The Value of the Benchmark – and of Benchmark Data

Over the years, organizations have made sizable investments in enterprise content management (ECM) technologies. But many of these deployments have resulted in varying degrees of success. What distinguishes a successful ECM deployment? The best-in-class firms are benchmarking their data.

The best firms benchmark their Enterprise Content Management systems against their peers.

Firms that benchmark their ECM technologies compare how their use the software compared with other  leading organizations in their industry.

But where can you go to get this data and see how your own operation stacks up?

Doculabs’ benchmarking service is designed to meet this need. For more than 20 years, Doculabs has worked with leading firms in a wide range of industries. We’ve developed criteria for what constitutes best-in-class ECM deployments. And we've looked at categories from functionality, to applications in business processes, to business continuity, to vendor management.

Doculabs maintains a reference list of organizations and their ECM practices, challenges, and successes.

The result is a reference group of peer organizations, each of which we’ve evaluated and scored in categories specific to the technology in question. We've compiled the empirical data across the peer group for comparison. (Note that the names of individual organizations within the peer group are kept confidential.)

Then, because we’re dealing with a moving target, Doculabs periodically revisits both the criteria and our evaluations, refining our definition of “best-in-class” to reflect the capabilities of the most current deployments, using current best practices.

The criteria and the data set are what we then bring to the benchmark assessment, in which we evaluate a client’s ECM deployment and score it against a group of peers.

ECM deployments are best examined from three perspectives: people, process, and technology.

But we don’t look just at the technology. Our benchmarks evaluate an organization’s ECM deployment from the people, process, and technology perspectives. You may have implemented the best-in-class technology tool, but have a sub-optimal relationship with the vendor and its support organization. Or maybe you’re not making full use of your ECM tool’s capabilities in ways that would have a positive impact on the efficiency of your business processes (and on your bottom line). Or there may be better methods of rolling out the technology to achieve wider end-user adoption.

That's why it's so important to know how your competitors are doing it, and what the current best practices are. That's why it's so important to get an expert outside opinion on the specific areas in which your organization may have room for improvement.

An ECM benchmarking exercise should be interactive and involve client teams.

The benchmarking exercise tends to be an eye-opener for all concerned, precisely because Doculabs brings a fresh, independent, and—most important—objective perspective to your technology deployment.

Our process an interactive exercise. When we meet with a client team onsite, we give the team an opportunity to provide their input to our assessment. At the same time, our consultants readily share ideas with each client team.

In fact, a growing number of our clients have found the benchmarking experience to be so valuable, that they now engage us for periodic assessments, both to measure how far they’ve come with their improvements since the previous benchmark and to stay current with ECM best practices in their industry.

It makes a lot of sense to look at how other organizations in your industry are making use of ECM technologies – not just from a best practices standpoint, but to learn what the competition is doing that you might not be doing. The ECM issues that your competitors have may be similar to the ones you’ve been struggling with.

Empirical data about ECM capabilities helps with funding decisions.

Indeed, this kind of empirical data can go a long way toward helping you build the business case for an initiative to improve your organization’s ECM capabilities. After all, numbers talk. And when funding decisions are on the line, it’s the hard, empirical facts that tend to talk the clearest and the loudest. 

Rich Medina
Doculabs consultants offer in-depth expertise in information management and information security across a number of industries, including financial services, insurance, energy, manufacturing, and life sciences. Our recommendations are based on our experience and empirical data from hundreds of consulting engagements over more than 25 years. As trusted advisors, we provide our clients recommendations that are completely objective.