Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top 10 Ways to Save Money with Enterprise Content Management

We’ve been compiling a list like this for a while and it seems like now is particularly good time to share some of the ideas and suggestions that we’ve received on the subject. Is this the best list or the one likely to address the needs of most readers? I don’t know. However, if just one or two of the items on it can help your organization become more efficient, responsive or secure then I’ll consider the effort a success.

Even if your business is about crushing boulders using dinosaurs there’s probably still paperwork involved (or at least stone tablets, if you live in Bedrock). The point is that where there’s paperwork there are probably business processes developed around those documents. Those processes that continue to rely upon the exchange of documents are often the most likely to benefit from improved efficiencies via content management solutions.

Both large and small-sized organizations can enjoy cost savings benefits from these simple changes. In fact, I just learned about a 50 employee company in the insurance industry that has migrated document distribution online and claims to already be saving about $8,000 per month. A larger-sized Xythos customer recently told us they're on schedule to save over $125,000 this year by moving more of their document storage and distribution online with some fairly simple business process changes.

The second major category for cost-saving opportunity with ECM involves what we often call the “Webex test.” This basically involves asking the question “do we all have to be there?” Obviously, its not just meeting’s that can cost plenty, but also all of the collaborative work that takes place before and after meetings. The more this work can be supported by web collaboration tools the less likely expensive travel is required and, in theory the more productive employees can be.

If you don’t believe these kinds of collaborative cost savings can also be material just take a look at IBM. As a result of deploying Lotus SameTime to their many thousands of employees the company claims they are able save more than $8 million per month via web collaboration.

So without any more categorical discussion, here’s our top ten list of ways that you can save money with ECM (if you’re not doing some of these yourself already). As usual, we understand that technology alone is not the answer and recommend that you be ready to adopt a potentially more flexible outlook about how tasks should be performed in what may soon become more location and time independent environments.

Our ECM Cost-Saving Top 10

(Please note that we’ve ranked these items according to estimated ease of actual cost savings measurement, ease of project implementation and relative degree of anticipated cost savings. “Your mileage may vary.”)

1) Reduce travel and entertainment budgets
2) Eliminate document courier services
3) Minimize MFP and printer consumables (paper and toner)
4) Consolidate department file servers
5) Reduce office heating and air conditioning costs
6) Slash administrative and clerical support costs
7) Consolidate data backup and protection
8) Minimize physical document and records storage costs
9) Accelerate content discovery
10) Share office space
11) Improve content re-use ( everyone needs a little something extra these days!)

Worried that cost saving alone isn’t enough incentive to get your organization to take advantage of ECM? Take a look at this recent article in AIIM’s Infonomics magazine about managing change:

Scared of Change – Infonomics

Want to hear more about putting ECM to work for your cost savings initiative? Check out these web resources:

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