How to Choose an ECM Solution That Exceeds Your Expectations

A buying committee choosing an ECM solution

Gaining control of your organization’s content can create elevated efficiency, security, collaboration, and customer service, enhancing your bottom line and allowing your team to focus on value-driving activities. But, let’s face it, there’s a daunting sea of factors to consider when choosing a solution to facilitate this change. That ends today! Below, we cover some key factors to consider when choosing an ECM solution that will exceed your expectations, meet your organization’s needs, and still fit well within your budget.

The following is an excerpt from Your Complete Guide to ECM. To learn more insights, tips, and strategies to start your ECM journey, claim your guide.

Finding The Right ECM Solution

With so many diverse options on the market and an enormous amount of information to parse through, finding a document management solution that meets your organization’s needs can be challenging. But by understanding the different types of options, your own document needs, and the features that will be key to your success, you can quickly narrow your search and find the right solution for your business.

Types of ECM Solutions

On-Premise: With an on-premise solution, your organization owns the software, which also means bearing additional responsibilities and costs. This often means paying for the price of the software upfront, as well as any hardware and maintenance costs for the on-premise server. An experienced technician will also be required to keep the system running smoothly.

Cloud-Based: With a cloud-hosted solution, the responsibilities and costs of server maintenance are shifted to the provider for a monthly or quarterly cost. Adding additional resources to your solution can be as easy as flipping a switch. For web browser-based solutions, cloud hosting has the added benefit of document access from any authenticated device. 

Because many organizations find the shift in responsibilities and added benefits of cloud hosting appealing, it has become the preferred option industry-wide for many years.

Uncovering Your Document Needs

Document type and volume will be the most important aspects of determining the resources necessary for your document needs.

Document Type: The breadth of information and detail on each document and the number of pages will determine how much digital space it will occupy. Invoices, for example, are typically a single page with a fair amount of white space. Contracts, by contrast, are often several pages and full of detail.

Document Volume: Multiplies these resource requirements by every document of that type in your system.

In addition to storage, these metrics also affect the needed processing power and ready access memory (RAM) needed for processes like workflows and document capture.

Key ECM Features to Look For

Workflow Automation: Workflow automation is a powerful tool capable of automating the indexing, storage, and archival of documents, tracking and managing retention schedules, or even routing documents through approval processes like invoices.

Advanced Search: If your organization works with high volumes of documents, advanced searching options help you find what you need. Drilling down to specific documents by layering index fields or applying Boolean logic (and, or, not, etc.) to distinguish how to layer these fields can filter out irrelevant results.

Version Control: If your documents often have different iterations throughout their lifecycle, being able to filter by document version can provide insights into what these documents contain and when.

Collaboration Tools: For documents that require revisions and edits throughout their lifecycle, the ability to add comments, redactions, stamps, and other editing marks eliminates the need to download or even print the document for these changes.


Taking control of your organization’s needs doesn’t have to be daunting. By understanding the technical resources required, the hosting option that best suits your organization, and the key features crucial to meeting your information management needs, you are one step closer to a faster, more efficient, secure, and collaborative organization.

Square 9 is a leading provider of AI-powered intelligent information management solutions that take the paper out of work and make it easier to get things done. With digital workflows that automate many aspects of how you work today, we make it easy by extracting information from scans or PDFs, storing documents in a searchable archive, and building digital twins of your current processes through graphical workflows.

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