With the rise of remote work, businesses need an effective content management strategy to manage the increasingly complex information environment. Content is essential for internal workflows and external touchpoints, but many organizations lack an enterprise content management (ECM) capability to manage the quality, findability, delivery, and risk of their content across organizational processes. Therefore, to thrive in today’s digital world, it is becoming increasingly apparent that organizations must develop an ECM strategy, either on its own or as part of broader information management strategies. To help businesses organize their documents and files to enhance content discoverability, global IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group has published its research Develop an Enterprise Content Management Strategy and Roadmap.
“As remote work becomes more common, digital formats such as videoconference recordings and online chats have become a key part of the information deposit,” says Andrea Malick, research director at Info-Tech Research Group. “However, keeping records of chats, emails, and other digital communication is subject to various regulations related to record retention, audit, and e-discovery. In addition, these critical records are no longer limited to a centralized, controlled environment. To navigate this complex information landscape, businesses must understand it thoroughly and take effective measures to manage it.”
Info-Tech’s research explains that organizations face many obstacles when developing an effective ECM strategy. One major challenge is the exponential growth of organizational content, which can quickly become overwhelming to manage. Additionally, the digital revolution is accelerating market disruption and forcing organizations to transform or risk being left behind. Unfortunately, many businesses struggle to define a roadmap for developing ECM strategies and capabilities since there is currently no established body of knowledge in this area.
To maximize the effectiveness of the ECM initiatives, Info-Tech recommends three key steps. First, identify the root causes behind the ECM improvement opportunities and create a future-state vision for the ECM capability. Second, collaborate with stakeholders to develop an ECM roadmap. Finally, invest in change management to ensure a successful ECM implementation by consulting with and informing users and stakeholders early and often.
The firm’s new blueprint defines an organization’s ECM capability as six interrelated concepts working together to enable superior content access and delivery for an organization. Info-Tech recommends organizations use the following framework for an effective ECM strategy:
- Information architecture to enable content findability within ECM operations.
- Information governance to ensure content management quality assurance, security, and risk management.
- Process management to allow content to move through processes and workflows.
- System architecture to support the automation of content management.
- Change management to introduce new ECM capabilities to users.
- Capability governance to sustain and provide continuous improvement to the entire ECM operation.
Info-Tech explains in the blueprint that ECM is a vast and complex concept, so it’s essential for IT leaders to be practical and not take on more than what can be handled. Therefore, it is vital to consider the organization’s maturity level in ECM, the objectives, the available resources to develop a realistic plan for what it can accomplish in the current iteration, and what will have to wait for future releases.