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3 Reasons to Put SAP Enterprise Content Management on Your Transformation Plan

02-08-2022 5 mins read

Is your organization currently going through a digital transformation or planning a move to a new ERP system, such as SAP S/4HANA?  If so, then you need to ensure that your enterprise content management (ECM) system is part of your transformation plans.

Below, we’ve outlined three reasons why you should put content management on your digital transformation priority list:

Discover in this blog why a modern content management system is an integral part of your enterprise IT landscape and how the information it contains plays an important role in how your people, processes and technology work together.

Information Fuels Your Business – Know Your Information Retention Requirements

Digital transformation initiatives often focus on new features such as AI-enabled business processes, predictive analytics, and omnichannel experiences, but neglect to consider the impact of the transformation on the data and documents that fuel the business. Typically, this oversight occurs because much of this information is stored in separate enterprise content management systems that fall outside of the scope of the planned transformation. Content management, however, should be a key consideration for every plan.

Keep in mind that it wasn’t very long ago when organizations had vast arrays of file cabinets to store these supporting documents and staff of savvy clerks who could retrieve them when needed. Those cabinets are gone now, but your organization still needs to be able to efficiently store and retrieve information digitally. Today, content management systems are used for document storage. And as your business needs to change, your content management systems need to change along with it.

When starting your transformation project, consider how the information will flow through your organization and how your ECM system can support your new processes:

  • What type of information will you need to capture (invoices, orders, contracts, diagrams, photos, etc.)?
  • Where is the information generated? Is it from within your business or is it provided to you by external parties: suppliers, customers, banks, insurers, etc.?
  • How will you receive the information (by mail, email, FTP) and in what format (PDF, DOC, XLS, XML, other)?
  • Where will you store the information and which information retention rules will you need to follow?
  • Who should have access to the information over its lifecycle?
  • What kind of access do they require? Is view-only access sufficient or do you need to send a copy of the information to others inside or outside your organization (e.g., send information to an auditor)?

These questions will help you understand the who, what, where and when of information retention across your business so you can include those requirements in your digital transformation project planning.

User Information Needs Are Changing – Is Your Content Repository Ready?

The success of any digital transformation initiative depends on enthusiastic user adoption. Organizations that choose to keep legacy enterprise content management systems in place while building out new digital capabilities risk losing the support of users if information is not available when they need it.    

Unsurprisingly, user expectations for information retrieval have changed drastically since the introduction of highly efficient internet search engines. An enterprise content repository that was developed or deployed a decade ago cannot provide the fast search capabilities that today’s users expect. Users will become quickly frustrated searching for information in older systems that are not connected to their business applications or that require a separate log-in. This frustration will only escalate if the users must search for information across multiple, disconnected repositories.

IT departments also need to be able to support their users’ elevated information retrieval needs. However, the IT department faces immense pressure to support high-profile digital transformation initiatives which leaves them with very little time to support ECM systems. By ensuring that ECM system requirements are included in every digital transformation project, IT can provide users with the information retrieval capabilities they expect, while simultaneously reducing the time and effort necessary to support those systems.

To ensure your content repository is ready to meet the needs of today’s users it should have the following attributes:

  • Centralized: A centralized document storage solution will make it easier for users to find the information they need quickly. If multiple repositories exist, consider consolidating them so you can streamline user access and provide standardized functionality.  
  • Cloud-based: Infinitely scalable cloud storage is ideal for storing large volumes of information economically. Cloud solutions are also maintained by your service provider, which eliminates the need for IT teams to back up and maintain the on-premise hardware and software that is required by older ECM systems.
  • Collaborative: To facilitate collaboration and improve processing speed, your content management solution should enable sharing of information between internal and external users. The IT department should be able to grant secure, role-based access to users and monitor user activities. It should also include key capabilities such as flexible search, convenient web access, and the ability to link to – not attach - documents to relevant transactions or communications. Solutions that support collaboration make it easier for users to follow information management best practices and will prevent the unnecessary and costly build-up of information in your systems.

New Data Privacy and Security Regulations Require New ECM Solutions

The ever-increasing number of cyber-attacks and sensitive data leaks in the news illustrate how challenging it can be to keep sensitive data secure. According to a 2021 study by IBM Security, the average cost of a data breach was USD 4.24 million globally and USD 9.05 million in the United States.  The sophistication of these attacks also continues to grow. Global fraudsters constantly devise new and creative approaches that are hard to detect and hard to defend against if your organization is not up-to-date with the latest enterprise system updates and security patches.

The number of global data privacy and data security regulations is also increasing rapidly. According to the Harvard Business Review at least 27 online privacy bills were proposed or passed by state legislatures in 2021, and the push to regulate data markets and protect personal digital rights shows no signs of waning. Under these new regulations, companies are responsible for securing the data they collect or create and retain for their business. Ensuring that this data is managed according to the different regulations for personally identifiable (GDPR, California, Canada) or sensitive (PCI, HIPPA, ITAR) data is extremely complex for both the business and IT departments. Unfortunately, many legacy enterprise content management systems are not capable of supporting this type of data management.

Cloud ECM providers, on the other hand, specialize in data storage and management. Advantages of Cloud ECM include:

  • Infinitely scalable storage
  • High availability
  • Always up-to-date software
  • Simplified web and mobile access
  • Compliant storage environment with secure locations and geographically dispersed data centers
  • Economical, buy what you need pricing
  • Cloud-ready
  • Built-in business continuity and disaster recovery

Unlike on-premise systems that are managed by in-house IT teams, Cloud ECM providers have the focus, technology and the experience to ensure that your data is protected and kept compliant for as long as you need it.

The Most Efficient Content Repository for SAP Systems - Serrala Corestone Archive

Serrala Corestone Archive helps organizations running SAP systems transition from legacy ECM systems to a modern, simplified cloud storage solution. Our SAP-embedded, zero hardware solution eliminates complexity in your SAP landscape and provides organizations with secure, compliant and cost-effective data and document storage with your chosen cloud provider.

Advantages of using Corestone archive include:

  • Lower IT Cost & Complexity: Centralize storage of data and documents to reduce the complexity of your IT landscape and eliminate costly maintenance.
  • Increased Efficiency: Flexible cloud storage options ensure users can access information when and where they need it without logging into separate ECM systems. 
  • Improved Security & Compliance: Move to modern storage solutions that meet the latest security and compliance standards. 

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Want to learn more about the benefits of moving your organization to a modern cloud repository? Contact us today!