How Safe is Your Customer Information?

By Sandeep Sehgal, AVP Product Management, Newgen

On a fine Sunday morning, I met a friend over brunch. While chatting up, he shared one of his recent experiences with his bank's representative. After resolving his query, the representative suggested some best investment options for him based on his past transactions. Though pleased with the investment options received, he was left wondering that with all this information at his bank's disposal, was he at risk? With customers sharing information across organizations, from insurance companies to government portals, the question is, how safe is their data? 

Are customers exposed?
Everything is digital today. From ordering food to booking an appointment with a doctor, customers are just a click away from the services. In the process of going digital, businesses are creating more comforts, more ecommerce websites and more data.

Recently, a leading US health insurer, Centene, made a shocking admission that it has lost medical records of nearly a million of its customers. In an effort to repair the damage, the health insurer is offering those affected, free healthcare monitoring as well as overhaul of its existing procedures of data storage and maintenance. This unnerving thought that the information shared by the customers, may be at risk, presents a strong case for judicious data management and data management systems by the organizations.

Doing it the ECM way
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems have been around for quite some time now. But today there is a pressing need, to manage the burgeoning amount of information at a rapid pace. The ECM market is expected to grow from 5.5 billion USD in 2014 to over 9.4 billion USD in 2018, an average annual growth of 15 percent over the next four years. And companies have been using it for document management, but are you making the most of it? So before deploying an ECM platform, know what you stand to gain.

Securing Information:
ECM system allows management of enterprise content like paper documents, forms and electronic files. The system automates the complete content management process from content capturing, processing, archiving to retrieving. It facilitates organizations with a centralized repository for archiving data thereby mitigating the risk of lost information from physical drives. Also, the data transfer from the capture phase to archiving is encrypted to ensure there is no data leakage. The ECM systems chosen for document/content management have to be secure and need rights-based access, to ensure information security. 

Complying with Regulations:
With globalization, businesses have their reach far and wide. With this comes the stringent regulation into play such as HIPAA, Information Technology Act 2000, Right to Information Act 2005 and others covering various verticals. Further, adding to the compliance list come audits and internal regulations which need to be adhered to. 

The ECM solution helps underpin the compliance concern. ECM empowers the companies to control and manage all its documents. ECM in tandem with a Business Process Management platform adapts quickly to regulatory changes, captures all the audit trails and complies with all the internal regulations adhering to turn around time (TAT) guidelines for specific documents. 

Servicing Customers:
Businesses today are no more governed by controlled media. Everyone has a stage - social media to present their views, posing reputational risk to businesses. Social media gives an opportunity to re-connect with customers and it is also important to manage social media content. And yes, ECM helps do that too, taking businesses one step closer to customer centricity.

Consider the classic case of a customer calling a service provider for a query and is redirected to another representative or is asked to wait for a call back. With an ECM platform, businesses can enhance their customer experience by not making them wait and driving each interaction contextually, by delivering the right information at the right time.

Gaining Efficiencies: 
The growth in information being produced is on a fast track. The huge time spent on information searching and retrieval, and lack of storage space for physical documents leads to operational inefficiencies. 

ECM solution helps in complete end-to-end content management from creation to disposition. All documents generated by a company and its employees like e-mails, presentations, spreadsheets, word documents and transactional documents are carefully recorded, archived and made available when needed. With proper indexing, any information is just a click away. 

The enormous volume of growing information and the need to securely manage it, is forcing organizations to look for document management systems. Businesses have witnessed a sea change, with the increased proliferation of mobile devices. Mobility has spurred employee demands for easy access to information anytime, anywhere and on any device. Catering to this demand is not possible through traditional on-premise ECM solutions. However, ECM leveraging the Cloud technology caters to the needs of a growing 
mobile workforce.

With ECM offering the right tools to secure information, increase productivity, enhance customer experience and ensure business continuity with better compliance is a silver lining to the cloud. 

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