Guest Post by Steve Williams
Smart businesses everywhere have begun to take advantage of Enterprise Content Management (ECM). This system helps companies organize, store and retrieve eDocuments. Encompassing a variety of different programs, ECM helps businesses to organize their work flow and be prepared in case of any future litigation. Moving the ECM to the cloud presents even greater benefits.
Benefits of the Cloud
- Security. Prevent the loss of critical data with regular backups of infrastructure hardware and more.
- Cost. A cloud solution costs a fraction of an on-premise ECM solution. The pay-as-you go nature of cloud services also make it scalable to your needs.
- Reliability. Cloud solutions can offer high uptime and keep planned downtimes at a minimum Access. Access all your content remotely through any device (mobile, desktop etc.)
Top 3 Benefits of ECM:
1. Improve Organization
Without an ECM system, employees may find it difficult to access records held by coworkers or find older documents. With an ECM system, the business can reduce its volume of content up to 50%. In the event of litigation, having fewer documents to search through and a more organized system helps employees and lawyers to prepare. The ECM system manages all of the data throughout its lifecycle and keeps it in one central place.
- One central location to retrieve all content.
- Ensures compliance with new standards and policies.
For larger companies, having a central location means lawyers do not have to rush around various locations and can easily carry out the discovery process. To facilitate the legal team’s work, employees should be trained on policies regarding the various regulatory requirements or the company’s internal policies.
Prior to having an ECM system, a company would have to go through files by hand to check and see if workers were complying with the regulations. In the case of a hospital, new policies may get missed by workers. A proper ECM system could alleviate the problem by electronically tracking which employees signed new policy forms and ensure that everyone at the company is on the same page. Numerous state and federal regulations exist—each business must ensure that their employees are complying completely. Without an ECM system to track employee training and policy updates, employers are left without the safeguard they need to make sure that everyone is kept up-to-date on new regulations.
2. Prepare for Litigation
No business plans on having court battles, but in the event that it happens, being prepared early on makes litigation easier. Various regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley require that eDocuments be kept for a certain length of time. The ECM can be set to automatically put documents on hold and store them for a defined period of time. This aspect protects the documents from being deleted on purpose or by accident.
Instead of hiring out help, companies can handle litigation internally and reduce their overall cost. The system seamlessly integrates real-time updates and records prior versions of the file. Although no one intends to have a court case, preparing in advance saves the company valuable time and money.
3. Save Money
Having double copies of a file makes it more difficult for employees to access, change and use data. An ECM system works to prevent this by organizing the volumes of information in one location and with an easily searchable system. A user merely has to type in a keyword in the search box to have their file and related documents popup. Instead of having to search through documents by hand or go to different networks to find data, users have one location that they can access. Overall, this saves the company time and money spent on wages.
The Bottom Line:
Creating an ECM will require some initial spending, but overall the company will see immense savings on labor and IT infrastructure costs by moving to the cloud. If any litigation takes place, the company will save even more money on lawyers’ fees and throughout the discovery process. By being able to easily access old files, the company is protected from any allegations that they violated regulations. This protects them legally and financially.
This system also gets employees out of low-value tasks and into a role that makes the company more money. No more faxing over documents or hand-picking through old files. With a cloud-based ECM system, the program is intended to do all the work so the company does not have to hire an employee to do it.
Across the board, having a cloud-based ECM saves the company money and makes doing business more efficient. It improves the company’s ability to manage information and comply with federal regulations.