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Six benefits of aligning information management directly with digital transformation

By Contributor
Fri 11 Feb 2022

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

The past few years have seen numerous societal changes that have significantly impacted many areas of life, most notably in the workplace. Digital transformations that initially came as a direct response to unforeseeable circumstances of a global pandemic have now fundamentally altered how organisations do business. Managing data and information more effectively must be at the top of the priority list for organisations as they navigate the rapidly changing landscape.

Digital transformation is an ongoing proposition for organisations, and commitment to digital transformation continues to be a key priority for businesses worldwide. Experts predict investments to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.5 per cent until 2023, with total expenditure expected to approach US$6.8 trillion.

As part of any digital transformation, organisations will naturally begin generating and working with more data than ever before from a wide variety of sources. This means that legacy information systems are highly unlikely to be up to the task of collecting, managing, securing, and providing access to this information. And, since this information is widely acknowledged to be the lifeblood of most organisations, addressing the issues with managing it effectively is crucial.

Remote and fast-moving workforces struggle to manually apply consistent document naming and saving conventions, creating challenges when sharing that information or accessing data necessary to the business.

These older systems often see employees get bogged down looking for information or recreating information they cannot find, rather than spending their time on value-adding tasks. For today’s digital remote workers, who must navigate data scattered across multiple systems with no single source of truth, the challenge only becomes that much worse.

To increase productivity and efficiency, organisations must embrace a modern approach to information management as part of their digital transformation journey, giving them the power to convert data into information with meaningful context.

Modern information management can provide a 360-degree view of organisational data while also fulfilling governance requirements.

Additional organisational benefits from merging information management directly with the digital transformation strategy include:

  • Obtaining a single source of truth
    Organisations must be able to make sense of the content being managed, and if these management tools include four or more content systems, the data can become lost and unusable.

    To overcome this, organisations need a system that lets workers access and leverage information that resides in any system or repository regardless of where the data is stored. With this, they gain the single source of truth needed to make informed business decisions.
  • Making the right information available to the right users
    With data growing in complexity and scale, there also comes an increase in privileged credential accounts, which are the users that have elevated access to information. It’s essential to have the right permissions in place to protect data and ensure only authorised users can access, edit, move, or delete it.

    These permissions should be automatically updated when employees leave or move into new roles to prevent unauthorised access at any time. This creates a seamless transition across the workforce, without the risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.
  • Improving operational efficiency
    Automating mundane processes can free up employees to focus on value-adding tasks. With automation, organisations can gain more control over workflows and data and overcome issues that can occur when workers struggle to complete manual tasks in a timely fashion.

    Instead, automated processes can operate without pause to ensure work is done on time and customers and other stakeholders are satisfied.
  • Improving collaboration
    While there are many benefits to remote working, productive collaboration can be difficult without face-to-face interaction. Intelligent management solutions facilitate real-time information sharing, eliminate version control issues and dropped email attachments, and provide everyone with the most accurate and recent information.
  • Adhering to compliance requirements
    When it comes to keeping up with audits and compliance, information management systems can easily control user access using metadata.

    This approach automatically ensures version control so that each user accesses the most recent and correct version of a document. It also maintains a clear audit trail for compliance and protects sensitive information.
  • Lay a foundation for future innovation
    Implementing intelligent systems now will provide a base for future innovation. Analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence will all be critical for organisations looking to maximise the value of their information and data. As technologies continue to evolve and offer new opportunities, businesses must remain open to the possibilities and include them in their digital transformation strategy.

Implementing these changes may not be possible all at once; however, by working according to a strategically aligned digital transformation plan, organisations can ensure the process is done in a manageable way and, ultimately, delivers a strong return on investment.

In the midst of so much change, organisations can be forgiven for being reluctant to replace legacy technology or processes. However, organisations can de-risk their transformation by transforming in a way that aligns new technology investments to long-term goals.

Leadership should be at the forefront of bringing in new software and processes and should provide guidance in understanding which technology platforms are no longer supporting the overall trajectory of the business.

Any components that can be moved to newly embraced or cloud-based infrastructures should be. Any existing code that can be optimised on the back end without changing front-end behaviour or features should be made whenever possible.

Having a detailed plan in place that aligns with its long-term goals will provide businesses with a solid foundation on which the organisation can build to thrive and innovate for the next decade and beyond.

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

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