Even after all the years of document and enterprise content management, enterprises are still buckling under the stress of trying to manage even their basic structured data. We saw yesterday, for example, in new research from Docurated, that 68 percent of organizations have five or more repositories.
We also saw that despite the rise of cloud computing and storage, the majority of content is being kept on premises and that workers spend up to nine hours per week just finding documents.
The Big Problems
It seems strange that after all the research and workshops of the past ten years focusing on document management that this should be the case. However, report after report from both vendors and independent researchers point to the fact that document management strategies in many enterprises are chaotic.
The research from Docurated, entitled the State of Document Management, points to seven reasons why this is the case. It also offers recommendation as to what enterprises can do about it. Carried out across 116 IT executives in enterprises of various sizes, it found the explosion in content across enterprises is frustrating even the most determined attempts to resolve this problem.
"A few things were really surprising to us. The No. 1 surprise was the promise of one single repository, one single source of golden truth. It’s kind of comical. What in fact ends up happening is that you had four repositories before you started [implementing a new system]. When you finish you have five or six. Ultimately you end up with more and more content sprawl across all these places,” said Alex Gorbansky, CEO of Docurated.
He also cited the use of file servers as a major problem with the storage of content and documents on-premises aggravating the problem of repository sprawl.
7 Pain Points
In fact, in all, the Docurated research pointed to seven specific pain points that enterprises face with document management:
1. Content spread across disparate repositories
A majority of respondents reported that they have years of content spread across the enterprises and in many different repositories. This makes it just about impossible for workers to find the content they are looking for.
One respondent pointed to what must be a reality for many enterprises given the widespread deployment and use of SharePoint for content management. He said that the enterprise he works has a document management strategy based a stack of legacy file servers and SharePoint making it impossible for our users to get the information.
The positive news from this was that 62 percent said the had prioritized document management this year. That said, it is not the first time we have heard that and yet the situation is still chaotic.
2. Five or more storage repositories
Even in those companies that have actively tried to manage the content sprawl, the number of repositories continues to grow. The study found that 60 percent of organizations report content growing at a rate of a least 100 percent per year.
The problem is that as more technologies are being used and more content comes into the enterprise more repositories are being created without adequate management, or metadata management, meaning more and more content is not trackable — what is increasingly referred to as dark content.
Docurated suggests that those companies that are experiencing this problem should invest in training to ensure that workers know exactly what is available, or at least know where different kinds of content can be located.
In fact, Gorbansky estimates, that sales and marketing people are spending as much as 70 percent of their time in non-revenue generating activities because of poor information and document management.
3. Poor mobility and ‘lost’ documents
Given this figure, it should be no surprise then, that mobile should be cited as one of the major pain points. This dovetailed with the finding that nearly two thirds of respondents cited poor user experience, difficulty in accessing infrastructure and difficulty accessing documents when mobile as their biggest challenge.