Wow – it has been a while since my last blog post (at least on this blog). Being not just a consultant/analyst but practitioner of ECM and KM sure is a full time job. It leaves little time to pontificate on market conditions.
But a few weeks ago, something occurred in my personal life that thrust me into the world of ECM, and I was so surprised by what I witnessed, that I felt compelled to blog about it.
In this case, I was not a consultant or practitioner, but end-user of ECM, (or lack there of.) You see, I refinanced my home.
As many of you know, over the last 2 decades I have worked with scores of organizations, designing and implementing integrated ECM systems (search, content management, workflow, etc.) to change the way business is done. Yet, last week I felt like it was 1965.
As I said, I refinanced my home. The process started well enough. Applications were completed online. My credit score and initial approval were conducted online and completed in under 30 minutes. (I was a happy consumer, and proud ECMer. But, what came next was shocking.
Almost 2 months later the paper work was “ready”, and I do mean paper work. The closing session was conducted face-to-face, facing well over 30 paper documents. There were at least three instances that I recall in which one document superceded or negated the need for the other. Signatures were required redundantly multiple times. (Clearly somer eenginnering could be used.)
But what was really surprising was the fact that I had to seek out a notary, in the middle of this process, limiting when and where this session could take place. My signature had to be wet signature, in each instance, in the presence of a notary, who had to affirm I was who I said I was – not just once but on well over half of the documents. I could not help think about the strides that the US Government, for example, has made in using e-signatures and forms, and forms of e-security to migrate processes to streamlined online systems. (How many have filed your taxes online, for example?)
To take part in this closing process was just a bit surprising. To my brethren in the ECM consulting world, just think about it. Apparently the world is still ripe with opportunity. It brings to mind an earlier post, I wrote nearly 3 years ago. In it I concluded "... despite its age, ECM is an issue that is still growing - perhaps an eternal issue. Old issues linger, while new issues arise. The talents and competencies required of an ECMer grow. But one thing is for sure there is great job security for those that do it well." When I wrote that, I am not sure I was aware of just how poignant that message was. It still rings true, loud and clear. (You may want to read the earlier post for some great statistics on paper consumption and electronic filing.)