Too many cooks spoiling your CMS? Let’s talk Governance

January 14th, 2010

Even if you have a relatively small implementation of a content management system (pay attention SharePoint people- it can get out of hand very quickly)!  Before you have to spend hours of time managing and modifying content, web parts, dormant pages and sites, the right thing to do now is develop your GOVERNANCE.

Governance is more than “who can do what”.  It is an essential part of your information architecture, right up there with Lifecycle, content types, and Meta data.  Good governance (along with good design and training) will create a common understanding of how content is identified in the system.

Governance is not an exercise in “busy work”, it is the necessary pre-work that needs to be enforced as you load your CMS with content, multiple collaborative environments, and extensive document libraries.

It is the organizational equivalent of knowing where to put everything in your kitchen, as an example.  We all have a silverware drawer, pot cabinet, the cabinet where the plates, glasses, and baking tins go, and the entire family puts everything in the correct places or chaos will ensue.  Imagine if ice cream was put with the pots and pans, or the silverware hidden in the pantry, and the cereal was under the sink! 

If you follow the rules, and in some Kitchens “Mama” makes the rules (governance), then you already know what governance is, and how to follow it!  You also know that Mama may smack you with her wooden spoon, especially if you don’t follow the rules!

So when it’s time to bake a good governance policy, Take a step back, and think of what would be baking in your Content Management Kitchen!

If you like my analogy, please send muffins or cookies (not .jpg, please!) to me, and I will be happy to give you some additional governance advice!

Scalable capture and document management for everyone!

July 27th, 2009

Update by Stefan Dromlewicz – Director, Content Management Solutions, Origin Technologies Inc.

 

 

The market for content management systems remains relatively strong even in this trying economic climate.  Mid-to-larger size companies that have investments in these technologies are focusing on making their current investments do more for them rather than buying new systems.  Vendors that dominate in these markets are struggling to find net new license opportunities. 

 

Smaller companies have not been able to access document management systems because the cost of these platforms are outside of their reach.  Nevertheless, small companies have similar needs in imaging, document management, compliance, storage, search and retrieval.  Some of the applications or functional areas shared with larger companies include human resources, contract management, and accounts-payable.  Part of the challenge includes the ability to associate electronic documents with other line-of-business applications that store structured data such as medical records, customer information, sales data, shipping data and so-on.

 

Emergent on the market are new platforms that have been specifically designed to service the needs of small business.  A significant entrant in this space is ImagePro Techologies Inc. http://www.imageprotech.com  IPT recently launched their docCompass line of imaging and document management products.  The feature set includes a highly scalable content management repository with a suite of capabilities including scanning, indexing, search, workflow and additional tools that allow users to fax or email documents directly from the web-based user interface.  A lot of thought has gone into the design of the user interface making this application pleasing to use, and contains most of the core functionality found in vastly more expensive systems available from other vendors.

 

Early implementation success indicates the fulfillment of needs in this kind of market.  In particular – capture applications provide one of the most rapid ROI’s for any company as indicated by a recent study by AIIM[1].  Productivity gains of 20 to 40 percent are common.  With these kinds of numbers, we expect an accelerated uptake in adoption by small businesses of all kinds.  Content management as a mainstream, must-have competitive advantage could be among the next wave in priorities for IT investments.

 

 

[1]  New AIIM Study Reveals Investments in Document Capture Produces Rapid and Considerable Cost Savings in Less Than 12 Months.

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS119914+15-Jul-2009+PRN20090715

 

Contact author direct:  sdromlewicz@imageprotech.com

 

Finding Money for ECM Projects

May 27th, 2009

It is very clear that the financial crisis has severely impacted top-level technologies like Content Management.  The CIO, CFO, and the Management team may approach you, preaching the mantra of doom and gloom (budget cuts), Which means you need to find a way to do more with less. 

So how do we find more money?  Where is it hiding? As a management consultant, this is what I do.  When clients and associates call me, feeling the pressure of the economy, I dive right in and start the hunt for revenue.

