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New Year, New Recession – How Content Management Software Can Recession-Proof your Business

by   in Document Management

I – Software Thrives in a Recession

I hope I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know when I say that 2023 is the likely start of another global recession. The BBC[1] have announced that 2023 will mark a recession for a third of the world, including the US and Europe.

Recessions are natural corrections that run in cycles and most of us have grown cynical about what to expect. A recession can kill a business that is bloated but it can also reward the agile and create new opportunities. A recession should be the strongest incentive to optimize the business you’ve ever had. Rather than sticking our heads in the sand and hoping for the best, it can be helpful to consider what we can do for our business to prepare for the storm.

In a past article [2] I explained how IT helped many businesses overcome the challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic. You should expect IT to also be a defining factor in making your business recession-proof. The reason: recession spending should help your business either earn more, save more, or be more efficient. Software thrives in a recession because IT spending can potentially hit all three of those points.

Let’s have a look at steps that your IT department can take to future-proof your business, particularly by implementing a content management solution. As Product Manager for Content Manager (CM), I will also end each action item with a concrete example of how the tool could help your company address the issue. Thus, each action point is followed by a specific illustration.

II – Become Risk Averse

During a recession, spending is tighter as budgets narrow down. Spending is reduced, but not eliminated, and it’s important to focus spending on the essentials and cut out the “nice to haves”. This mentality can be summarized as being risk averse.

Areas that don’t stop with a recession include regulations, compliance, and FINES. A large fine might push you over the edge during a difficult period, so a recession is a time when you want to ensure you are respecting regulations.

Being risk averse means ensuring that compliance is respected, that data breaches are prevented, and that measures are taken to avoid any risk or reputational damages. A recession is not a time for a crisis or reputational damage. During a recession, customers (whether consumers or businesses) are also trying to reduce their spending, so don’t give them a reputational reason to choose to cut you.

A compliance tool such as Content Manager can help businesses be assured that their data is safely managed, audited, and accessed. Content Manager is military-grade certified for safe data access and sharing and offers reporting and audit functionality. Data is kept according to retention schedules specific to data type and categories so that data is disposed of in a secure manner when it legally comes to the end of its retention cycle.

III – Automate for Efficiency and Cost Cutting

Efficiency is key when you must make do with less. Fewer resources usually equate in everyone’s mind to less staff. During recessions hiring freezes are common and staff that leave are often not replaced. Teams must stretch their working capacities, and automation technology is key here so that time is not spent on activities a software could automate.

Look to invest in workflow tools that can automate processes and collaboration tools that can increase team efficiency.

Content Manager’s collaboration features include Microsoft 365 intuitive integration with the essential work-from-home tool: TEAMS, and with the real-time, multi-user editing tool that is OneDrive. Concepts like workflows and “to-do tasks” increase collaboration and automation. Compliance processes like the disposal of documents are controlled, but automated, for maximal efficiency.

What you don’t want your staff doing is spending unnecessary time on administrative tasks. Think to invest in a fast and precise search engine so that finding documentation is easy. Look for automation in everything, particularly in admin tasks like report generation.

The Content Manager search engine runs on either IDOL or Elastic and supports simple to complex searches in a user-friendly manner. CM reporting templates can auto-generate reports on your data.

IV- Retire Applications to Save Money

It might seem as though a recession is the worst time to be making changes to your IT infrastructure. When really, retiring old applications for which you still pay licensing fees, but don’t need other than for compliance reasons, is a quick way to save large sums of money.

Use a migration tool (such as SDM) to migrate data from the application to an accessible archive (such as CM). The information remains accessible, searchable, and available to run reports on, but the old application can be retired, and licensing fees canceled. Many of our customers have saved millions in this way.

V- Make Changes before the Recession

New software solutions can often have a long onboarding curve where efficiency is slowed before it is increased. If any of the steps above require you to make some IT changes, do them now! If you are concerned about spending before a recession, think of it as spending to save. You don’t want to be making these changes during the worst of the recession itself; try to anticipate instead.

Another recommendation is to go for software solutions that make the change easier. I would suggest looking for these features:

  • A solution that integrates with a familiar tool like M365 and does the changes in the backend. This way end users don’t have to learn a new tool.
  • If a new interface is required, make it modern and intuitive, similar in appearance to tools the user would already know. You want to reduce those time-wasting IT support calls.
  • Make the new software configurable to the user role so that users can customize their interface with time-saving shortcuts and don’t get overwhelmed with the functionality they don’t need for their role.
  • Go for a solution that has been industry-proven, not a new solution. This is not the time to take risks.

Content Manager integrates intuitively with M365. It can run in the backend without the user even knowing, or the user can use the seamless integration to use CM functionality without leaving the M365 interface.

The CM-specific interface is a modern WEB UI designed by a UX team that runs user tests and takes role configuration as a key part of the design mentality.

Content Manager has over 30 years of proven industry experience.

The obvious “other side of the coin” here is to make sure you are using all the applications you have. As Product Manager, I also see customers who have previously paid for a solution but aren’t using it. This could be because they aren’t trained or knowledgeable on how the tool can really help their business. Make sure that you do an inventory of the tools available in IT and train staff on how to use the ones that can bring benefits!

VI Conclusion

Content Manager can help you optimize your business prior to a recession to save time and money going forward. For example, our customer Astrazeneca saved 44 million dollars with Content Manager. [3]

Here’s a summary of how to recession-proof your business:

1/Invest in compliance tools to avoid a security breach, reputational damage, and heavy fines

2/Invest in IT tools that automate processes for efficiency with fewer resources

3/Invest in IT tools that make collaboration more efficient

4/ Save costs where you can by retiring historical applications

5/ Make IT changes now, ahead of time

6/Any new solutions should be intuitive

7/ Train staff on leveraging all your existing software resources

[1] Third of world in recession this year, IMF head warns - BBC News

[2] Technology and the Coronavirus: What tech solutions will help companies protect employees & clients | Micro Focus Community

[3] Astrazeneca case study link: Global Pharmaceutical Company Saves $44 Million With Content Manager | Micro Focus Community

Content Manager helps you deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time, from any device.

Governance-based enterprise content management (ECM) that enables you to provide the right content, to the right people, at the right time, from any device anywhere. With a flexible design that enables government, regulated industries, and global enterprises to meet and respond to privacy, regulatory, and business requirements. Authorized access, exposure, and ongoing use of content from business applications (including emails and SharePoint/O365) and database applications is managed with reduced risk, complexity, and cost.

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The Micro Focus IM&G team

Know your data | empower your people | drive your future Join our community | @microfocusimg | www.microfocus.com


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