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Four ways to empower knowledge workers with effective information management

(Image credit: Image Credit: Bluebay / Shutterstock)

Outdated technology – especially a document management solution – isn’t just frustrating; it can be a major hindrance to an organization’s overall productivity, efficiency, and bottom line. The sheer volume of information that your average enterprise is creating daily, in addition to the historical data that is already stored, is enormous — to the point where simply keeping track and accessing everything can be an uphill battle. Without an effective information management framework in place, knowledge workers can quickly become overwhelmed by the amount of data, rather than using it to help move the business forward. 

To become a successful digital business in today’s world, organizations need a strategy and solution to minimize losses and maximize the value of critical data. A modern approach to information management can not only offer these benefits, but can also empower compliance capabilities, improve document security, enhance search functionalities and heighten collaboration.  

Here are four ways an effective information management strategy empowers knowledge workers to achieve a smarter way to work: 

1. Increases productivity and efficiency in the workforce 

According to an IDC Study, data professionals are losing up to 50 percent of their time every week, with 30 percent of that time searching for, governing, and preparing data, and the other 20 percent duplicating work. Knowledge workers are already inundated with important tasks that they must manage each day, so it is essential that they can efficiently tackle these tasks by quickly finding the necessary customer or project information, regardless of where it is located.  

With an intelligent information management solution, knowledge workers spend less time digging out documents, or asking colleagues to put the right paperwork together, as they now have access to enhanced contextual search capabilities along with automated processes that ensure that relevant content is available at knowledge workers’ fingertips. Manual processes can negatively affect an organization’s productivity, so deploying a solution that offers workflow automation can dramatically improve productivity and efficiency. By eliminating redundant manual tasks and automatically bringing together all documents on a specific topic from different repositories into one centralized place, knowledge workers can avoid time-consuming steps and concentrate on the tasks that will improve customer satisfaction and increase the organization’s bottom line.

2. Enhances document control and security 

With the new hybrid or remote workforce, documents are scattered all over the enterprise, across various systems and repositories, making it difficult for knowledge workers to keep sensitive information secure and follow the correct procedures to control documents effectively. As data leaks and security breaches become even more frequent in today’s data-driven world, companies need to do all they can to protect their data and their customers' information to avoid potential fines and other unwanted effects on the business.  

By implementing an effective information management strategy, knowledge workers can have full control over who has access to information at various stages of a process, ensuring the right information can be accessed by only those who are granted access. An intelligent information management solution can integrate with the company's current security solutions to safeguard information and provide security features that offer knowledge workers increased protection, including policy enforcement, version control, and compliance and quality management. This not only guarantees the security, privacy, and integrity of an organization’s documents and data, but also makes it easier to keep audit trails and stay compliant with strict data regulations, such as GDPR and HIPAA.

3. Improves collaboration in the digital, work-from-anywhere world 

Covid-19 has pushed the world further online and prompted companies to enforce work-from-home policies until further notice. This has brought collaboration to the forefront of most organizations’ information management strategies. In this new normal, work cannot stop because knowledge workers can’t access a document or because they need to print and pass around a proposal for approval.  And as we’ve seen, sharing documents as email attachments can quickly lead to content chaos, as knowledge workers lose control of where the most current version is stored and who made the latest updates.  

An intelligent information management solution makes the transition to hybrid or remote work easier for knowledge workers, enabling them to effortlessly share information with colleagues and external stakeholders from the devices they're most comfortable using. This removes the risks of duplicate versions or lost email attachments in a poorly defined collaboration process and ensures everyone has the same and most up-to-date version of the required document. It also enables knowledge workers to co-author documents, allowing them to collaborate in real-time with colleagues and customers, which improves efficiency and customer satisfaction.

4. Maximizes business intelligence for additional revenue streams  

A company’s own data serves as its best source of business intelligence but, according to a study by IDC commissioned by Ricoh USA, 83 percent of companies are missing out on the business benefits of information mobility. Data can help management gain the business intelligence necessary to spot trends, pinpoint problems, and develop strategies to improve efficiency and gain a competitive advantage – but this can only happen when information is managed correctly. 

By consolidating and managing data effectively with an information management strategy, knowledge workers always have the most current information at their fingertips, enabling them to understand business operations better, make more informed business decisions, and determine which opportunities to explore. This can optimize knowledge workers’ daily actions and promote faster decision-making. It also helps businesses with their ‘go-green’ initiatives, ensuring the organization is moving towards a more environmentally friendly model by using less paper while also reducing business costs. 

An effective information management strategy does far more than simply relieving organizations of the burden of paper or poorly organized files; it makes sure knowledge workers can access relevant information from anywhere to handle their day-to-day work effectively, tackle customer problems and improve their organization’s bottom line. Intelligent information management solutions can help improve business processes, allowing employees to set and enforce governance rules such as how information gets added to the system, who can view the documents, and who can share them. With an effective information management strategy, knowledge workers can benefit by saving time, increasing transparency, staying compliant, reducing costs, and improving collaboration. Knowledge workers also gain a better view of the data and information they house, which opens up additional streams of revenue and generates better business intelligence.

Antti Nivala, Founder and CEO, M-Files

Antti Nivala is Founder and CEO at M-Files and serves as Chairman of the Board. Antti conceived the vision of M-Files and continues to lead the direction and development of the company and the product.