Metadata: Unleashing the Power of ECM

Metadata: Unleashing the Power of ECM

Embracing new and innovative technology used to be a hallmark of leading-edge companies, but the practice has quickly becoming the norm among many organizations across all industry sectors. Today, most businesses recognize the need for enterprise content management (ECM) and information governance (IG), and as companies move data from file shares to ECMs, they reap numerous benefits:

  • Staff flexibility and access improve.
    Ease of access to content—regardless of geographic location—means that staff no longer need to be “in the office” to access their data. Employees can work whenever and from wherever they are located.
  • Collaboration becomes easier.
    An employee in Los Angeles can now share a document and collaborate with a colleague in Chicago without emailing copies back and forth.
  • Multiple copies of the same document are a thing of the past.
    With ECM, one version of a document exists–eliminating the confusion of multiple copies, the lost time of duplicate work and the inefficiency of missed changes.

When implementing a new ECM, teams may be tempted to merely transfer the existing file share data (and structure) into an ECM without attributing metadata to the content. Users can easily get wrapped up in the ease of improved collaboration and forget that implementing metadata offers additional benefits: search becomes easier; security tightens; and retention schedules aid in cleanup.

The best IG solutions build solid metadata models to unleash the power behind an ECM. For success, start with a high level view and build metadata from the top down:

  • Start with enterprise-wide attributes.
  • Tag records across all departments with values that establish conditions for “vital,” “public,” “restricted,” or a similar enterprise-wide element.
  • Use business unit categories that effectively mirror the method or workflow that content creators follow to store and find their records.

Metadata can also reduce folder levels and increase ease of navigation. Here’s the bottom line: The easier it is for people to find files, the less time they spend hunting for data and documents. And, as is almost always true, saved time translates directly to saved dollars.

When you’re ready to make the most of your ECM, FileFacets can help you build metadata models and tag content. Let us help you unleash the power of an ECM with metadata.