Effective information management strategy can empower workers

07 April 2022 Consultancy.uk 5 min. read

Failing to manage information leaves companies open to losses, inefficiency, and – most importantly – revenue. Antti Nivala, Founder and CEO of information management company M-Files, explains the steps businesses can take to plan, build and maintain successful data management infrastructure.

For modern business organisations, information is the most valuable asset. Yet information alone is worthless unless it's used correctly and used in a way that works best for the organisation's workflow.

An outdated document management technology can significantly hinder an organisation's overall productivity, efficiency, and bottom line. The volume of information that an average enterprise creates daily, in addition to the historical data that need archiving, is enormous.

Effective information management strategy can empower workers

Simply keeping track and accessing everything you need can seem impossible. Knowledge workers can quickly become overwhelmed by the amount of data. Without a practical information management framework to support your operational teams, your business remains stagnant, with staff spending more time sorting data rather than using the data for productive gains.

Striving towards success in today's digital business world, organisations need a strategy and solution to minimise losses and maximise data value. The modern, organised approach to information management can offer these benefits and empower compliance capabilities, improve document security, enhance search functionalities, and heighten collaboration. 

Enhance document control and security

With the evolving hybrid or remote workforce, documents are scattered all over the enterprise and across various home and office systems and repositories, making it incredibly difficult for knowledge workers to keep sensitive information secure and to follow the correct procedures to control documents effectively.

As data leaks and security breaches become even more frequent in today's data-driven world, companies need to do all they can to protect their data and their customers' information to avoid potential fines and other unwanted, harmful outcomes.

An effective information management strategy can give knowledge workers complete control over their needs. By specifying who has access to information at various stages of a process, organisations ensure the right information can be accessed only by those with specific permissions.

A modern information management solution can even integrate with the company's current security solutions, safeguarding information and providing security features that offer knowledge workers increased protection. This can include policy enforcement, version control, compliance, and quality management.

Not only does it guarantee the security, privacy, and integrity of documents and data within an organisation, but it also makes it much easier to keep audit trails and stay compliant with strict data regulations, such as GDPR and HIPAA.

Improve collaboration

The pandemic has pushed the world further online – the work-from-anywhere initiative is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Collaboration should be another priority for most organisations' information management strategies. Work cannot afford to falter because knowledge workers can't access a document or need to print and pass around a proposal for approval.

Sharing documents as email attachments can quickly lead to content chaos – knowledge workers lose control of where the most current version is stored and who made the latest updates.

Transitioning to a more hybrid or remote work model is easier with an information management solution. It enables knowledge workers to effortlessly share information with colleagues and external stakeholders wherever they are and whatever device they choose.

In removing the risk of duplicate versions or lost email attachments in a poorly defined collaboration process, organisations ensure everyone has the identical, most up-to-date version of required documents. In addition, knowledge workers can collaborate on the same file in real-time, improving overall work efficiency.

Increase productivity and efficiency

According to an IDC Study, data professionals are losing up to 50% of their time every week in inefficiencies – 30% of time searching for, governing, and preparing data and, the other 20% duplicating work. Knowledge workers are already inundated with essential tasks to manage day-to-day, so it's vital they be empowered to efficiently tackle these tasks by quickly finding the necessary customer or project information, regardless of where it's located.

By empowering your knowledge workers with an intelligent information management solution, they spend less time locating documents and delving into archives or asking colleagues to put together the correct paperwork as the system takes control. Workers have greater access to enhanced contextual search capabilities, along with automated processes that ensure relevant content is available at their fingertips.

Manual processes can negatively affect an organisation's productivity – deploying a workflow automation solution can dramatically improve productivity and efficiency. By eliminating redundant tasks and bringing together all topic-specific documents from different repositories into one place, knowledge workers can avoid time-consuming steps and concentrate on the tasks that will improve customer satisfaction and increase the organisation's bottom line.

Maximise business intelligence

A company's data serves as its best source of business intelligence. According to a study by IDC commissioned by Ricoh, 83% of companies miss the business benefits of information mobility. Data can help management gain the business intelligence necessary to spot trends, pinpoint problems, and develop strategies to improve efficiency and gain a competitive advantage – but this can only happen when information is managed correctly. 

By consolidating and managing data effectively with an information management strategy, knowledge workers always have the most current information at hand, enabling them to understand business operations better, make more informed business decisions, and determine which opportunities to explore. This can optimise knowledge workers' daily actions and promote faster decision-making.

It also helps businesses with their 'go-green' initiatives, ensuring the organisation moves towards a more environmentally friendly model by using less paper while also reducing business costs.