Efficient management of information and data is critical for organizations of all sizes. An organization can generate huge amounts of information on a daily basis, making managing it difficult. Keeping in mind the business needs, the information can be organized with the help of technology, processes, people and the value of the content. But to ensure maximum use of these resources and better management of the business data, it is equally important to be aware of the problems that may arise in the process and how you should go about managing them.
Dealing with information management issues
To get rid of the information management pain points in business processes, you should identify and know about the problems first. Often times, it is general apathy to data, rather than a particular process or department, that causes problems in managing information. Apparently, the problems that many companies face in information management are recurring, and seem to be persistent despite the changes in technology.
What is needed for effective information management? Well defined goals and objectives, and clear cut expectations from the people involved, are what make an information management program effective.
Here is a look at the key information management issues that could affect the business processes, and how you should tackle them.
Bottlenecks: One of the biggest problems of managing data is an information bottleneck. This is often a result of not clearly understanding the value of the content, and how it is needed in the organization. Complex storage and application devices, increasing business operations, and lack of quality maintenance of data also lead to poor data integration.
The solution for these problems is a team that can categorize the available information according to its relevance to the existing business processes. The information should also be classified based on who uses the information and what it is used for. One of the best ways to do this is to index the information and store it so that the information that is often needed is easily accessible, and what is not is archived.
Paper, paper and more paper: In this age of information overload, many companies still tend to store the information on paper. This can lead to increase in paperwork, which can be difficult to handle in the long run. In addition, information on paper is highly susceptible to deterioration, loss or theft. Document management and any loss of vital information can cost the enterprise heavily in time and money.
The solution to this problem is to make use of technology to digitize the necessary information. This enables easy management — addition and removal of the data as required — and also reduces the costs involved in document management and storage. Information in electronic format can be stored in flexible storage devices, allowing easy access to it when required.
Replication: Sometimes a document or content is replicated too many times, finding its way into several devices. Also, companies tend to keep copies of certain documents that are no longer relevant to the business processes. Creating too many copies of a document, when not needed, makes the information management process more complex.
The solution to this problem is to avoid replication of data without reason. This improves the business process agility and enables easy and effective tracking, maintenance and storage of important information.
Not being prepared: Being prepared for the unforeseen is essential for preventing loss of data, be it in the form of paper or in the electronic form. Not having the necessary disaster and risk management plans can disrupt the smooth flow of business processes and lead to losses.
The only way to prevent this is to have a recovery plan that can help you restore your digital and paper documents without affecting your business.
Workflow processes: Having the necessary information is one thing, while being able to access and use it in time is another. Poorly designed workflow processes and policies for managing data make it difficult to store and retrieve data without any hassles.
Organizations should focus on developing flexible workflows that can be optimized according to the growing and changing business processes.