Failing to provide access to critical information quickly causes huge issues for many organizations. 

Research from IDC shows that 76% of company executives consider information "mission-critical" and their most important asset. Yet, despite a clear focus on the value of information, these companies still struggle to quickly access their digital assets. 

The challenges and obstacles of managing that information diminish its value, with information access becoming a hindrance rather than something to drive the business forward. An inability to locate information proves costly. Unfortunately, for many companies, their brand image, customer satisfaction, and efficiency also suffer when their knowledge workers fail to find the information they need.

Information Management Costs

There is a real cost for every employee who struggles to find the right information or has challenges using that content once they have located it. In research conducted by M-files, 83% of workers struggle with version issues each day, forcing them to spend 20% of their time searching for the right content. 

An enterprise employing 1,000 knowledge workers, at an $80,000 avg salary, sees costs of approximately $48,000 per week merely searching for information. That is $2.5 million per year. Simply due to a failure to retrieve the information effectively. 

But the negative impact of poor information management exceeds that beyond a monetary quantifier—a lack of information influences knowledge workers, customers, and other internal processes. 

Poor or lack of information can lead to:

  • Negative brand image or loss of customers due to the inability to find crucial information about services, offers, or products

  • A decrease or loss of productivity as time is lost searching for and retrieving information.

  • Duplicated efforts that lead to multiple departments and units working on the same project

  • Decisions made based on outdated or flawed information.

Quantifying the exact cost of not finding information is challenging due to the sheer amount of variables involved. User training, system understanding, time constraints, and internal communications are all factors involved in information management. Even so, It's undeniable to see the impact multiple, inadequate systems can have on an organization's bottom line.

Information Management Challenges

Finding information is only half the battle. For many knowledge workers, seeking information is the starting point to a desire to edit, control, or adapt the content somehow. Difficulty finding and managing information often resides with one of the below challenges:

Information Silos

Research from AIIM indicates that 52% of organizations have at least four systems storing information. Why is that?

Many organizations believe the best way to manage information is in one central system. Yet, those systems don’t acknowledge that every enterprise, and indeed every department, is unique. Users aren't interested in creating their own systems. They need and want a solution that fulfills a task and fulfills it well. A system that "sort of" does what they need isn't sufficient and will often see users look for alternatives. 

Unfortunately, most document management (DM) and enterprise content management (ECM) systems provide options that "sort of" fulfill user needs. The result?

Reliance on multiple systems for each part of the process, forcing users to waste time switching through various applications to find what they need. Not an ideal situation.  

Wrong Focus

While federated search offers some respite in terms of a reliable way to search and retrieve content, companies fail to see the bigger picture. Fundamentally, users aren't looking only to view their content; they want to work with it. Users are looking to view, edit, approve, share, delete, duplicate, and more. Without that, stagnant, passive search becomes the norm, and the required solution remains out of grasp.

Coming Together for Federated Document Management

By focusing on what users want, we can provide a platform that connects these disparate systems and delivers a single user experience for search and action. We call this Federated Document Management (FDM). 

Instead of merging everything into one system, FDM seeks to "manage" everything from one central location while the content remains in its native system. This enables the user to find, view, edit, share, secure, and destroy their content, amidst a range of other options without leaving one system. 

Knowledge workers have been asking for a simplified solution to information retrieval for too long. Finally, FDM can provide precisely what they need. Accessing information from a centralized location enables an organization to create a single source of truth. Information remains secure, and knowledge workers could regain up to 20% of their day through efficient document retrieval. 

Instead of information management being a frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive endeavor, let unified document management increase internal productivity, deliver ease of use, and reduce costs spent on internal training and document retrieval tasks today.