ECM ROI

The belts are tightening around the economy and will probably stay that way for a while. The importance of the all-mighty Return On Investment has just gotten all-mightier.

THIS article does a good job of reminding us just what is at stake with Enterprise Content Management. Here's a reprint of the top 10 issues surrounding Document Management (not to mention, Web management, records, encryption, and centralized information management for all business systems). These come from the linked article above, which got them from Pam Doyle’s (from Fujitsu’s scanner group) presentation at the AIIM road show in Chicago that had these “fast facts” about document management:

1. Companies spend $20 in labor to file a document, $120 in labor to find a misfiled document, and $220 in labor to reproduce a lost document.

2. 7.5 percent of all documents get lost; 3 percent of the remainder get misfiled.

3. Professionals spend 5 – 15 percent of their time reading information, but up to 50 percent looking for it.

4. The average document photocopied 19 times.

5. There are over 4 trillion paper documents in the U.S. alone and they are growing at a rate of 22% per year (PricewaterhouseCoopers).

6. Corporate users received an average of 18 megabytes (MB) of e-mail per day in 2007; E-mail is expected to grow to over 28 MB per day by 2011.

7. Users send and receive an average of 133 e-mail messages per day (Radicati Group).

8. A single FAX machine costs $6,200 per year (Captaris); the average time to manually FAX a document is 8 minutes.

9. The average cost to send a package via courier service is between $8 and $15.

10. The cost of office space has increased 19% (Office Space Across the World 2008).

Comments:

Hmm.... Is it really about ECM ROI? 1. This is fair but ECM promise to improve the situation here is somewhat elusive 2-3, 5. The real return on the buck is in Search which depending on your point of view may or may not belong to ECM. 4, 6-9. It is more about Collaboration not ECM 10. Remote workforce?

Posted by Andrei Filimonov on November 13, 2008 at 03:00 AM CST #

Here is what I see as how Oracle ECM answers the ROI outlined above: 1) ECM as a discipline first and then a technology helps by reducing the number of times you have to (re)create a file. Central storage (logically if not physically) means single authoritative version of the content. It also means that items are not misfiled and lost. Worse case scenario: they're mis-classified in the ECM system. Solution: not recreation, just re-tag/classify. 2-3,5) I agree that search is part of it, but it's only part. Finding the information is critical. But pull based location (i.e. search) is just one way to get at it. ECM allows logical centralization which means at worst you have one search interface to go through. Even better though, ECM provides suggestion, push or pull subscription, intelligent routing, and percolation of relevant content (e.g. via ratings, usage statistics, and "users also liked item XYZ" ala amazon but for information). On number 5 specifically, the rate of information growth is certainly exacerbated by the rate of re-production (north of 7.5% according to point 2). Controlling loss and misplacement decreases the rate of information growth allowing more *relevant* information to go into the system rather than glut and endless out of sync copies. 4, 6-9) I disagree that these are about collaboration (only). Points 4, 8 & 9 are about distribution. The purpose (collaborative or not) is irrelevant. Having a logically central "content hub" is vital for synchronization and good collaboration. Furthermore ECM allows channel sensitive distribution where a single authoritative version of the content is managed but is rendered in the channel sensitive output. If the channel is print, a high resolution PDF or Image format is probably best. If the channel is web, a lower resolution HTML or XML version that is templated and presented in the context of the rest of the site is important. If the channel is API or system to system, then the ability to render the content as XML or as a SOAP payload (for example) is important. These versions, though, should not be separate and distinct from the original. That would make the information management problem even worse. Instead they should be available, on demand, generated from the single authoritative version of the native file that is stored in the system. Points 6&7 (about email) ARE about collaboration I think but not just about collaboration. Emails are a legally discoverable (liability) asset. As such they need to be managed like any other critical business information asset. The ability to Archive and store emails for compliance as well as to keep the infrastructure humming (with capabilities like deduplication and stubbing - great for distribution list messages!) is important. That is true ECM. Point 10 is indeed about remote workforce. But the question that begs is how will the remote workforce get access to critical business information. Certainly not FAX and not paper. It's ECM!

Posted by billy on November 13, 2008 at 04:51 AM CST #

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