File repository software (FRS) selection requires analyzing and prioritizing benefits as they most closely align with an organization’s long term objectives.
When partaking in this selection process, refrain from focusing on short-term goals and instead zero in on long-term goals, as most of the benefit from FRS solutions is compounded over a time span greater than one year to ensure document management best practices.
Doculabs, a leading expert in enterprise information management, agrees, specifying several core FRS objective models for organizations:
Benefits that increase revenue in any way, shape, or form
Anything reducing tangible or intangible costs impacting an organization’s bottom line.
Ensuring a business’ ability to ensure mission-critical functions and services uninterrupted by disaster.
This is of greatest use in education, government, and non-profit organizations and involves providing information to constituents in an accurate and timely manner.
No matter what kind of FRS or what kind of organization, any organization adopting FRS suites of strategies and software must understand the importance of analytics.
FRS is what eliminates the need for an analytics consultant, because it streamlines, optimizes, and manages an organization’s content to a degree where insight can be easily garnered from preexisting and future content.
When placing priority on the benefit needs in the FRS selection process, ensuring the solution’s ability to enable term preservation of file formats is important, and looking at a vendor’s track record of adapting to technological demands is just as important as the duration of time the vendor has spent in the market.
Most vendors who have succeeded in these respects ensure open file formats (such as TIFF), not closed file formats, for their content repositories. These repositories free up room for adaption to innovation outside the realm of the file repository software vendor’s experience and scope of knowledge when necessary.
Quantifying ROI on File Repository Software
Doculabs also offers useful input on how organizations can quantify their ROI (return on investment) for FRS, stating that the following ROI models will determine the right deployment model:
A case where an organization focuses on reducing costs from one area and allocating the savings to another area.
H3 Tag: Retrospective
Analyzing a previous scenario and demonstrating how the outcome would have been different if file repository software technology were used in the first place. J’s note: This model works well in calculating the ROI for businesses that will remain relatively unaffected.
Focuses on demonstrating the ability of FRS to enable an existing and already funded initiative where FRS acts as an enabler for the in-flight effort.
This business case tends to highlight the structural business model or highly strategic changes that require aspects of FRS in the critical path, such as outsourcing.
From a localized standpoint, the communicative and directional efforts will be simpler. From that same communicative standpoint, dispersed implementation will be more difficult.
Identifying ROI: Assessing Inter-dependencies
Doculabs: on strategy and roadmap This includes outlines of all the initiatives with their interdependencies, then technology projects, then change management and program governance initiatives, then information lifecycle management.
Doculabs also notes in its white paper on the methodology for finding the ROI for file repository software that many IT departments cannot “make the business case for FRS.”
However, this can be quantified: Doculabs says “80 percent of an organization’s information is unstructured Word processing files, email, spreadsheets, web content, images, graphics, and all the other digital assets that get created for use in business processes.
And 90 percent of this information goes unmanaged in most organizations, and the growth of this unmanaged information is growing at a rate of 36 percent per year.
The concept of throughput is also important in determining the ROI. Initially, your ROI focus will involve the FRS startup cost divided by the profit.
The sooner you break the profit margin, the better. Moreover, the concept of throughput, not the FRS as a whole, will determine not if, but when or how soon you will break that margin. The more documents you have to scan, and the more clean-up they need, the longer it will take to break profit margins.
Geography and Vendor Selection
Gartner correctly notes in its Magic Quadrant for ECM that a vendor’s local presence in relation to prospective buyers and users impacts FRS usage.
Localized vendors will be able to provide in-person support and perhaps consider the organizational needs of businesses in close proximity to them—optimizing features and updates around this information.
Of particular importance to the geography of FRS, Gartner also notes that cloud-based, online solutions are growing and likely to continue growing in Europe as its economy recovers, making international business collaboration a more secure, efficient, and justifiable endeavor than ever.
Gartner further specifies in its Magic Quadrant that multi-byte character sets (MBCS) will further facilitate international collaboration, as FRS vendors are being forced to interpret and analyze the effects of globalization, and how this globalization impacts cultural and linguistic overlaps in the enterprise.
Security budgets are falling for organizations based on the rate of the information breaches that have occurred within the past decade.
However, cybersecurity, in tandem with file repository software, has improved, and companies would be ill advised to not reopen budget allocations to the digital security measures that FRS provides. Europe is also close to equaling the US in terms of big data use and content acquisition.