Is your organization feeling a little overwhelmed by paperwork and physical documents? The process of filing and securely storing these documents can be cumbersome and time-consuming, as can trying to track down these files when they’re needed. In fact, your organization could be losing out on a lot of money when it comes to time spent trying to locate documents or even recreate files that have been lost or misplaced.

No matter what industry you’re in, making the transition from a traditional, paper-based system to a cloud-based enterprise content management (ECM) system can make all the difference in how your organization files, stores, and retrieves documents. In fact, the right ECM or document management platform can save your organization a great deal of time and money while also enhancing data security, improving regulatory compliance, and making your employees’ lives easier.

As you begin your search for an ECM platform, you’ll likely find that there is no shortage of options available to you. So how can you know which platform is right for your ever-changing needs? There are a few key features worth looking for as you explore options for an ECM platform within your organization.

1. User-Friendly, Intuitive Design

One of the biggest “hurdles” organizations need to overcome when implementing an enterprise content management system is simply transitioning from their outdated systems to the new program. Without the right ECM platform, this transition can be choppy, time-consuming, and confusing for everybody involved. The process of converting existing paper-based files to digital ones can be complicated enough on its own, as can training the employees within an organization on how to use the new software.

This is where selecting a user-friendly ECM solution can make all the difference. The more intuitive the platform is to use, the easier it will be for employees to grow accustomed to the new software. And while organizations will still need to set aside some dedicated time for training employees on a new ECM platform, a user-friendly interface may reduce the amount of training time necessary. This, in turn, can save organizations money while also making the transition as smooth and seamless as possible.

2. Ability to Scale With Your Business

When selecting an ECM solution for your organization, it’s important to think not just about your immediate and short-term needs but your long-term ones as well. Ideally, you’ll want to select an ECM platform that has the ability to scale and grow with your business as much as needed. This means choosing software that is easy to personalize to your liking.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for document management; each industry and organization will have its own unique needs. This is why it’s important not to select an ECM software with features that are too rigid. Furthermore, the right ECM platform should have industry-specific offerings to meet your needs. For example, if your business must operate under certain regulatory compliance standards, your software should have features in place to help you remain within compliance.

3. Enhanced Security Features

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s no overstating the importance of security. This is especially true when you’re handling potentially sensitive data for your employees and/or clients. You are under an obligation to keep this information as secure as possible. And unfortunately, a breach of data can have disastrous consequences for your business and its reputation.

There are a number of specific security features you should look for in an ECM solution that can give you some much-needed peace of mind and additional protection. For starters, look for a platform that offers remote backup of your files and documents in a secure location. This way, even in the event of an on-site data breach, you’ll always have backup copies of your company’s files stored elsewhere.

You may also want to look for a platform that offers customizable access control, which will allow you to specify which users/employees have access to certain files and folders in your database. This control over user permissions can bolster security and reduce the risk of an unwanted data breach.

4. Audit Trailing Abilities

In addition to the right host of security features, a great ECM platform should also come with audit trailing capabilities. Specifically, audit trailing will allow you to view a detailed history of each user’s interaction with a document or file within your ECM platform. This fosters a greater sense of accountability among employees working with individual documents while also giving you the ability to revert back to older versions of a document as needed. This, in turn, can help you avoid the need to recreate or restore damaged/lost documents, thus saving your organization time and money.

5. Easy Collaboration

There’s a good chance that your employees need to collaborate regularly over certain documents and files. Your ECM platform should support and encourage this, allowing workers to collaborate digitally as needed. Specifically, look for ECM solutions that offer real-time chat and commenting on documents; this will allow users to provide guidance to others accessing a document, which can help cut back on costly errors and other problems.

Choosing an ECM Solution For Your Organization

These are just a handful of the most important features to look for as you shop for an enterprise content management system for your business. By selecting a user-friendly and intuitive platform, you can make the transition to a cloud-based storage system as easy as possible. Likewise, the right security and collaborative features make it possible for you to keep your sensitive data safe while encouraging communication among employees where it matters most.

Ultimately, using these criteria to select your ECM platform can help you make a more confident decision. From there, you’ll be able to get the most out of your new platform and have it integrated into your everyday business operations as soon as possible. Once you do, you and your employees can begin reaping the time- and cost-saving benefits a great document management system has to offer.