Set my content free!

By Doug Miles posted 09-28-2012 13:43


Just completed an AIIM White Paper called “Content Access – maximizing availability across the enterprise” (download here). It was actually triggered by a remark from Perceptive Software that most greenfield sites for ECM already have their content electronically saved and stored - but it’s mostly living inside ERP, CRM or HR systems. So it’s not a problem to get at it…unless: you don’t have an ERP login; you can login but you don’t have permissions; the user interface is difficult or you aren’t trained; you don’t have remote or mobile access to ERP; you want to search across content from more than one system; you need to make it available to others outside the organization; you need to set a uniform retention period; you need to run e-discovery on it… 

Of course, providing information workers with ready access to the documents and content that they need to do their job is a given – in fact in the survey we ran, 71% of respondents consider ready access to documents to be “vital” to staff productivity and effectiveness. A further 18% consider it to be “somewhat essential”. But when it comes to taking action to ensure that universal information access is in place, 30% admit they have been slow to do much about it. A further 40% are getting there, but it is somewhat patchy across the organization.

Even though 36% are committed to a central ECM system and a further 24% are rationalizing departmental systems with a view to future integration, it’s not always so easy to get agreement as to which system should be the master content store, especially where ERP has its own powerful governance committee. And for a majority of the respondents, these political issues are much greater than the technical issues involved. One way to move this issue on is to focus on the remote, mobile and external access requirements. If ECM is the master store, the access and security problems only have to be solved once. Of course, it is then a pre-requisite that the ECM system is actually accessible from mobile devices, and it seems only 10% have any form of access, with only 5% having optimized apps for this.

Then, of course, there is the question of leadership. Who in the business is most strongly driving the commitment to improved content and document access? Well, it’s the CIO in 27% of organizations, but it’s also quite likely to be the Records Manager or head of records. Now this may seem appropriate, and in many cases I’m sure these information professionals will understand the importance of universal information access, but one has to ask if it's a bit like asking the jailer to be in charge of the parole process…

#ERP #Informationaccess #SAP #ECM