March 09, 2011, 10:51 AM — Businesses need to have the support of users from the bottom up, not just from senior level executives, in order to successfully implement enterprise content management (ECM) systems, according to Gartner.
[ See also: 8 Signs of a Lackluster ECM Implementation ]
Mark Gilbert, director consulting at Gartner told the Business Process Management Summit in London that more than 40% of enterprises do not properly consider process and organisation issues when installing an ECM. This is despite more than a third of organisations (36%) spending more than $500,000 (£309,400) on an ECM, according to a recent survey by the analyst.
"Many companies underestimate the issues of installing an enterprise content management system, especially the change management," said Gilbert.
As well as getting executive-level support for the project, BPM projects need to consider the usability of the system, otherwise user resistance will make adoption difficult.
"If you can't drive people to use ECM on a regular basis, you risk data leakage. People will go back to simpler tools, like email. Old applications and old ways of thinking die hard. It's very difficult to get people to change and make things happen," said Gilbert.
In order to engage with users and to increase their productivity, Gilbert claims that generic tools are no longer sufficient.
He believes that technology needs to be tuned to the user and their specific needs, whether they are in HR or finance. It is particularly pertinent as, according to Gartner, one of the biggest changes in content management over the last few years has been a growth in departmental content management, rather than enterprise content management.
Gilbert said: "In any industry, why would you use generic tools if you can have a specialised tool to make it more valuable? You want an optimised environment to get the most productivity from your teams."
Furthermore, the consumerisation of technology is driving new developments in ECM, such as the new generation of social content management. This is about helping to give people the power to publish and collaborate, and, again, making them more productive.
Finally, a successful ECM system implementation requires the business to work closely with IT throughout the entire process, as part of a "blended team" that is set up early on in the project.