Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cost-Saving ECM Advice from the Experts

These days, you can practically find an “ECM Expert” on any corner. Heck, I even pretend to be one once in a while. However, I honestly believe that the real experts are those IT leaders who are putting content management technology to work in their own organizations. These are the managers and staff that have to live with the potential risks associated with new technology introductions. They’ve seen the consequences of good, and not so good software deployments and have learned how to deal with them.

That’s why I’m excited to tell you about a series of case studies that Xythos has just published which chronicle the challenges and successes experienced by three different enterprises intent upon improving how they manage content across their business. Oddly, none of these organizations set out to use ECM to reduce their operating expenses, yet in the end each found measurable cost savings resulting from their content management “experiments”.

In today’s challenging economic environment, I’m sure each of these organizations is thankful for the efficiencies they’ve gained from adopting a content management solution. That’s why I believe that you’ll find reading about their experiences useful as well. I’ve included a brief excerpt below to get you started. If you would like to learn more, just click on the link at the end of this post . As always, please let me know what you think. Jim

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Requirements-based Project Management Yields ECM Cost Savings

Often, budget cuts force IT Departments to move in different directions and investigate creative solutions. That was certainly the case for the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee’s (UWM) IT Department when, in 2003 a $1 million budget cut left the management team scrambling to try and maintain service levels for their faculty, students and staff.

Lucky for the university, CIO, Bruce Maas, had already begun to champion the idea of standardization of IT service delivery across the large campus. “In times of breaking budgets, you need to focus carefully on delivering the fundamental requirements that your customers need,” said Maas. His department had recently conducted “customer” interviews intended to document user requirements within various campus departments that it served. “We found that many of the services IT was providing could have better economies of scale through standardization. These included items like helpdesk services, middleware and even content management and collaboration.”

Maas’ team discovered that commonly used technologies could be delivered as ‘leveraged services’ more cost effectively by standardizing service delivery, training and support across the campus. Software licenses could be consolidated, hardware costs reduced and select IT support personnel could become service experts while freeing others for alternate tasks. However, “none of these advantages could have been realized if we had not focused on customer requirements first,” Maas added.

Just click here to read the rest of Bruce’s ECM story…

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