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How Can Electronic Content Management (ECM) Improve Productivity?

June 9, 2020 at 9:00 AM / by Dwight Moore - VP of Enterprise Solutions

The global workforce is finding new ways to adapt to the digital workplace. With so many businesses operating with remote teams, access to business information and flexible processes is a central focus as business moves from the office and to the home office and back again.

How do businesses ensure remote workers have access to the documents, forms, and other business data and processes they require to stay productive and secure from home? Enterprise Content Management can help. 

The Digital Workplace and Paper-Based Processes

The digital workplace is not a new idea. Digital transformation has been a long-term goal for many businesses over the last few years. However, due to the environment we are living and working in, businesses are ramping up their efforts to switch to digital processes.

The discussion of digital transformation usually begins with paper-based processes. Relying on paper keeps businesses anchored to slower processes, inflexible operations, and expensive, legacy systems. If it takes each employee an average of 15 minutes to retrieve a document from its place in a filing cabinet, multiply your average hourly wage by four and then multiply it by the number of documents your employees retrieve daily to see how much time your filing system costs you.

That figure doesn’t even include the costs of misfiled documents or the cost of reproducing lost documents. It also doesn’t include the cost of the physical office space that filing cabinets take up. Office space in the largest American cities cost between $23 and $75 per square foot per month. Moreso, the frustration of searching for and managing paper documents takes a toll on productivity and overall efficiency of each employee, especially those who have recently switched to remote work.

ImageNet's Enterprise Content Management solution offers a scalable solution for paper processes to small businesses and enterprises alike. By digitizing documents and making them immediately available to employees through a robust, secure network infrastructure, we help businesses save money, boost productivity, and overcome the challenge of information access.

What is Electronic Content Management (ECM)?

Electronic Content Management, also called Enterprise Content Management, is a solution for making digital versions of documents, forms, and other content immediately available to office employees at all levels of the organization. 

This approach eliminates looking for physical documents and ensures that the latest versions are always available, backed-up, and secure.

ECM solutions improve productivity by:

  • Creating digital versions of documents, forms, and other content.
  • Allowing employees spread across offices and remote locations to access those documents.
  • Using an automated workflow to keep processes running smoothly.
  • Updating document versions and archiving earlier versions, allowing for version-control.
  • Preventing otherwise-costly mistakes from affecting process performance.

This system also improves the efficiency of office layouts by eliminating the need to dedicate entire rooms to document storage. ECM helps you empower your employees with immediate access to the information they need, where and when they need it.

ECM solutions also improve corporate security and disaster recovery. Business continuity is easier with an ECM in place for many reasons.

  • Cloud Storage 
    By storing your documents on a cloud-based server, physical disasters that could ruin paper documents are effectively mitigated. Floods, fires, blackouts, and other unexpected disasters won’t affect a redundant cloud-based system dozens of miles away from your office.
  • Automatic Backups
    If your documents are compromised in some way, your ECM provider is responsible for providing immediate, up-to-date backups. ImageNet saves redundant backups of its customers’ data in multiple ultra-secure data centers, ensuring that business-critical data is available even in worst-case scenarios.
  • Benchmark Security
    An organized document management system is a better hedge against security threats than any paper-based management system. Physical access is an important security threat vector, and digital documents offer a profoundly effective barrier against data exfiltration from disgruntled employees and third-party vendors with improper clearance.
  • Document Encryption
    Unlike paper documents, digital documents can be encrypted easily. Encryption acts as an additional layer of protection. If an unauthorized intruder gains access to a document with sensitive information, encryption ensures that the intruder cannot read or interpret the data. This is an important step towards a comprehensive multi-layered cybersecurity approach.
  • Secure Remote Access
    Rather than relying on email or fax to send documents and forms back and forth, documents in an ECM are automatically updated and easily searchable by employees. 

Improve Document Accessibility for Remote Workers

Secure access to information regardless of location, which once seemed like a luxury, is now a necessity. One of the most significant benefits of implementing a cloud-based ECM solution is the ability to access documents anywhere, at any time. Remote workers can now perform greater and more important tasks away from the office than ever before.

This opens up numerous possibilities for improving production. Remote employees can access the very latest data at any time, from anywhere in the world, without having to worry about potential changes occurring in the meantime.

Furthermore, the ability to forward digital documents to remote workers eliminates the printing costs associated. This makes ECM a powerful, cost-effective strategy for any business exploring short or long-term remote work positions. 

Without an ECM in place, keeping your business organized and able to meet modern document-oriented communication demands is nearly impossible. This solution is one of the most significant opportunities for enhancing office worker productivity available.

Ready to create a digital system that offers secure, easy access to the information your employees need - when and where they need it? Talk to one of our Enterprise Content Management specialists today to find the best-fit solution for you. 

Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

Topics: Document Management

Written by Dwight Moore - VP of Enterprise Solutions

Dwight brings over 35 years of experience assisting clients with their document life cycle and business process needs to ImageNet. A graduate cum laude from The University of Central Oklahoma with degrees in Advertising and Marketing, Dwight spent his first fifteen years working for the Xerox Corporation in sales and sales management. With certifications from the Xerox Sales and Management Training Institute in Leesburg, Virginia, Dwight spent many years managing integrated solutions teams. Dwight joined the ImageNet Consulting team in 2003 and has been instrumental in developing the ImageNet Enterprise Content Management Solutions team and helping ImageNet become one of the top ten Laserfiche Value Added Resellers in the world. With 13 consecutive Laserfiche Winners Circle Awards and seven Laserfiche Million Dollar Club Awards, ImageNet has established itself as a top tier Laserfiche Reseller under his leadership.

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