As the saying goes, ‘the only constant is change.’ There will come a time when every organisation will need to adapt to the changing requirements of industries and markets. This could result in a merger or acquisition, or simply adjusting how business is conducted. Whatever the situation, information management should be at the centre of transformation strategies for an organisation to move forward successfully.
Information management can completely revolutionise the way an organisation performs business processes, opening the door to more responsive and streamlined ways of working. This is because information management centralises important business content in one secure location, then delivers the relevant information to users when they need it, wherever they are.
Whether an organisation relies on legacy systems that act as the primary repositories of core business information, or there is a need to consolidate disparate technology systems, information management prepares all content for use within a transformed business. There is no need for a system replacement, as a good information management solution is able to integrate with any other enterprise application, such as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, productivity tools or home-grown applications, all without requiring custom code.
So, while everything else is changing, the organisation’s technology systems don’t have to. This means that employees can carry on working in the systems with which they are most familiar while accessing critical documents and other supporting materials from the information management solution. Data can also be accessed offline or through a mobile device, thus ensuring greater productivity. The content can even be extended to people outside of the organisation like customers or suppliers, thereby reducing customer service calls.
Any concerns about how valuable business information is shared or used are also automatically addressed. An information management solution will empower an organisation to secure and protect content from the moment it enters the system and in accordance with compliance requirements. The solution can provide affordable and inbuilt protection of data, with instant online redundancy, so that in the event of a server failure the organisation is not at risk of losing any critical data and can have a continuation of business.
Advanced information management solutions also have the ability to handle long-term retention and destruction requirements in keeping with legal records retention policies. Also, with tight permission enforcement, there is greater control over where each document is sent, ensuring only designated members of staff have access when it arrives.
Information management checks the boxes for remote working, lowering the administrative burden associated with running a business, enabling efficient disaster recovery and ensuring compliance, but perhaps the greatest benefit is improved service to employees and customers. Employees won’t waste time recreating work that has already been completed, or searching for documents or supporting material, as this will be easily retrievable. Working more efficiently will enable them to spend more time on work that brings value to the organisation. Also, easy access to information in context means a more personalised service and faster incident resolution, thereby enhancing customer service.
Information management lays the groundwork for better business processes and helps organisations realise improvements almost immediately after implementation. The implementation can also be swift and need not disrupt business operations. So, what are you waiting for?
By Monique Williams, Hyland Southern Africa Regional Manager