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Why Do ECMs Cost So Much?

connectivity through the cloud

When I talk with clients about ECM solutions one of the most common questions is: “Why does this cost SO MUCH?!” For companies implementing an ECM for the first time, or even those looking to modernize their ECM, the costs can seem staggering at first.

However, this perception often comes down to the simplistic stereotype that these systems are just a place to shove documents. While the industry was, at its outset, largely about storing content, it has evolved to offer valuable technical solutions that can drive the efficiency and efficacy of modern organizations.

stack of documents

Take a second to think back to Yahoo messenger (yes, it’s been a while, but dig deep). Now, think about tools like Slack and how something that once simply sent messages has become a multi-functional, collaborative tool for teams through technological advancements. In ECM, you’ll find that it’s no longer just about “content storage,” either.

ECMs can now help companies manage custom workflows, automate processes, apply machine learning, and utilize the cloud to its full potential. It’s true that the price tag on purchasing and implementing a solution can seem high, but when you consider the value that these capabilities, not to mention the cost-savings and improved security of moving documents online, an ECM is priceless.

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As a consumer, however, you can manage your expectations of an ECM’s price tag if you understand the costs from the outset. Most companies provide pricing for their products, but there are some additional costs to consider:

  • ECM pricing is often broken down into many different pieces. To fully understand the initial cost, you need to have a deep understanding of exactly which functions your company needs. (If you need help evaluating your needs, never hesitate to reach out to us!)
  • The more advanced your technological needs are, the higher the cost will be. Much like purchasing a home or a car, more bells and whistles will quickly drive an ECM’s cost up. Again, however, the value that these technological advancements can offer may be worth it.
  • More people = more money. The cost of implementing an ECM for a big team will cost proportionately more than it would for a small team.
  • Many ECMs don’t disclose the cost of implementing the solution. It is important to evaluate how much customization a product will require to meet your needs and to integrate with your existing systems. Over time, whether or not your team is qualified to maintain the system will also impact the overall price, since support packages cost more.

Want to geek out over how ECMs could impact your company? Or are you feeling concerned you won’t be able to fully forecast the cost of implementing one? Drop us a line — we love talking shop.

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