You must be sure that the ECM solution you are purchasing is going to pay for itself and produce a return on investment (ROI).

The ROI of an ECM solution is usually realized within the first 12 to 18 months of deployment. Some fundamental cost savings quickly elevate, including employee reallocation of resources to value-added tasks, reduced paper consumption, reclaimed floor space once you ditch your physical document storage shortcomings, elimination of other services such as offsite storage, courier and shipping fees, etc…

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