First, I look at the phone system.  Is it current?  Are you using VOIP and getting the features of a modern system?  If your system is more than 3 or 4 years old, I can find big bucks with a Telephony audit.  My vendors saved a client $20k per month last year – Almost a quarter of a million dollars in reduced expenditures!  This kind of money means staff retention, saving YOUR job, and found money for the sorely needed Content Management system.  Sometimes there is an initial cost, but Iwill provide an ROI model that makes it all clear.

Secondly, I look at the data center.  Do you need it?  Can we co-locate it? are you using virtualization? Is remote hosting an option? Is there adequate power? is the power expensive (in NYC, YES!), and is the real estate more valuable as office space or data center? This will require new ways of thinking, but here is the Mantra:

If you keep doing what you have been doing,

You will keep getting what you have been getting.”

Change is the most difficult part of this formula.  If you are so ingrained and rigid that you can’t change, then consider preparing your resume.  Your replacement – trust me on this - will be a whirlwind of change and cost reduction.  Staffing levels are being reviewed all the time, and remember, we are staff, and no one is irreplaceable.  Keep in mind that change cannot be haphazard or impulsively implemented.  Planning and procedures must be in place to reduce the risk in moving to any new system. 

There are lots of other places to find cost reduction.  Advertising.  SEO Services. Hosting costs.   The nuts and bolts of business must constantly be examined, verified, and checked for new efficiencies that drive costs down.

While attending the Interop show, I made  friends with a rep who turns a typical call center into a distributed call center, and this works either inbound or outbound;  your operators can work from home with an Internet connection (no commuting cost, no call center needed (no real estate costs), and all the work is done remotely using new high speed switch technology, video training, and on-line supervisors.  The software is amazing, especially when you realize the cost savings! 

Before your projected budget sends you into a tailspin, consider some of the options I mentioned, send me an email (achenkin@yahoo.com) to get specific details about where to start looking, and begin to change the perception of your management!  If you do this pro-actively, you will continue to be a trusted and neccesary member of your company’s management team.

There are new ways of doing business all around you; Web 2.0, on-line commerce,  new technology, and more.  It is very likely that your business can save real money, and reap the benefits of this change before all your competition does!

It’s time to carve out some time to get (someone like me) working to preserve your business and find the means to fund an ECM initiative.  It is very likely the money is right in front of you, we just need to expose it!

Why is eDiscovery so expensive?

April 29th, 2009

The costs of e-Discovery have shifted to the defendant.  It can cost over $5000 per PC to perform adequate forensics on the drive, and this does not include employee downtime from temporary loss of hardware.  Additionally, paying attorneys to perform document and e-mail review can be up to $3.00 per page.

 

When computers were invented, we had to adapt to the machine to put information into databases in a specific way so the machines could understand the input.  Today, we have a variety of user-friendly applications on the desktop that create “unstructured data”.  Unstructured data is non-relational data generally created on desktops or laptops (i.e. MS Office applications, PDFs, text files, pictures, video, etc).  This type of information exists throughout the organization and is difficult  (and expensive) to search for e-Discovery.

 

This unstructured information creates unnecessary risks, as it is the fastest growing, yet it contains more confidential information than anywhere else in the enterprise.

 

 

 

As information is grows at 50 to 75% per year… a majority of it (approximately 80%) is stored on laptops desktops and other devices that are off the network.  Companies are increasing required to maintain/track all data in the enterprise.  Without a clear solution, many companies adopt a conservative approach to “keep everything forever”.  This is inefficient, as it slows down searching and  saves information that may expose the company legally.  It is expensive, as studies show that only about 20%  of the data is relevant to the business.

 

E-mail and desktops are a favorite target of litigators… and copies of important files on desktops are legal landmines.  Users who maintain a local copy of files beyond retention dates create legal liability for the organization.  Other users who don’t upload to a central repository create risk and lost intellectual capital.

 

90% of all business records today are created electronically… and 81% of records are at risk for spoliation (accidental or intentional withholding, hiding or destroying evidence prior to a legal proceeding).   Penalties can include job loss, fines and even jail time.  Today, under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, companies must have an auditable, legally defensible process to prove that a document does (or does not) exist.