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Engaging the Stakeholders of ECM

In today’s Digital Age, data and information are an organization’s lifeblood: What are the 3Q revenues from our best-selling product? How many workers under age 30 do we employ? How many software licenses in our IT enterprise are set to expire this year?

The answers to these questions cross all business lines and exist in an organization’s data environment. The key: translating this data into actionable information. Essentially, information is data presented at the right time, to the right people to make informed decisions to resolve specific issues.

No matter what business we are in, our decisions depend on information based on accurate, timely, and relevant data. If you and your team spend more time searching for data than you do thinking about solutions, then perhaps you need a new data strategy. Here are factors to consider for success:

#1 Every Department Matters: Data affects every portion of your organization. This is not just the IT team’s issue; it’s a “whole of business” issue. Every group, team, and department produces data, and every one of them needs it for decision making.

Successful information governance (IG) and ECM implementations require buy-in from users—not just corporate leadership. If possible, identify key leaders and employees in each department, and include those people in your planning meetings.

Ask for input on how their teams access and use—and wish they could access and use—data in their work. Are there files a group needs to archive but rarely uses? Is a department struggling with multiple copies and levels of security? Do they need to track who and when files are accessed?

As you detail the requirements and timeline for ECM migration, incorporate the input from stakeholders and include them in testing and implementation.

#2 Lead Up: Depending on the size of an organization, the CEO may or may not speak into decisions about information governance and ECM. CEOs in smaller companies tend to engage in day-to-day operations, and conversely, CEOs of larger companies tend to leave daily operations to department heads. The key to successful ECM implementation in either scenario lies in demonstrating the return on investment that efficient IG can bring.

From selecting the right software to gathering and preparing data to training users, implementing ECM requires a significant investment of time and money. How will that pay off for the company? What efficiencies will result? How will teams work better together? Is there time savings? What recurring costs—or redundant processes—can be reduced or eliminated? What can be streamlined? How long will it take to experience the benefits?

The answers to these questions provide top management—the CEO plus the CFO and other C-level execs—with the information to not only make real-time decisions about ECM but also to gain approvals from a board of directors or investors. As you and your team choose software and develop a migration plan for ECM, make sure that part of your planning includes engaging company leadership and buy-in. The more they are in the loop, the more they will be rooting for and supporting your implementation project.

#3 Start with IT. While it’s important to include end-users (that’s everyone) and senior management in developing an IG strategy and ECM plan, it’s also essential that your team—from the CIO to the help desk specialists—is on board for change.

ECM implementation falls squarely in the responsibilities of CIOs. Treat CIOs as you would CEOs, but share more details and backup, so they become informed supporters. You may find that your CIO becomes the best advocate for ECM as it transforms data into useful, accessible information. And, the great advocate may have a direct line to top management. According to research, 34% of CIOs report directly to the CEO, and CEOs view their IT leaders as key business partners.

As the CIO continues to communicate up the ladder, make sure to engage the rest of the IT directors, managers, techs and specialists. Ask for input on how their internal clients store and use files. What will be helpful to the tech team as they serve human resources, sales, marketing, and other departments in the company? These hands-on specialists know what’s happening in operations, so make full use of their experience. At the same time, keep them informed of plans and timelines because they are the first line of information for internal customers. An informed team makes for a helpful team.

Regardless of your organization, you must have effective ECM to succeed in today’s data-driven marketplace.

FileFacets can make everyone’s job easier by providing everything you need to perform sophisticated content analysis and migration all in one integrated solution. We start with a scan to find all your files and then set protocols to process ROT (redundant, obsolete, trivial) files—resulting in clean and streamlined migration.

Additionally, we’ll provide auto classification, metadata mining and attribution as part of the migration process. FileFacets also allows you to design and test migration plans before deploying them to avoid making costly mistakes. In testing, you can solicit end-user feedback and incorporate departmental requirements into the ECM migration plan.

Heading to the AIIM Conference in March? FileFacets is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the conference and we would love to meet you.

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