Everywhere you go and everywhere you look, there is information coming at you. Reaching the Zeta byte range, this information hits you from all sides and in every form attacking your sight and hearing at an increasing rate and yet we are expected to sort through it all to determine what is of value and relevant to our business and personal interests. In business, this information is shaped into content that takes the shape of contracts, marketing materials, correspondence and more that is stored as documents, spreadsheets, video clips and audio files. There is no limit to the form and content that we can and do create and that is created with us as the target.
To limit the focus of this discussion, take time to look around your organization today. How much content and information is being created just in the time it takes for you to read this blog. Now multiply that by the size of your organization. At the same time, think about how many versions of the same content might exist in your information stores and if you had to depend on it to make a critical business decision, how confident would you feel that it is the most up to date and accurate information available? Part of the challenge in all of this is to find the right information when you need it and know it is accurate. Can you do that now? If you were challenged, how would you defend your position and prove that what you have is the latest and most accurate version? Could you prove consistency in your practices and processes? Do you know where information enters and exits your internal processes and what happens to the information as it moves through your organization? Is there value to the information and the activities surrounding it?
If you now feel that the answers to these questions are less than comforting, present doubt, or make you feel like you live in a land of the unknown you may be in need of a well established ECM environment to help gain control and sort through what is relevant and of value. As I often point out in my classes and lectures, technology alone is not the complete answer you need a combination of all the major elements of a well established ECM environment. These are people, process, governance and technology. People must be made aware of the importance to maintain information integrity within the ECM environment, accept the information and content management practices you establish and be trained in the use of the chosen technology.
What say you? What have you do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.
Email: Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor - AIIM
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