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Scaling up: where do you go when you've outgrown your business collaboration tools

When your business begins to mature past the bounds of your existing business collaboration tools, such as Google G Suite, it may be time to explore what the best Google workspace alternative is - namely an enterprise content management (ECM) solution.

Let's start by briefly recapping the ten signs you need to look for a Google workspace alternative, from our previous blog post.

  1. You’re experiencing versioning errors
  2. You’re struggling to limit user access
  3. You need more stringent approval controls
  4. You have files that aren’t supported by G Suite
  5. Achieving compliance is challenging
  6. Your business is suffering from inefficient workflows
  7. You don’t have a good overview of what’s going on
  8. Your data security is lacking
  9. You can’t share files securely outside the business
  10.  You find it difficult to find the information you need

PLUS, you're lacking:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration
  • Employee management
  • Other required integrations
  • Tailor-made customisation

So, you know you need to up-level to a robust ECM, and find the best Google workspace alternative. What next?

The sort of ECM solution that you require depends on the needs of your business. Besides regulatory compliance, there are other factors that you need to consider before you commit to a particular system:

Integration with existing software

An effective ECM solution will:

  • Seamlessly integrate with your current third-party software applications; and
  • Be compatible with a wide range of software platforms out of the box, with minimal development effort required.

Look out for one that enables you to access data, documents and entries easily, plus efficiently access any other types of files your business currently has or will create. 


In the past few years, cloud-based solutions have done away with clunky, traditional business applications, of both hardware and software varieties. 

You’ll need a cloud-ready ECM solution that:

  • Provides easy but secure access to your company's files and data;
  • Improves the bottom line by enhancing productivity and advancing efficiency; and
  • Requires less capital investment. 


Find an ECM solution that can grow alongside your business. We're talking about both features and growth in users. 

Map out your future requirements and make sure the ECM solution can live up to these forecasted objectives. The solution must already have the capability built-in - or the ability to add extra features you’ll need in the future. 


It’s hard to deny the mobility benefits of a cloud-ready ECM system. Some examples include:

  • Increases individual employee productivity;
  • Enables better team collaboration;
  • Streamlines decision-making processes; and
  • Reduces 'back and forth' over email. 

The ECM solution you chose as a Google workspace alternative will allow employees to capture, view and access content across multiple devices in a secure and version-controlled environment. Don’t accept anything less! 

Information security

Choosing a suitable ECM solution means one that offers complete and complex security of all content via encryption and properly managed authorisation. 

Also, your organisation should be able to track all user activities and administration over content accessibility. This is essential to building a secure environment. 

Good ROI

Solid return on investment (ROI) is a part of all good business decisions, and it is no different when considering an ECM system. 

With a robust and secure software alternative, some areas where cost savings will become readily apparent are reductions in physical document storage, security and destruction, couriering and posting hard copies, and archiving old documents. And with time equalling money, your organisation will benefit from increased employee productivity and efficiency. 

Which type of ECM solution is right for my business?

Will an on-site solution be the best fit, or is a cloud-based ECM better for your organisation? Or maybe a hybrid of both? It’s an important question and it will take time to find the answer. 

In a previous blog post, we discuss what you need to know about on-premise, cloud-based and hybrid ECM solutions to help you make the soundest decision. 

A new ECM will change how people work and affect the way documents are managed right across your organisation. It's not an easy or quick decision to make, but our Enterprise Content Management Checklist will help you consider your options and identify the right ECM to meet your business needs.