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Transform Government with ECM

22 Mar, 2010 By: Laurel B. Sanders imageSource

Transform Government with ECM

This year’s 10th Winter Paralympic Games (www.paralympic.org)
are a milestone of achievement, reflecting the belief in success against all
odds.  The Paralympics hold valuable lessons for people in general, and for
agencies as they fight uphill battles to enact changes in how they do business
in response to President Obama’s goals for government transformation. 
Successful transformation requires business leaders who:

• won’t take ‘no’ for an answer; knows no boundaries

• are enticed by possibility, not defeated by challenge

• choose to swim upstream; believe success is worth the struggle 

The call for reform

On communicating his technology goals, Obama stated that our government is
predicted to be a major growth sector for enterprise content management (ECM) in
2010; powerful software & corresponding hardware to provide tools to collect,
connect, and manage information and leverage its usefulness.  Coordinating
information electronically will support current goals to:

• drive economic growth

• make business more transparent

• demonstrate accountability

ECM ensures that the right people have access to the information they need to
work efficiently.  By eliminating the tedious search for information and
enabling appropriate desktop access,  staff can invest more time in meaningful
work, increasing productivity. 

The agency challenges

When discussing healthcare, gov’t contracts, purchasing, veteran services,
homeland security, schools, libraries or public transportation,  access to
accurate, relevant and complete information is vital.  Poor connectivity leads
to medical debacles, uninformed purchasing (such as post-Katrina), security
threats & more.  Web-based, integrated ECM enables centralized access to digital
information, online forms, scans, emails, images, faxes, and more,  and
authorized persons from other agencies gain access for informed and unified
decision making. 

Data housed in accounting,  ERP & other systems result in silos, obstructing
informed decision making by restricting its use elsewhere.  ECM breaks down the
walls ,  enabling authorized persons to access what’s needed, and make faster,
smarter decisions.

Help agencies to succeed

ECM enables permission-based, centralized access to all of an agency’s
digital documents, helping them to: 

1 Drive efficient growth

2 Reduce expenses

A. Trim paper-related expenses with scanners and barcode readers. Reduce
waste from paper, toner, shipping, postage, storage, heating, data entry clerks,
and more.  Many agencies cut paper-related costs by 50 – 90% with front-end
document scanning.  As agencies migrate toward green business, transform
paper-related sales into hardware, software, and services revenue. 

B. Eliminate documents lost in transit (and the high costs of re-creating
them). By adding ECM software to MFPs, copiers, and scanner capabilities, agency
documents can be thoroughly indexed and appropriately stored so everyone can
find the information they need later.  A strong ECM system should offer detailed
indexing to ensure 100% successful retrieval, every time.

C. Manage growth cost effectively by streamlining processing, mechanizing
tedious tasks, & increasing productivity. ECM helps agencies to do more work,
faster, and achieve more without adding staff, stretching your tax dollars.

Make business sustainable

A. Promote sustainable business while eliminating paper costs by promoting
web-based forms.  In addition to reducing paper, copying, postage and storage
costs, digital content becomes instantly useful as it’s created. 

B. Enable self-service public access to information, ending trips, calls, and
shipping for documents requested by the public.  Integrating ECM with agency
websites and portals lets citizens submit requests and access authorized files
24/7.  Accessibility improves; staff migrates to more meaningful work; admin
costs plummet.

Use information intelligently

A. Integrate ECM with client agencies’ diverse information systems.  Are
documents keyed and re-keyed, scanned  or copied many times for multiple
departments? Increase productivity by making electronic data centrally

Facilitate Transparency

Federal and state laws are demanding increased government transparency. 
With few exceptions, the public can request access to public records, and has
the right to expect a timely and complete response.  Manual search is time
consuming and costly.  Penalties for failure to comply with requests on a timely
basis are forcing many agencies to adopt ECM to mitigate risk. 

ECM enables cost-effective compliance with the:

A. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – citizens can request (in writing) access
to any records held by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  ECM helps authorized
agencies to track, manage, and respond to incoming requests promptly.  Desktop
access to documentation eliminates callbacks and other delays, facilitating
compliance as well as transparency. Web-acessible eForms expedite requests for
information. Online integration with agency portals facilitates self-service
access to public information. 

B. Open Records & Right-to-Know laws - based on FOIA; Varies state to state.

ECM is an ‘insurance policy’ against misfiled, damaged, waylaid, or lost
information.  Files are located quickly, responses are prompt, and penalties are

Demonstrate Accountability

A. Requesting documents – Proactive disclosure helps agencies avoid costly
penalties.  Many studies show staffs unable to locate requested documents 20-40%
of the time.  As electronic documents become the standard, patience for
irretrievability will vanish.  ECM ends missing files.

B. Managing compliance and facilitating audits – Whether agencies are subject
to HIPAA, FERPA, or other regulations, ECM ensures files are accessed only by
authorized persons, following agency rules.  Regulatory changes are addressed
promptly by changing the business rules in ECM.  Detailed electronic records
prove compliance with an agency’s internal controls.

Create new opportunities

Don’t feel threatened or discouraged as your world goes digital.  Both you
and your clients benefit tremendously in the long term:

• Paper is streamlined to where necessary, keeping costs manageable

• Agencies emerge cost-efficient, able to do more with tax dollars

• Services revenue opportunities increase as agencies experience ROI from ECM
projects and expand their vision for digital efficiency

Like the Paralympic athletes, the transformation means extending your
boundaries, embracing opportunity,  knowing the rewards will be worth the
effort.  Now is the time to help government clients to transform their business
with ECM.  Become the knowledgeable resource they need, and success will be
yours.  Visit


Laurel Sanders is the director of public relations and communications for
Optical Image Technology.  For information about the company’s award-winning
suite of DocFinity software, visit
or contact

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