When an enterprise selects an effective content management solution it is best to do so placing the end-user as the key consideration, according to Greg Lock, enterprise content management (ECM) solutions architect at Itec, the office technology solutions company.
“Developers will develop software that they think is easy to use, but the true test lies in ensuring that your end-user, who is often not as well versed with the software, is able to understand and use the software effectively,” said Lock.
Lock described technology, which has become much more user friendly, as one of the largest shifts in the ECM market.
“In the past ECM solutions were limited in their ability to balance end user needs and business processes, which means that it was complex and not necessarily well-structured,” said Lock.
ECM in the past typically included straight-forward archiving, meaning documents were scanned or imported into a storage and is retrieved later.
Today’s ECM market, however, sees the solutions designed in line with the business in question, its processes, workflows, and also takes the end-user into consideration.
“Technology is also becoming a lot more accurate. For example: optical character recognition (OCR), which allows for the conversion of scanned images into machine-encoded text and improves search functionality dramatically,” said Lock.
Lock said this is inclusive of security, configuration, enhanced searching capabilities, and confidentiality processes, which secures information that is not intended for broad availability as well as the means by which both business processes and documents are managed.
Regarding mobility within the ECM market, Lock said: “We are seeing an increasing need for clients to access their documents remotely through mobile devices. Regardless of the size of the client, ensuring mobility is built into the ECM solution is becoming absolutely critical nowadays.”
In terms of critical system sustainability, Lock said it is imperative for solutions providers to work with their clients in order to ensure adequate backups and recovery methodologies are in place should the need arise to restore it in the event of downtime.
According to Lock, solutions providers must involve themselves with this at the infrastructure level right through to the end.
“Customisation and configuration requirements must be taken into account – each customer has their own unique needs and the responsibility lies with the solutions provider to ensure that their software meets those needs,” said Lock, adding post-installation as also critical.