Organizations are drowning in information. The rapid expansion of digitized content leads to numerous corporate content systems, each overflowing with unoptimized data, duplicated documents, and a general feeling of complete content chaos. 

The failure to balance the need for governance and structure that information management offers with the ease of use and flexibility that end-users insist on has led to a virtual stand-off. A reliance on numerous systems to store and manage content at a departmental and functional level means multiple places to find information — significantly impacting knowledge workers' productivity and time. 
Their requirements are simple. They want to work with information — to find, view, edit, share, and destroy it depending on the task at hand. Unfortunately, many workers are struggling to work with inefficient content systems that don't fulfill these needs. 

Why is Managing Information So Hard?

A Knowledge worker's efficiency relies on their ability to find and work with the required information quickly. Over-complicating that process wastes time, costing organizations a significant amount yearly — fact!

And organizations are over-complicating things. Research shows that knowledge workers spend 20% of their day searching for information — let alone doing anything with the information once they find it. Mitigating this pointless resource drain requires workers to quickly find content and work with it once located — not jump between multiple systems to get their job done. 

Knowledge workers have been asking for information to be usable through one system for years. Some businesses turned to federated search as a solution. But, federated search only allows users to find information through one search query and interface, not work with it. 

Federated search users still need to open native applications to work on content once they have found it — even actions as simple as previewing, renaming, or sharing a file requires a change of tool. This method does not solve the problem.

Workers need one system to locate and work on content — a system that is easy to use. Is that too much to ask for?

What is Manage-in-Place?

Manage-in-place (MIP) offers such a solution. Manage-in-place is a technology that allows users to perform and complete their content tasks from one central system — while working in other connected systems behind the scenes.

This is a familiar concept within the consumer world. Many of us now use our mobile phones to control devices within our home — heating, lights, and security monitors can be remotely-controlled. This is exactly what Manage-in-Place offers for our content systems. 

With MIP, users can perform actions on the files as if they were accessing it through its native system. Users have a wide range of document management capabilities on all content via MIP: 

  • Find content
  • Preview content
  • Edit content
  • Share content
  • Secure and redact content
  • Destroy content
  • Declare content as a record
  • Mark content under legal hold
  • And much more. 

These capabilities are invaluable for knowledge workers, cutting down on time spent jumping between different systems to work with information. These users benefit from the ease of use that MIP technology offers through a single place to control content. 

However, the IT department within organizations can further leverage the MIP concept by adding additional systems to the eco-system in the future — offering knowledge workers access to even more content without them needing to retrain in the new systems. 

Manage-in-place technology significantly streamlines the process of finding and working with content — finally delivering usable information management. 

MIP and Unified Document Management 

Somewhat ironically, manage-in-place is not a solution that ever becomes visible to the end-user. It is a technology and a core component of a Federated Document Management (FDM) system. The FDM provides the user interface to allow users to access the power of manage-in-place. 

FDM uses federation to combine multiple document management (DM) and enterprise content management systems (ECM) to create a unified view of users’ content. The FDM then calls on manage-in-place to go even further and perform tasks and actions on that consolidated content. 

Working in complete transparent harmony, the core components of federation, manage-in-place, user interface, search, and document operations all come together to form the unified document management solution that so many knowledge workers are craving. 

Use Case: Govern in Place with Records Management

Information professionals are well versed in the compliant management of business records. Yet while vital to every organization, this function is often overworked and failing to deliver. 

Many organizations rely on the manual declaration by a small, dedicated team who search through thousands of potential records, picking out those that need managing and subsequently categorizing and declaring them appropriately. 

The sheer volume of information alongside the silo-based nature of storage creates a challenge for modern businesses — finding all of the potential records is painful. Still, the declaration of the records is an added layer of time and complexity.

For example, searching for something as simple as a "contract" across the organization is incredibly difficult. Contracts may exist in the contract management system, the email system, the file system, and numerous other places. 

A FDM system offers a single place to search for a contract through targeted searches — providing complete lists of potential files to be declared as records. From that list, users can quickly view the document, decide if it genuinely is a record, and declare the record — all from a single interface. The efficiency increases in this reworked process are massive — as is the RM team’s processing capacity. 

As an additional benefit, this manage-in-place, or in this case govern-in-place, technology ensures this process is completed without the document ever leaving the underlying repository. For organizations, this provides:

Data Integrity

Data remains in its native system; it is purely worked on through the FDM interface. All data and information stay compliant and accurate. Data accuracy is upheld as there is no requirement for manual transfer to another system. 

Ease of Use

Knowledge workers can find and access potential records with efficiency and comfort. Searches that were once difficult and complex now yield the results that matter quickly in an easily read interface. 

Security

As documents remain in their native system, no documents are ever downloaded to users’ environments. This increases overall digital security significantly versus systems that download document copies to local devices for viewing.  

Closing Thoughts

The world has been moving from paper to digital for many years, but this process is accelerating faster than ever before. As the volume and importance of digital content skyrockets, organizations need to increase their focus on providing simple, secure, and complete access to corporate information. 76% of knowledge workers believe that the organization with the most data will win, but accessing this data efficiently has not been a priority  — until now. 

Providing access to information is only part of the challenge. As we've seen, knowledge workers have been waiting for a solution that grants them the ability to find content and then work with it quickly. 
Manage-in-place as an enabling technology for federated document management provides that solution. By delivering controlled, consistent access to a host of back-end content systems, users can complete their tasks from a central system — while document operations themselves take place in those back-end repositories.
The benefits provided by MIP are numerous — from reduced system training costs to faster document retrieval times and enhanced content security, MIP is a game-changing technology that most users will never even know about.


To find out more about how Federated Document Management and manage-in-place work together to power the future of information management download the Simflofy Whitepaper, "Bringing Information and Users Closer Together with Federated Document Management" here.