On Thursday, October 3rd, AIIM is bringing their ”Information Governance in a Social & Mobile World Seminar” to the Doubletree by Hilton in Arlington Heights, IL. Doculabs is participating. Stop by our table if you’re there. Doculabs co-founder and information management guru Richard Medina will there and would love to talk about information governance or anything else you have in mind.
AIIM President, John Mancini, subject-matter-experts, and your peers will come together to learn how to:
- Automate core records management processes
- Reduce litigation costs, risks, and storage costs by responsibly getting rid of everything that has no business value
- Tap into the advantages of social systems without increasing business risk
There’s no charge to attend the seminar, you don’t need to be a member, and you’ll join local organizations like Abbott Laboratories, Allstate, American Hotel Register, Argonne National Laboratory, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chicago Housing Authority, City of Chicago, DePaul University, GE, Grainger, Harley-Davidson, Northwestern Mutual, VW Credit and many more.
Check out the program agenda and register (for FREE) here.
At least not enough to pay for it, it seems to me.
Here’s where I’m coming from: I’ve been at Doculabs helping clients for a little over six years now. In that time, I’ve worked with something on the order of 120 Fortune 1000 organizations directly and had substantive discussions with probably four or five hundred others at conferences, through marketing events, and doing general business development. And I can count on one hand (with some fingers left over) the number of organizations I’ve seen fund any kind of enterprise content management (ECM) initiative based on risk or cost avoidance alone.
Look at it this way: every Fortune 500 company has a substantial e-discovery problem, big time compliance constraints, and a serious over-retention problem. And lots of them will tell you that they are “very, very concerned” about these and that they have the support to do something about them (or at least are getting close to getting that support). And, imagine this, they may even have the money to hire a strategy consulting firm to help them build out the business case and roadmap for solving these problems. But no matter how good that strategy and roadmap may turn out to be, when the chips are down and their CXOs have to decide yea or nay, I’ll always put my money on a nay—especially given the current economic climate.
First, cost and risk avoidance are always less attractive than direct cost savings or revenue generators. And in any given budget cycle, it’s a 100% certainty that your CXOs are reviewing a portfolio of projects that include a good many that drive direct cost savings or revenue generation. Next to them, your ECM initiative to avoid cost and risk will pale in comparison.
Second, consider the organizational change management required. Let’s assume that you make the cut and survive the first round against all those direct cost savings and revenue generating projects. Shortly thereafter, your CXOs will calculate the change management required to achieve the return your project promises. Here’s where things get really bad for ECM, because it order to impact e-discovery, compliance, and over-retention in any meaningful way, ECM requires that pretty much every knowledge worker has to change the way they work every day, day in and day out with every document they touch. That’s a big deal at no matter the organization and will make your CXOs pause, because I can bet you that almost no other proposal they’re considering will have quite so big an organizational change management price tag.
Third, and finally, consider the riskiness of the proposed initiative, i.e., how likely is it to succeed (or fail)? To answer this, your CXOs are going to look into two things:
- How many successful ECM programs have they seen in their travels in the wider world of business? (Answer: not many)
- How often has their organization succeeded in this kind of initiative? (Answer: not often)
On the flip side, they’re going to ask, how would we be better off funding the ECM initiative rather than doing more of what we typically do in our operations, e.g., building another cell tower, bringing another crusher on-line, drilling more wells, hiring more financial advisors, standing up more factories, etc.?
Answer: we wouldn’t be better off, because the huge increase in cost savings, revenue, or margins due to these projects will more than offset any e-discovery, compliance, or storage cost and risk we currently face.
The result? Unless you can argue successfully for a direct line to revenue, savings, or margin, don’t hold your breath to get your ECM initiative funded.
The Final Word
So much for my admittedly biased perspective. Have a different one? Been part of an ECM initiative that was funded based on cost or risk avoidance alone? Think I’m crazy in general? Great! Jump in, and let’s get the conversation started!
Just wanted to let everyone know I’ll be a little busy with our newest addition, James Matthew, born this morning.
So the blogs may be a bit slow in coming these next few weeks (months?)…I’ll dive back in to SharePoint, records management, and ECM once I come up for air!
Almost three years ago, I did some prognostication about SharePoint owning enterprise content management (ECM) in the not-too-distant future.
At the time, SharePoint 2010 was just released to market and the post raised some eyebrows because I thought it entirely plausible that one day SharePoint could be all the ECM anyone needed (other than heavy-duty workflow and image management).
Before you rush to judge me one way or the other, you need both to understand that I was fresh of the heels of a pretty amazing demo at a F500 client who had made the decision to use SharePoint 2010 as their sole ECM platform and to remember that in the summer of 2010, traditional ECM vendors were scrambling pretty hard to figure out how to position themselves relative to SharePoint.
Three years later, what do I think of my prediction?
In the last post, I called it like I seen it: SharePoint out of the box can’t do records management. 2007, 2010, 2013—none of ‘em left to their own devices are worth much when it comes to automating the retention and (more importantly) disposition of your records according to the retention schedule.
But as if that weren’t provocative enough, I also argued that, regardless of system (SharePoint, IBM FileNet/P8/CMOD, EMC Documentum, OpenText, Hyland OnBase, whatever), and regardless of the capabilities of that system, pretty much no one is actually doing real records management on their electronic content.
Check out the last post to see my reasoning for this being true (and let me know what you think of it). In this post, however, let’s turn to what might be driving the fact that almost no one is doing electronic records management (whether in SharePoint or any other enterprise content management system).
I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been feeling especially cantankerous these days when I sit down to write. It all started with my “SharePoint can’t do records management” series, and I hoped I would cheer up once that was done, but I haven’t.
So, with my heightened cantankerousness in mind, I want to explore something that’s been on my mind for a while now and also see what folks think about it (because you all know how much I love a good heckle-fest).
Basically, I feel like the few viable enterprise content management (ECM) platforms out there (IBM P8/FileNet, EMC Documentum, and OpenText EIM) are, for all intents and purposes, interchangeable, i.e., you could throw a dart to choose one and be as successful as if you did a full, due diligence RFP.