The ability to extract insight from information is the foundation of a successful business and a core component to achieving greater competitive advantage. Organisations today have access to an unprecedented volume of information and data, be it in the form of documents, emails, purchase orders, contracts, customer communications or even fax.

Effectively managing and analysing this data can help an organisation derive deep insight into your business operations, including drivers of success and opportunities for improvement.

Admittedly, many of these information sources, and the valuable insight they hold, can be overlooked, ignored or digitally ‘misplaced’. In large enterprises, it’s not out of the ordinary to expect that there will be an IT system or policy in place to collate and store information.

However, the management of vital, valuable information and data shouldn’t necessarily be the sole responsibility of IT. Often the best course of action is to develop an information management strategy that is sponsored at the executive level, as that would achieve greater buy-in from across the organisation than if the IT department were to work in isolation.

The true value of enterprise information management (EIM)

The benefits of content services start when you implement an information management strategy that focuses on the role of content in revenue generation. For many, this may involve developing corporate-wide EIM strategies, allowing an organisation to manage information, engage with customers and employees, and gain vital insight from the data at its disposal.

In the age of GDPR (the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation) and Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) legislation, having clear information management strategies in place will help to secure your organisation’s data, and protect it from damaging fines or impacts on corporate reputation. Developing a data-centric (or information-aware) mindset can greatly help to reduce compliance risk, and even mitigate damage in the event of a cyberattack.

The data itself can also be complex, and this complexity, coupled with different file formats, can mean that information is not efficiently shared between your internal and external stakeholders. Understanding these disparities is key to deploying information management strategies efficiently; knowing where information needs to go will clarify the processes that needs to be put in place to manage and extract value from the data residing in your organisations.

Implementing the right content strategy

While information management strategies need to be secure and comprehensive – after all, they are integral to the handling of data and business processes – they don’t necessarily need to be complex. In fact, developing a sufficient EIM strategy can be as easy as asking questions of your organisation and the information it possesses.

To get to the crux of the matter, ask the following of your data:

  1. What is the tactical value of this information?

    Information is an asset that promotes business goals, so you need to be able to understand how employees are using information to generate revenue, enterprise-wide.

  2. Does all this content need to be managed?

    From an organisational perspective, does management need to oversee each draft of a sales presentation or are we hoarding information? Can this be streamlined?

From a technological perspective, it is also worth evaluating the maturity of the IT department and establishing their capacity, and determine whether there’s a legal need to for an on-premise ECM system, as with Government and Defence organisations.

Depending on the answer, it may be worth investing in a cloud-first EIM strategy. This conversation can be had between the IT and business units, to ensure the best outcome is reached for the entire organisation.

Asking questions of an organisation and its data can help provide a plan to capture and manage documents across physical and electronic locations when it comes to business processes.

Organisational information can be incredibly complex, and involves both data and content that needs to be seen and managed by different departments. Ensuring a clear EIM strategy is in place can make the difference between a successful business and one falling at the last hurdle.