Benefits of Seamless ECM Solution

Douglas Vargo, Vice President, Information Management, Paragon Solutions
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Douglas Vargo, Vice President, Information Management, Paragon Solutions

Douglas Vargo, Vice President, Information Management, Paragon Solutions

Please discuss the benefits of cloud computing for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and how have you embraced it:

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) in the cloud enables organizations to reduce costs of ownership, increase speed of implementation, as well as reduce risks associated with large capital investments in ECM, and ensures greater accessibility and a more positive experience for users at every level. But the cloud is not just about storage, cost savings, mobile access and flexibility. It also represents a unique opportunity to rethink and reconfigure how business processes can evolve and benefit from best practice and industry standards.

Before moving to the cloud, Paragon works with organizations to help them understand their overall ECM strategy including conduct an Information Governance Assessment to take into account retention, security classification, privacy, protection of personally identifiable information (PII) particularly for enterprises in the life sciences, healthcare, financial services and insurance industries where privacy risks and compliance demands are great. Paragon also helps navigate cloud options and vendors given the organization’s needs and their compliance risks.  When ready to move to the cloud, we work with firms to migrate content and implement change management programs that will help ensure adoption.

Most organizations have high hopes for using big data analytics in their ECM but many have had challenges in deploying it. What are your thoughts on this:

In recent years, more and more organizations have been introducing data-driven initiatives and strategies and investing in advanced data analytics technologies to facilitate a better understanding of the business intelligence available and drive better business decisions to them. As with any emerging technology, there are obstacles and challenges. The mining and processing of tremendous volumes of data is not an exercise businesses can take lightly. Before an enterprise can reap the benefits of big data, the company needs to know the stakes involved in the process of implementing advanced analytical tools and the digital disruption that is part of the big data equation. The purpose of harnessing big data in an organization is to ensure that critical information is shared throughout the enterprise, creating an opportunity to gain insight and improve processes that will transform the enterprise. While the value of advanced analytics may be obvious, particularly to key leadership, truly shifting organizational practices, promoting analytics-driven behavior and deploying new technologies takes time.

  Developing a convenient, intuitive and user-friendly enterprise content management program that is scalable and digitally responsive is essential to the success of any content strategy 

Please discuss some steps ECM can take to foster innovation and/or growth:

There is an increasing focus on digitally transforming business operations, including the momentum to adopt team collaboration systems, cloud file-shares, workplace social platforms, conferencing and unified communications, scan-to-workflow, forms management, e-signatures, and document collaboration products. This growth requires financial investment, and IT needs to find budget dollars for these initiatives. One way to achieve this is by eliminating maintenance and support costs associated with legacy technologies.

With your rich experience of managing IT organization and steering technology for your enterprise, can you please share some of the unique lessons learned and your advice for fellow CIOs:

A solid information management program needs to be focused on business outcomes and delivering superior customer experience rather than on traditional records management. It is therefore important that governance be the corner stone of your programs and data ownership be established, which is often done by establishing a steering committee with content/data stewards assigned from the business. Paragon helps organizations implement Governance Models including data stewardship programs and define roles to ensure that quality is maintained. With the implementation of cloud and SaaS, data ownership is no longer strictly with IT but may often be with the business unit. Giving Legal ownership of information management and governance is often best because they have the power to drive change and ensure accountability and compliance.

How can technology be used to mitigate rising ECM costs:

Organizations that obtain consumer data are facing massive pressure to comply with regulations that apply to securing that data, including protecting personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). What's more, large enterprises that generate substantial and growing volumes of data from business applications must comply with a wide range of legal, business and regulatory requirements that include long-term data retention policies. Businesses today now risk fines, sanctions or reputational damage if data is not retained or secured for the entire document lifecycle.

In order to effectively manage and secure data, organizations need to be able to locate everywhere this data is stored. File analysis and remediation allows organizations to gain valuable insight into unmanaged file content and reduce overall risk by analyzing and remediating content to manage it in place or move it to an appropriate operational system to achieve information governance. These technologies can ease the burden of search and help the content find the user.

Is ECM software at a crisis or a crossroads:

Advancements in cloud and mobile technologies have put ECM software at a crossroads but I would not say a “crisis.”Organizations cannot continue to invest in ECM to store the exponentially growing volumes of data without taking advantage of what Cloud technologies can provide to extend their ECM program. For many, this will be in the form of a hybrid Cloud, which is a combination of keeping some content on premises in a private cloud as well as using third-party, public cloud services.

What role does ECM play in your content strategy:

Developing a convenient, intuitive and user-friendly enterprise content management program that is scalable and digitally responsive is essential to the success of any content strategy. The right enterprise content management system will not only streamline all of your content into a convenient and accessible database to provide the right access to the right people at the right time; it will include all the application tools that your teams need to be productive, efficient and effective in an intuitive and easy-to-navigate system. An ECM program is only going to work if the end users adopt it and understand its benefits though, which is why training and ongoing communication programs are important before, during and after implementation of the system. The process should be completed as seamlessly as possible with minimal disruption and a change management approach, which minimizes impact on the business and provides the right level of support to users so they are familiar with the new application.

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