Enterprise Content Management

Before Building an IBM FileNet System, Consider Your ECM Strategy

You are probably reading this because you either own an IBM FileNet system or are considering making the investment. In either case, this article provides some mental floss for that technology-oriented mind of yours.

In general, when developing a corporate technology program, I believe you should approach the topic through four areas of interest: purpose, people, technology and process. As you might expect, different business managers will prioritize each of these areas of interest in a different way. I suggest starting with purpose.

Technicians sometimes struggle to rise above their everyday problems and look at the big picture, but I believe it is a necessary thing to do. To articulate a purpose and a strategy for IBM FileNet, you should first identify how it will align with corporate directives and initiatives. After all, a company must be committed to the technology for the long run – to own it, staff for it, leverage it and even potentially count on it for business success and competitive advantage.

Over the past few years, I found the driving forces for our clients making a FileNet investment are:

a) Compliance and regulatory obligations

b) Risk management

c) Information governance (particularly around Personally Identifiable Information and Protected Health Information)

d) Liability concerns

e) Operational excellence and process automation

f) Market opportunity and pressures

g) Technology obsolescence

Understanding and prioritizing these motivations to meet the needs of your business will help you arrive at an overall ECM strategy easier. Typically, your ECM strategy should address the following:

1. How content (documents, emails, videos, pictures) essential to business success are:

a) Acquired

b) Indexed and stored

c) Secured

d) Retained

e) Archived and/or disposed of

2. The plan to extract business intelligence from your repositories.Can you describe in business terms what this data would be – either in its raw format or aggregated into some business metric?

3. Are you trying to lift one or more key performance indicators (KPIs) by automating, expediting or refactoring the business process? If so, define them.

4. Establish what you’re trying to get out of process reporting and metrics.

You have to know and plan for how FileNet will align with corporate directives and initiatives. If you don’t, you might walk down an unproductive and frustrating path. Many organizations have a variety of concerns about making such a significant investment, so developing an enterprise content management strategy beforehand can be a helpful way to make sure you and your teams stay on track.

Your ECM strategy is just one of many things to consider when designing a FileNet system. Stay tuned for an upcoming white paper about four things to consider when designing a FileNet system. Subscribe to the Pyramid Solutions blog to receive the whitepaper and other ECM tips and tricks right to your inbox. Read Mike’s original blog in Pyramid Solutions’ Tech Corner.

Learn more about FileNet by watching a short video or checking out some other resources on the IBM FileNet product page.

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