In our first blog, we discussed Enterprise Information Management (EIM) and the benefits that an effective EIM platform offers organizations in all industry sectors. In this blog, we look at what makes up an enterprise information management system and how you can evaluate and select the best EIM solution for your business needs. Of course, EIM is not a single software solution but there is a range of functions that all EIM software should have.
There is a growing realization that information is becoming a key business asset. In fact, Gartner research found that over 80% of business executives believe that data is on the balance sheet. The challenge is that few organizations have been able to measure the specific value of data held within their information management systems. One thing is for certain. It is impossible to realize the full value of your corporate data and content without a means to manage it on an enterprise-wide level.
That’s where Enterprise Information Management comes in. EIM can be thought of as the discipline of managing information as an enterprise asset. Most organizations are some way behind managing information as they would other business assets – such as money or people – and EIM is not a simple solution. Instead, it is a series of information management systems – with some common components – that enable you to effectively collect, manage, share and dispose of your corporate information that maximizes its value to the organization.
EIM: A multi-tiered discipline
If you stop and thinking of all the types and formats of information within any organization and the many different purposes for which that information is used, the full scope of EIM becomes apparent. The management of this information has to be an enterprise-wide effort. It can’t be left to individual business units or divisions. Just as one department can’t deliver an EIM program, there can’t be one piece of EIM software that provides all your enterprise information management requires. Instead, EIM is a framework of processes, practices and technologies that can manage information across the entire organization and beyond.
For the purpose of this blog, we’re concentrating on EIM technologies. As mentioned previously, there are six key pillars for successful EIM:
- Enterprise Content Management (ECM) allows you to establish the best central location for all your content (on-premise or in the cloud) and set up the best processes for you to create, collate, manage and share it.
- Digital Process Automation allows you to automate your day-to-day business processes to increase business agility and responsiveness while reducing the risk of human error and business inefficiency.
- Customer Experience Management (CEM) allows you to deliver the correct level of omnichannel, personalized and targeted experience demanded by your customers today.
- B2B Integration allows you to build and extend your trading partner networks to ensure the smooth and fast transacting of business anywhere in the world.
- Discovery allows you to take control of all information within your organization and make it available when required for eDiscovery, auditing and compliance purposes.
- Analytics allows you to gain actionable insight that leads to better decision-making in every part of your enterprise.
It should be clear that you don’t need to implement every EIM solution to get real benefits from your EIM program. Instead, each individual enterprise must select the EIM software solutions that best meet their business needs.
What functions must an EIM solution include?
So what should you look for in the best EIM solution? As there are many EIM solutions covering different business areas, it is difficult to identify too many core components. Each piece of EIM software will have its own functionality to achieve its specific business purpose. Below is a list of components that every EIM solution should have to a greater or lesser extent.
- Data governance
Data governance delivers authority over the management of information assets and the performance of information management functions within enterprise information management systems.
- Data stewardship
Data stewardship ensures all information within the EIM solution meets the highest level of quality, accuracy and relevance.
- Metadata management
Metadata management provides automated tagging and categorization that explains the definition, control, usage and treatment of data and content within an EIM system.
- Information architecture
Information architecture provides a clear definition of how data and content is structured, shared, managed, and stored.
- Information quality management
Information quality management sets the data quality requirements for the EIM solution and ensuring all data meets those requirements.
- Master data management
Master data management defines the creation, use, synchronization and storage of a core data element ensuring that you have a ‘single source of the truth’ for all data assets.
Analytics enables the capture, cleansing and interpretation of enterprise information from a wide range of sources including historical corporate data, supplier transactions as well as social media and other customer communication channels.
- Information security management
Information security management ensures privacy and control of data by establishing, managing and auditing policies and procedures.
- Structured and unstructured data management
Structured data management is responsible for managing physical structured data resources within EIM systems, including databases, servers, back-ups and archives. Unstructured data management handles the growing volume of unstructured data in sources such as documents, reports, email, spreadsheets, web pages, social media and video.
- Enterprise integration
Enterprise integration ensures that one EIM solution integrates seamlessly with all others to create a complete enterprise-wide EIM platform. The EIM solution should also integrate into other key enterprise applications to enable end-to-end business processes.
- Flexible deployment
The EIM software that you select should provide the flexibility to be deployed in the way that best meets business requirements. Cloud, on premises and hybrid cloud implementation options should be available as well as the opportunity to select a fully managed service.
Why choose OpenText for EIM?
OpenText is the world leader in EIM with over 25 years of successful EIM delivery. Today, the company has more than 3400 EIM customers and over 65,000 EIM deployments worldwide. We deliver a powerful suite of software and services that that cover the full range of EIM requirements with more full time EIM professionals – over 2800 – than any other company. Forrester recognizes OpenText as a leader in EIM software, saying that the company has ‘launched products that begin to shape the EIM future’.