The information challenge
We live in an age of information explosion. Analysts IDC predict that by 2020, 35 zettabytes of data will be stored globally. More devices, more applications, more people are driving this, and organisations cannot sit by without putting in place information management strategies to grapple with it.
We believe that all organisations need to create and define an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) strategy which includes web content, document and records management, electronic forms (eForms), business process management, collaboration and compliance. Only by doing so will they take back control of what is for most an avalanche of information snowballing out of control.
The process is typically a migratory one, with newly created current documents being ‘born’ into the EDMS while ‘legacy’ information is scanned and digitised in a staged manner.
Document management or ‘electronic filing’ originally started by digitising paper to save space and allow easy sharing. The lessons learnt from these early projects is now being realised through more sophisticated deployments which include electronic content. Add systems integration, workflow, compliance and portal-based access, and suddenly organisations are realising tangible benefits from this technology which address strategic business requirements rather than just short-term measures to solve paper problems.
But the goal posts keep moving. The Internet is pushing digitisation further into business processes and practices. This translates to integration between disparate systems to help streamline data flow and the need for a consistent approach to data storage so information is only held for as long as is needed.
We believe that ECM will become as pervasive a part of a company’s application infrastructure just like database management systems have become over the past two decades. The return on investment is vast:
- Information provided to staff at the point of activity based on job role;
- Increased operational and process efficiency;
- Improved customer service;
- New business generation;
- Enhanced knowledge sharing to foster staff productivity;
- Regulatory compliance
- Robust security;
- Greater ‘green’ benefits as printing, storing, and transporting of paper is removed.
By managing documents while they retain a high business value, deployment and use of ECM will be not be seen simply as a luxury, but essential to maintain competitive edge in the information enterprise and information age.