“Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit” - William Pollard.
Organizations around the world are faced with infinite challenges in and around managing content inflow and outflow every single day.
So why are such beneficial resources causing so much havoc?
While fingers can be pointed at many or each other, the root cause of the problem is not a single person or a department. It lies with the organization’s way of handling the invaluable assets. It may be acquired over the years without proper alignment with the technology advancements happening, or it can be due to the hesitancy towards an abrupt change in the organization to procure a centralized system to manage it. There are many other possibilities too which depend on the organization’s nature of doing business and the vertical they operate in.
Organizations of different nature encounter information overload due to various reasons. The list can be extensive starting with disparate storage of information in multiple repositories or databases with mammoth amounts of legacy data packed away, multiple file shares using emails, data packets in other business applications or disorderly content stored in each individual PCs.
Such conduct of information management forces organizations to hold onto redundant and obsolete content long after their age of relevancy.
Foremost step to overcoming this challenge is understanding and accepting the problem. It can be identified through an employee complaining about his redundant work routine or a department requesting for a solution to support some specific content/information centric problem encountered by the team, or even by conducting a proper study on the issues faced in the organization using accepted methods like Cause-effect analysis or Ishikawa Diagram.
Once the cause of the issue is identified as poor management of information and content, the next vital question is,
How can organizations tackle information overload and the associated chaos?
There is no single day solution for this menace of a problem. It can be a lengthy and tedious process for the organization and the employees. Like indicated in the beginning, the information has to be organized, arranged and available to the right people. Getting a top end enterprise content management system might not just do the task at this point of time. Organized and
absolute information governance across the organization has to be acquired. A system all inclusive of the cloud repositories, file shares, multiple applications, records management, and of course with maximum security is the need of the hour. With the implementation of an efficient and centralized system to manage the content and content related processes, the organization can and will start showing an assured level of improvement in a short period of time.
Information overload is an issue which can be turned into an advantage for the organization with the availability of the right tool. Be on the lookout for issues where employees are struggling with accessing or retrieval of information, loss of data/content in the heap of documents or digital clutter and anything similar. Even though it might be a little late, it is your cue to revamp the whole document management system and take control of the bountiful data/ information treasure at your fingertips.
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