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Why intelligent information management is crucial in the modern workplace

By Contributor, Tue 23 Nov 2021

Article by M-Files alliance & partner manager for A/NZ, Chris Smith.

When businesses started turning paper-based documents into digital files, there were no hard-and-fast rules regarding where to store information.

Consequently, businesses saw information scattered across people’s desktops and hard drives or siloed in email inboxes. As organisations realised the benefits of making information more readily available for all team members they started to embrace file share solutions, but even these didn’t really solve the problem.

As businesses come to rely more on data, including unstructured data, legacy ways of managing information must give way to intelligent information management (IIM). If not, businesses will struggle to compete.

There are four benefits that organisations can gain from an IIM solution: 

1. Removal of silos 

When content is spread across various applications and systems, it can become nearly impossible for team members to find what they need and when they need it.

If they search for a document in their customer relationship management (CRM) system, for example, they may not find it because it’s actually stored in their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

This creates significant inefficiencies and can compromise the quality of the business decisions that are being made. 

An IIM can remove these silos by providing the ability to search across the entire business environment, regardless of where the information is stored, enabling employees to access and use content anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Powerful contextual search results will, therefore, surface the documents that the worker is looking for, along with any other relevant information. This can dramatically reduce the wasted time looking for documents and checking versions, letting employees focus on revenue-generating activities. 

2. Data and information security 

Data is a business asset that must be secured to protect the business’s competitive advantage and to comply with various types of privacy legislation. However, if the business can’t see or doesn’t know about every piece of data it stores, then the potential for a data breach can grow. 

It’s important to choose a solution that provides a 360-degree view of information across all systems and repositories, then applies policies to control user access rights via metadata. The solution should also automate version control and audit trails to keep sensitive information secure. 

3. Artificial intelligence-driven efficiencies 

By using AI to classify information, modern IIM solutions can further contribute to employees’ ability to find the right document when they need it. This lets employees focus on the task at hand rather than spending time searching for information. 

4. Remote working and collaboration abilities 

Sending documents by email creates security and version control risks; however, with remote working, many organisations have resorted to email to share information.

Remote workers are empowered by systems that give them access to the right information without relying on email attachments. Collaborating effectively is dependent on finding and using information based on context and working on documents without fear of version control or security issues. 

Organisations that continue to rely on legacy document management systems may struggle to collaborate effectively, empower remote workers to operate efficiently, and compete strongly in an evolving landscape.

Modern IIM solutions provide an answer to this challenge by making information readily available to authorised users as and when they need it, which enhances productivity, increases customer satisfaction, and contributes to greater profitability. 

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