Can adopting an enterprise content management system actually make an organization more innovative? Specifically, can an organization’s information technology department, by adopting DMS or ECM systems, single-handedly move that organization to a higher tier of performance and creativity?
Based on an article published last year by the EDUCAUSE Review—an online publication that focuses on the importance of IT to higher education institutions—the answer to both of those questions is an unequivocal “yes.” Sure, the EDUCAUSE piece, titled “Top 10 IT Issues, 2015: Inflection Point,” never explicitly makes mention of document management or enterprise content management. However, it’s easy to see how the features of DMS and ECM could help an organization deal with each of the “issues” brought up in the article. And while the piece and the publication focus specifically on IT and how it adds to a higher education institution, the takeaways from the article can be applied to virtually any other type of organization in virtually any industry.
The Top Issues Currently Facing IT
So what are the top issues facing IT departments right now, according to the aforementioned EDUCAUSE piece? You can read the full article right here for a complete list, but most of the key points have to do with creating a more efficient institution. The issues that specifically concern technology in education (like the question of how technology should be implemented in the classroom to improve the student learning experience) are not explicitly relevant to organizations outside of the educational sphere. However, other points are pertinent to any and all organizations. These points include:
- Creating IT departments that are agents of change within their organizations;
- Using information technology to assist every part of an organization in achieving its goals;
- Developing “enterprise IT architecture” that is scalable to growth and change;
- Ensuring security of the IT architecture, with particular focus on digital, mobile, and cloud-based systems;
- And more.
There is also at least one issue discussed in the EDUCAUSE article that applies specifically to education, but can also be adapted to other situations. The seventh issue on the EDUCAUSE list of 2015 IT concerns is “Providing user support in the new normal—mobile, online education, cloud, BYOD environments.” In a non-education-related organization, this point might be restated as “providing employees or clients with ways of accessing relevant resources via the cloud or mobile platforms.”
How DMS or ECM Can Help an Organization Clear IT Hurdles
Needless to say, the issues and questions raised in the EDUCAUSE article are big ones, and they lay a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of IT departments. The reason that an IT department is capable of helping drive change within an organization, though, or capable of helping different departments achieve their disparate goals, is because they can drive how an organization adopts technology. The adoption of that technology, in turn, influences everything that a business does.
For instance, by implementing document management or enterprise content management systems, an IT department could be helping an organization take steps toward becoming a paperless office. That leap by itself would be enough to earn an IT department the label of “agent of change.” But factor in the other changes that going paperless can bring about for a business—quicker and more efficient file management, massive reductions in paper and printing costs, etc.—and it becomes clear that even making a single technological change can send smaller but no less notable changes reverberating through an organization.
In fact, looking at the list of issues facing IT departments, as compiled by the EDUCAUSE Review, it’s remarkable how many of those hurdles could be cleared with the help of DMS or ECM. For instance, document management and enterprise content management systems often come with Cloud-based file access and mobile applications, making it possible for employees to access resources from anywhere. These factors allow employees to work from anywhere and make businesses more agile in dealing with urgent issues or projects. The easy access also aids in project collaboration, which can be a major boon to innovation and efficiency.
Good DMS or ECM programs also provide layers and layers of file security, to make sure that the leap to a paperless office doesn’t put a business in danger of being compromised by internal or external threats. The eFileCabinet document management system, for example, boasts 256-bit AES encryption, role-based securities (to control who in your organization can and cannot access specific files), file versioning, redundant document storage, automated document retention, and secure client portal technology. All of these factors serve to keep your documents (and the content included within them) safe and intact at all times.
Are you interested in learning more about the features and benefits of document management technology and how it can help your technology department develop a more helpful, innovative, accessible, and scalable IT model? Click here or here for additional information.