Monday, March 21, 2011

The business value of managed content

Posted by Mark Brousseau

Managed content can deliver 30 percent productivity gains and a 25 percent in efficiency improvements, according to new research co-sponsored by OpenText and AIIM.

One of the more notable findings from the survey of more than 450 information technology professionals and business managers is that the productivity of professional staff would be improved by 30 percent if they could only find internal information and documents as quickly and as easily as they find information on the Web. Along the same lines, respondents said customer service levels and response times could be improved by 33 percent if all customer-facing staff could immediately access and share all of the customer-related and case-related information.

Additional opportunities for improvement included:

• The productivity of administrative staff could be increased on average by 33 percent through use of workflow, scanned forms and automated data capture.

• Changing to a culture of electronic-only filing would reduce the office space allocated to filing storage from 14.5 percent to 5.9 percent – a 60-percent reduction.

• The size of server farms dedicated to unstructured content and emails could be reduced by between a third and a half if each document or email attachment was stored only once.

• A collaborative, widely accessible team-site environment could improve project delivery by 23 percent on average in terms of time and project costs.

• Respondents indicated they believe that Enterprise 2.0 applications could improve staff productivity and engagement by about 18 percent.

• The improved efficiency from providing office staff with comprehensive mobile access to company information would likely be between 20 and 25 percent.

While the survey indicates a compelling case for adopting enterprise content management (ECM) technologies, it also exposes the significant challenges for companies that get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of documents and content accumulating on shared drives, email, laptops and mobile device and paper files.

According to 61 percent of the survey respondents, organizational knowledge is the first thing to suffer in a badly managed environment, causing the organization to lose its competitive position due to poor decisions and a lack of accumulated corporate expertise. Innovation is considered to be another significant victim of poor collaboration and restricted knowledge-sharing, followed by the productivity impact of information search fatigue.

Compliance breaches and information and data leaks also weighed heavily on the minds of the survey respondents. For instance, 40 percent of organizations would take a financial hit from a compliance breach while fully 66 percent would suffer bad – and costly – publicity. Over a third of organizations reported they would have no way of finding out who was responsible if sensitive data was “leaked” to a competitor or to the press by a trusted employee. Only a quarter could readily point to a specific employee based on activity logs. For 60 percent of the largest organizations, the potential impact of such a leak would be high, and for 13 percent it would be “disastrous.”

“As the research confirms, companies that claim, control and capitalize on content increase their people’s contribution, deliver better customer service, and save money – all of which leads to better business,” said James Latham, chief marketing officer, OpenText. “At the same time, succumbing to fast-growing unstructured content inside the enterprise will increase risk, stifle innovation, or worse yet, leak sensitive documents. The case for ECM has never been stronger.”

What do you think?

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