The Four Stages of Maturity in Enterprise Content Management

Organizations, much to their benefit, are increasingly recognizing the need to change the manner in which they deal with unstructured content. They realize that the two main drivers are to improve the ease of use and to comply with the new regulations and legislation.

Evidently, when speaking of information management, there is rapid evolvement in the organizations. The changes are quick to happen and most organizations tend to end up going through similar stages.

Stage 1

This involves switching to a paperless work environment by digitizing all content in the organization. There is made available a share network to accommodate the storage of all the internal and policy documents while all the incoming mail is scanned and stored digitally. Over 90% of the organizations at this stage tend to wonder if this mess would ever be more manageable. The volume of documents at times is so humungous that they may take a lot of time or may be entirely unaware of how to succeed to the second stage.

Stage 2

Going in accordance with the already existing business procedures and workflow methods, a suited document management system is introduced and implemented. The main concern then is usually the reduction of ROT data, the identification of duplicates, the quality of data and overall improvement of the structure.

As in most cases, the organization strive for perfection with an ingrained motto of “Doing really well”. However, this turns to be one of the major stumbling blocks faced by the organization in their transition between stages 1 and 2. Mostly, the project is huge and tough to carry out perfectly in a limited time. Rather, it is more practical and advisable for the business to focus on small pragmatic steps, making improvements after a year or two.

Stage 3

While it may have at first looked like a logical implementation, it may not be as much a practical practice when inspected precisely and closely. Digital processes evidently change the manner in which the business used to function previously.

The organizations tend to restart their efforts with document management in the third stage. They intend to optimize the use of the data management systems, trying to avoid making any errors or mistakes they made in the past.

In this stage, most organizations transfer their data from one DMS to another, just about as complex as the first. However, the focus now shifts towards adapting the structure to the latest business processes, ensuring the optimization of the metadata with efforts to add business rules and automated classification.

Stage 4

At Stage 4, most organization have gained much experience with the data management system and they realize the importance of decentralization. They recognize that a single central data management system may not be sufficient enough to meet the need of the organization at a whole. Moreover, they realize that various types of process require varied software and cloud-solutions. The impending question about what kind of content is added directly to the cloud and under what conditions is addressed. The organization thus equips its business processes and practices these cloud solutions.

However, most organizations still remain in the first stage with only a handful having made the transition to a more structured document management. Even fewer are willing to update the system to meet the contemporary requirements. A very small fraction of the organization explore the potential of multiple specialized solutions in an entirely integrated environment like sharepoint for collaboration, Opentext for record management and SAP HANA for ERP. Is your organization stuck is first stage too? Why not transition to the higher stages and simplify your document management?

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