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What are the challenges that businesses confront with information management, and how can they be addressed?
Typical information management challenges include a lack of strategy, digitizing documents, automating processes, controlling the expanding volume, securing information access, minimizing information silos, connecting with older systems, and eliminating low-quality data.
Information management is a critical component of every organization’s success. Businesses will be unable to get insights, respond to changes, or make educated business decisions unless they have the capacity to correctly manage their information. However, it is seldom problem-free, since unresolved information management challenges can add to what we label information chaos.
Overcoming these challenges enables organizations to unlock the value of their information, which may increase operational efficiency, productivity, agility by responding to changes faster, securing critical information, and complying with various rules and regulations imposed by industries and governments.
If you are new to information management, I already covered this topic in depth.
In this article, we will discuss the top ten information management challenges and how to solve them in order to maximize the value of your most valuable asset.
Information Management Challenges
Achieving an effective information management implementation is difficult and does not happen quickly, which is why a large majority of implementations fail.
The ten information management challenges are:
1- Lack of Unified Best Practices
The lack of unified practices is among the top information management challenges organizations face.
If there is no enterprise-wide information management strategy, individuals will often apply what they regard as correct, resulting in information that is poorly managed and making locating and collaborating on it nearly hard.
A solid information management plan will specify how data should be managed from generation through deletion.
2- Digitizing Information
Any company must undergo digital transformation and it is now imperative to incorporate digital technologies into all divisions in order to radically alter how they do business.
Apart from having the right information management plan, organization-wide strategy, and change management vision, having the right tool that can help organizations digitize their data and reach high levels of ROI is the most critical consideration for the success of transitioning to digital.
The flow of information and documents is high, and depending on paper documents to do business will have a critical impact on the operational track. However, digitizing documents is not a simple process. It takes a significant amount of effort at first, especially if you have been in business for a long time and have mountains of paper documents stored.
In order to convert paper documents to digital, extract critical information, and store them electronically, organizations should invest in high-quality scanners, OCR technology, and a robust document management system.
I highly recommend reading the below article illustrating the document digitization challenges
3- Automating Processes
The role of information management is to deliver the correct information to the right audience at the right time and place in order for them to respond fast and make educated business decisions.
That is only possible if your operating procedures are seamless and efficient. Automation is the ultimate technique to ensure that processes run smoothly. When procedures are automated, your company can complete activities more quickly, respond to client demands more effectively, and boost productivity.
Automating processes is also a huge task that needs much work to understand how the process presently operates, identify bottlenecks, and redesign it to perform better.
Check out the below article for more info
4- Manage Information Growth
According to Statista, the total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed globally is forecast to increase rapidly, reaching 64.2 zettabytes in 2020. Over the next five years up to 2025, global data creation is projected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes. More than 80% will be unstructured data.
Learn more about the differences between structured and unstructured data.
This in itself is a significant challenge that companies must carefully plan for in order to effectively handle. Only the essential and important information should be saved and stored in order to reduce processing time, and storage costs, and ensure excellent quality.
5- Securing Information
We all have sensitive information that only authorized individuals should have access to, and the corporate world is no exception.
To reduce data breaches and retain a good reputation, sensitive information such as customer information, employee information, and financial reports should be safeguarded and only authorized persons should have access to them.
It is simple to grant rights to authorized individuals and withdraw access from others when using a document management system. Most of these solutions provide granular control over the types of permissions and a full audit trail displaying all activities performed on each document.
6- Reducing Information Silos
Did you know 52% of organizations have 3 or more ECM/DM/RM systems, and 22% have 5+ systems.
If you look at any company’s business applications portfolio, you will see that there are at least 5 separate systems where information is saved and managed. Employees find it difficult to discover information and manage their lifecycle when there are various information silos.
Organizations should aim to combine or at least integrate these systems with their primary information repository in order to enable enterprise search and allow workers to find information without having to open many apps at the same time.
7- Integration with Legacy Applications
Organizations are still dealing with legacy applications that make integration with other systems impossible. Typically, they will manually collect the required information from these programs and input it into others. Employees typically find this to be a time-consuming and monotonous process.
This can be automated using RPA technology, and robots can complete the same precise procedures that your workers do. As a consequence, errors will be reduced and accuracy will improve.
8- Poor Quality Of Information
Organizations should not manage any of the information they produce or collect. A quality control check should be performed to determine what should be retained or used as part of the information lifecycle.
Enterprise data quality should be maintained at a high level to ensure that managers are dealing with the right information and not making strategic choices based on incorrect information, which may have disastrous consequences.
9- Legacy Systems & Replacement
An outdated organizational information system can hold it back. Using an old system will surely have a big impact on productivity and how to do the job better and faster.
As technologies evolve, new systems or features are being introduced to aid organizations with their information lifecycle. It is extremely important to start planning for a replacement for older systems.
10- Regulatory Compliance
Most businesses operate in a regulated industry, and noncompliance with such rules and regulations can cost them money in the form of fines and penalties.
Being GDPR or HIPAA compliant, for example, necessitates the adoption of a whole lifecycle from creation to deletion.
Making certain that unneeded documents or personal information are deleted in accordance with their retention policy, and eventually automating this process, will ensure full compliance.