Everyday, more and more large organizations are taking on enterprise content management software to manage their business. As they collect an increased amount of data in order to understand their customers and improve how they function, they’re discovering the greater need for Content Management software.
With Enterprise Content Management (ECM), businesses can handle multiple tasks at one time, integrate every single team member, and secure important files and documents that are essential to their day-to-day activities. They’re also able to collect all of their documents into one place, track project progression, and easily sync up with email, social media platforms, and other integrations they utilize.
In a time when being digital is essential, ECM software is allowing businesses to transfer their documents from paper to computer to mobile, simply. ECM keeps everyone up to date, as well as ahead of the curve.
Budgeting for Content Management software
First and foremost, Content Management software is an investment. It is a solution that will require funding over time. Given the high return on investment and the amount of time, energy, and resources it saves in the long run, the cost is absolutely justified.
Research from Coopers and Lybrand shows that employees waste 20 to 40% of their time at work looking for documents, manually. A study by AIIM found that when employees have remote access to company documents, efficiency rises 20 to 25%.
Additionally, a report from IDC divulged that the typical enterprise, which has 1,000 workers, throws away $2.5 to $3.5 million per year looking for non-existing information, not being able to locate existing information, and reproducing information that simply cannot be found.
ECM software can cost as low as $30,000 to upwards of $1 million depending on the needs of each business. The CFO or CIO of a business decides what features should be included in the software. They round out the company’s spending budget by taking into account the cost of physical equipment (such as servers, scanners, and computers), along with working hours required for installation. The CFO or CIO also tracks what their current processes are costing the company, allowing them to visualize what an investment in ECM software could end up saving them.
Enterprises are seeing a boost in their ROI when they sign up for ECM software. According to Nucleus Research, in 2014, the return for every dollar spent was $7.50, up from $6.12 in 2012. That amount will continue to grow. ECM software users gained more than 400% ROI within five years of implementation, according to a study from IDC. When was the last time you saw a percentage like that for ROI?
Determining the ROI of ECM software for your business is no easy task. Enterprise content management and document management systems are complicated machines with an endless array of moving parts and intricate components. To make a firm conclusion, your business must ensure that all variables are accurately captured and that new technology costs are diligently recorded. Soon, calculating the ROI of your ECM software will become no more elaborate than an equation; dividing the cumulative total after tax cash flow by the initial investment you’ve made.
Finding a Content Management provider
The best path for implementing ECM software is to find a provider that will work with your business’ resources to find you the best possible solution, customizing it to fit your needs. Neither settling for a generic ECM software nor trying to find the time to build one yourself are going to be as favorable to a large business.
Since there are so many aspects to ECM, one software provider may not meet all your needs. Sometimes, companies that offer software team up with re-sellers and partners to ensure that you have all the physical equipment, technology, and training required to get started. From imaging software and equipment, to a direct focus on management and collaboration.
Collaborate with re-sellers who have strategic partnerships instead of doing all the research yourself. Just make sure the re-sellers you’re working with have extensive experience in the areas you need help with or are looking to improve. Look for a re-seller that has won awards of excellence, has the proper certifications, and offers great technical support.
The ECM software execution process can certainly not be done overnight. A change that big has many steps and will take much of your time. However, the advantages greatly outweigh the effort you’ll undoubtedly put in towards bringing your business to that next level.
A version of this article was published as How to Budget and Prepare Your Business for an ECM Solution by Kylie Ora Lobell on October 19th, 2015.