The more research I read, the more I realize that the enterprise is barely holding it together. Sure, some of the dysfunction can be attributed to trying to keep up with emerging technologies or changing demographics of their workforce or customers. But when new research reveals that most organizations can't leverage existing work, enterprise knowledge, and institutional memory, I only have two words: face palm.
Will Untagged Content Undo the Enterprise?
A new study from Smartlogic, which collected responses from 2,000 directors and managers from the US, UK, Germany and France, encompassing a variety of industries, from government, not-for-profit, banking, among others, showed that companies aren’t tagging enterprise documents. *headdesk*
According to the research, poor or non-existent tagging of enterprise documents results in two-thirds of senior managers and directors being unable to access key information assets within their own organization, leading to repetition of work and poor workplace collaboration. Such unstructured or untagged information includes a variety of documents, from presentations to meeting notes to various types of web copy. Accordingly,
- 67% of those surveyed say information including research, presentations, plans, meeting notes, reports, web copy, and other uncategorized content is "very difficult" to retrieve.
- 61% say the vast majority of documents are not properly categorized for accurate and rapid retrieval.
- Information overload affects 62% of organizations, with few internal documents easily available to management and staff.
Untagged, At Risk
While there may be many excuses for why much of the content goes untagged, the truth is that in its absence, the enterprise is at risk. Being unable to quickly and accurately access vital information assets can lead to a plethora of unfavorable outcomes, including
- inefficient repetition of work
- missed commercial opportunities through lack of information sharing
- an inability to monetize information and insights the organization already owns an increased risk of regulatory non-compliance
All contribute to increased costs, reduced productivity, and wasted time.
Metadata isn’t always a integral part of document creation or collaboration, nor is it even understood by many who are responsible for content creation or management. Maybe it’s generational, but likely it’s cultural -- as in, if an organization doesn't make information architecture a priority, it isn’t likely to trickle down into the day-to-day business processes.
Additionally, for those who do tag data, much of the problem is that metadata is inconsistent and riddled with errors. The research shows that 68% of managers and directors say their organizations still rely on manual labeling of content, while 64% believe cost -- which in most cases would primarily be the overhead of effective manual tagging -- is the main obstacle to efficient information retrieval and delivery within enterprises.
MetaData, More Access
What is clear is that organizations need to act now to deal with poor information performance. This can be done by implementing content intelligence solutions that let companies organize, access and control their enterprise information easily and efficiently. Putting an effective and consistent system in place not only makes it easier to retrieve the right documents, it also means better access to corporate knowledge, improved risk management and compliance and better customer relationship management, which can all mean a better bottom line.