Within five years, employees will expect the rapid provision of tailored information to support day-to-day roles. They will not countenance the confusion and inconsistency of information resources endured today as organisations struggle to manage multiple sources of unstructured data.
Making that shift, however, requires buy-in at board level. Isolated implementations of enterprise content management (ECM) technologies without a joined-up strategy will not deliver the true knowledge-based organisation. It must be a strategic, board-level approach that provides a change towards a process and people-led information infrastructure.
Indeed, it is becoming patently clear that the ‘store everything’ policies designed to address compliance requirements are failing. They are adding untenable cost and, more often than not, failing to deliver the audit, accountability and information access required to comply with regulations.
Instead of leaving employees floundering in a mass of uncontrolled information, the true knowledge-based organisation provides a productive working environment.
That goal will never be achieved, however, if organisations persist in a solely IT-led, data-specific attitude towards information. Implementing an email management solution may patch over the cracks in one aspect of the business, but it will not achieve a knowledge-based organisation.
The organisation can then use ECM technologies to ensure the right content is available to the relevant individuals in the most appropriate fashion. The entire information lifecycle is tracked to provide visibility of revisions and compliance accountability. The process is more efficient and individuals have immediate access to the information required to enable the bid process, irrespective of data type or source.
Compare this to the quick fix of the email problem. For any organisation looking to maximise the bid management process, imposing greater email control w ill have no effect whatsoever. Yet addressing email as part of the overall ECM deployment will also deliver the benefits initially identified by the IT department.
With the right ECM infrastructure, content can be geared around processes and how people interact with the business, providing every employee with the information required to do their job well. Indeed, within a few years such information provision will be as standard a part of corporate life as is the web site today.
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