In the last ten years, IT teams have made decisions to buy business IT solutions to combat their historical reputation as buyers of complex, high-cost, slow-implementation systems.
And yet, these “safe” decisions have resulted in systems that were not initially expensive, but have proven to be expensive and difficult to maintain in the long run. Instead of improving the processes, they only perpetuated the department’s reputation.
IT departments are now trying to provide unique and useful information related to the purchasing process to become a business partner that is essential to choosing a technology option.
In the Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECM) market, the role of IT is very important because ECM manages critical information to achieve the business mission that has complex needs. IT and business should see the ECM as a business investment that is able to bring long-term value and continuous improvement.
However, in order to be more than just a technology provider and to have an impact on how organizations use information systems, IT must accept some unpleasant truths when evaluating ECM systems.
Read on to understand the two key elements that IT needs to understand in order to make an ECM purchasing decision for their organization.
IT providers use the same name to describe products for various purposes
Enterprise Content Management systems address a wide range of business issues. Because there are so many usage scenarios and so few naming conventions for ECM technologies, IT vendors often use the same term to describe different products.
This means that products designed to solve various problems often have overlapping names. When potential suppliers are compared, this leads to confusion.
We can take, for example, the term workflow. It is a term used in every ECM technology on the market. However, even if the technologies share the name, they are not meant to do the same things, not even to solve similar problems.
What can you do about it?
All ECM technologies are designed to solve a certain set of problems and to work with a certain type of user. Before you start looking for the right solution, do the following:
- Make every effort to understand the content issues in your organization.
- Think about the people who will use this solution.
- Understand the history of the supplier and the product they sell. Most ECM solutions come from two ‘schools’:
- Collaborative control of frequently modified documents.
- Capture, manage, process fixed content, form documents or processes determined by business cases (cases).
Very few ECM vendors have a single product capable of addressing both scenarios properly. A provider who understands this is the one who has your interest as a priority, the one who shares your goal. Combining this knowledge with the information around the problem and users will help you make a more efficient decision.