Choosing the Right Content Management System For Your Business

Choosing the right content management system for your business can be a critical decision. They can completely transform the way your business operates. Whether you are simply improving the way you manage electronic files or solving a paper problem, the right system can provide a range of benefits for businesses of all sizes.

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If your business has employees who spend a majority of the day retrieving or filing documents, or if you invest good money monthly to warehouse old paper records, investigating a document management system may be the right decision for you and your business.

As you begin investigating numerous systems, one distinction to be aware of is between document management software and document imaging systems. The essential difference between these two is that document imaging systems include tools that will help you convert paper records to electronic files and document management software is implemented to manage electronic files.

An overwhelming number of "document imaging" software applications exist on the market today. From traditional imaging scanner companies, to software companies, to corporate banks, everyone claims to have the perfect solution for your paper management problem. But before you decide to jump into the document management system process, there are a few simple steps you can establish that will help minimize frustration and narrow your search criteria to allow you to find the best solution possible.

Understand and document your paper process first. You need to know how your process works and what content is involved. You can then start to look at which technology will expedite these processes the most.

Define the group. Decide who in your company will be evaluating the potential document management system. Typically, companies rely on System Support Technicians/Records Management/Subject Matter Experts/Management people, but you can choose whomever you think best suited for the job.

Have a decision-making process. The key is to decide on a process at the beginning, share the process with everyone involved, and follow it to make your decision.

Establish evaluation criteria. Create a spreadsheet or template that includes required solutions pertinent to your needs. Every product being evaluated would need to address or exceed your needs. A few things that you might consider when evaluating different potential vendors:

- What is the company's background?

- Do their products follow industry standards?

- What is the market size for the product?

- Can solid project references be obtained for the company in question?

- Is the company financially stable?

- How much experience does the company have implementing the kind of solutions you require?

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Final Evaluation. You need to analyze the data and solution to determine what features are most important to your application and prioritize them accordingly. Once you've determined your priorities, add corresponding weighted values to your feature grid. At this point you should be ready to make your decision on a system!

Choosing the right system can completely transform your business and the way it operates. By following the provided steps, you will be properly prepared to make a decision on a document management system that will benefit your business in numerous ways.