Turning Information Chaos Into a Business Asset

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information chaos can be a business asset

Finding opportunities in information chaos isn't easy. But if you work out the best ways to collect and analyze your data, the business benefits can be enormous.

The Changing Face of Work: Organizations need to change the way they view the business structure. The way forward involves flattening hierarchies and eliminating middle management, and bringing top management in contact with frontline employees.

While social technologies by themselves will not disrupt rigid organizational hierarchies, they can be a boon to organizations committed to working in a flatter, more agile way. However, when traditional, rigid information workflows are disrupted without a clear strategy on how to replace them, that can also increase the levels of information chaos.

Turning Chaos Into a Business Asset

Of course, managing the volume and variety of data churned out by these disrupters can be both costly and risky, but it can also be a valuable business asset. By combining content and processes in innovative ways, organizations can actually mitigate risk, reduce costs and better engage their ecosystem.

The intersection of content and process in the world we are moving into is best summarized by this new continuum: Capture -> Analyze -> Engage -> Automate -> Govern.

Organizations must look at their existing policies and align electronic record practices with those used for physical records. Do not hold off putting an e-discovery process in place. If you wait until you need it, it will be too late. Ensure that you have an information governance policy in place across your entire enterprise and that all staff members are trained in compliance.

Shatter the illusion that paperless is a dangerous move. Highlight the role paper-free processes can play in business-improvement initiatives. The more content you can collect into a single, searchable, mobile-accessible system, the easier it will be to tap into your data.

Look at social channels and assess how relevant they are to your organization, both internally and externally, as a means of communication. Don’t just make social channels the domain of your marketing and communication department. Put guidelines in place for using social channels, and make sure you include your HR department in the loop.

Finally, get value out of the data you are collecting. Is the data useful and clean, and can it transform the business? Use the data to your advantage and don’t let it pile up in a silo without playing a part in the organization’s business plan.

Finding opportunities among information chaos is not easy. But if you take the time to work out the best way of collecting and analyzing your data, the business benefits can be enormous.

John Mancini is president of AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management), a global community of information professionals. (www.aiim.org)

This article was originally published on 2014-06-13
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