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5 best practices to maximizing your EIM investment

As the volume and variety of data in every business explodes, Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions are becoming an increasingly vital part of the IT infrastructure. Estimates suggest that the market for EIM solutions will reach $70 billion by 2025. Yet, organizations often struggle to achieve full benefit from their EIM investments.

Attaining the benefits of EIM requires you to plan strategically and execute tactically to achieve impressive results. So, what does EIM success look like? OpenText Professional Services promotes 5 best practices to gaining the full value from your EIM initiatives.

Plan for success

Too often, EIM can be seen as another software project with a largely technical delivery focus. However, EIM is a business enabler and warrants business-centric planning sufficiently holistic to address implementation, user adoption, and operation of the EIM solution. There are considerable benefits to adopting a business-centric strategy from the outset that identifies and prioritizes goals to support near- and longer-term planning that can form of a roadmap of projects. Engaging key stakeholders and experts from business, IT, and IM disciplines is key to creating a team that can successfully direct strategy and execute on project mandates.

It’s essential that all business stakeholders and key roles are engaged and buy-in to the project’s mission, the solution, and adoption expectations – this is key to establishing the right scope to go faster and achieving business results sooner. It’s important you establish skilled teams in four key areas: project management, solution build, system administration, and user adoption.

Go live faster

You should always look for opportunities to manage scope and accelerate implementation and adoption. The longer and more complex the project scope, the more risk and cost you’ll accumulate before you have an opportunity to realize benefits. By implementing good planning and domain expertise you can manage these risks.

Maximize adoption

The idea of ‘build it and they will come’ may work for your ERP system but most EIM solutions are sometimes perceived as ‘elective’. Users must want to use them and managing change – sometimes a combination of business process change and tighter information management protocols – can be challenging. You need to launch your EIM systems with real purpose. Again, the business must be involved and you have to drive momentum. Adoption specialists are key as they will advocate with and for the business and add considerable value in planning, throughout solution build and acceptance. These specialists leverage various communications channels to build awareness and momentum and ensure education and supports are aligned to achieving adoption of the new solution. In support of the launch, you need to apply hypercare principles to both supporting business users and the solution support team.

Operate to delight

Managing an EIM solution isn’t just about keeping the lights on. It’s about operating the system in a way that delivers an excellent experience for business users. Users are expecting a highly available, high performing, and secure system. Those are the basics and have a large impact on how business users will gain initial trust in the system. Operating to delight means taking EIM service management to the next level by continually optimizing the service to address evolving needs and generally supporting system usage. This encompasses elements such as workflow tuning, data model tuning and power user support. As the experience improves and the functionality to better do their job increases, user adoption becomes more natural and embedded in your business.

Build on the success

After implementing any stage of the program, promote its success, recognize champions, and reflect on business benefits to promote innovation. Engage the business to prioritize evolutionary improvements that will foster buy-in and additional business value. Objectively assess your initial EIM program outcomes: Are the business users happy? Are the supporting teams confident in their ability to meet the business expectations?  Most importantly, did you achieve the business results you expected? Use the answers you receive to refine your strategies and plan for improvement, and then go again!

OpenText Professional Services does this all the time. We apply the best practices outlined to help customers across the globe achieve business success. If you’d like to know more about OpenText Professional Services, please contact us.

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Grant Edgar

Grant is a Program Director in Professional Services bringing 30 years of experience implementing Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions to guide field enablement programming. He has held roles in team leadership, strategy and planning, solution architecture, facilitation, and technology implementation and adoption. His knowledge and experience is founded on collaboration and consultation with very small organizations through to Fortune 50 corporations in a variety of public and private sector settings to address a range of EIM business needs primarily focused in the Enterprise Content Services (ECS) space.

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