Before you can start managing your data with any kind of structured process, you first need to know two things: what data you hold, and how you are handling it right now. This is the first step in the digital transformation of any business and the most crucial since you cannot make any meaningful change without being fully aware of your inventory. Similarly, process change may seem daunting but until you look at what repetitive tasks, manual work, and other regular activities you are performing each day, you won’t be in a position to understand what can be improved.
Questions you might want to ask include:
- Are we keeping data unnecessarily?
- What data has value to the organisation?
- What processes are used to collect that data, and what processes rely on it?
For instance, if you’re emailing meeting minutes to dozens of people each week, or CCing an invoice to multiple members of staff when a sale is made, that will automatically create duplicates of the same file in numerous mailboxes. Shared network drives are still widely used in businesses today, despite being cumbersome to control access to, having minimal search functionality, providing little disaster recovery if files are lost, and most importantly: costing you money as they grow.
Centralising your data – for instance, by using a Microsoft SharePoint site, will mean there is a single version of the truth for each file you hold, rather than duplicates in multiple folders, inboxes or on desktops.
Analysis of your processes can also reward you with more efficiency and savings. Too often, companies will keep doing the same thing they’ve always done because it feels “easier” than changing. Taking the bold step of modernising your workplace can save you money, help your workforce achieve more, and retain staff by allowing them to focus on work that feels meaningful, not mundane.
OfficeLabs has a track record in helping businesses start their digital transformation. Give us a call on 01392 240365 or fill in the Contact Us form below, and we’ll be happy to guide you on the first step to better information management.
If you are also looking for assistance with other aspects of Information Management, click on one of the below links for further information.
- Compliance and Governance