AIIM Identifies 8 Ways You Can Improve Information Management
The problem of unstructured information floating around enterprises has reached such epidemic proportions that AIIM (news, site) has decided to take to the road at six locations over the coming months to persuade companies to develop a holistic information strategy.

The six seminars will take the guise of AIIM's “8 things about . . .” framework and will specifically look at eight factors to consider when creating an information strategy for enterprises.

You just know there’s a lot to say about this. Even the title is a mouthful: 8 Factors to Consider in Creating an Information Management Strategy: How Your Organization Can Improve Efficiency, Increase Productivity, and Reduce Risk.

At the heart of it, though, is the very serious problem that 80% of information in many organizations is unstructured with many of those organization’s “winging it” when it comes to information strategies, according to AIIM president John Mancini on his blog.

The seminar dates are available from the AIIM website with registration open at the moment. The events are free and come with the warning from Mancini that, “the strategic imperative to manage information effectively will soon become irreversible -- with devastating consequences for those who assume it is otherwise.”

Eight Information Management Issues

Let’s take a quick look at the eight issues that AIIM will cover.

1. Chose your platform with care

This in itself is a huge subject, but the seminar will be focusing on what kind of enterprise content management system you need, whether SharePoint serves your purpose, whether you go down the open source content route.

It will also deal with legacy systems, how they fit into a new information strategy, whether they can be integrated into new systems that come with new strategies or whether they need to be done away with.

2. Paper use and document capture

The key question here is whether your company has fully integrated scanning and capture capabilities with your platform and how much of a reduction you can make in your use of paper from an organizational and ‘green’ point of view?

Running in tandem with this is how companies are managing files in off-site storage, and whether this could be managed better, with particular reference to discovery issues.

3. Collaboration

This will focus on what tools you can deploy to put an end to email as the principal collaboration tool in your organization and in the process getting rid of the unstructured content that follows emails like a bad smell.

It will also look at social media, how they function as collaboration tools and how you can bring these kinds of tools into the enterprise, instead of taking the misguided IT-centric approach of blocking their use.

4. Compliance and Information Management

Organizations face increasingly rigid information management compliance requirements from global, national, state, local and industry terms. Managing these in manual terms has become very expensive and very risky.

On top of these, organizations must deal with very substantial risks associated with eDiscovery. The seminar will look at how a well thought out information strategy can negate the risks here.

5. Process efficiency and automation

Many organizations survived the first wave of the information revolution by assembling a patchwork quilt of technology and manual systems. The result of this patchwork approach is a host of process inefficiencies.

We are at the point where only additional technology to automate information ingestion and digestion can solve the problem. Can your organization cope?

6. Information overload

Unconventional forms of information are everywhere. Paper documents are still much better managed than electronic Office files.

However, instant messages, SMS/text messages, blogs and wikis are largely off the corporate radar in 75% of organizations. Once they become part of it the level of information to be managed will rise by 10. Without a strategy how will your company manage this?

7. Developing a plan

The bottom line here is that your company will have to develop a new ECM architecture for your organization. Think of everything your ECM manages and think of trying to restructure this.

8. Embracing Change

AIIM research suggests that the main pitfalls for an ECM project stem not from technology but from a failure to anticipate change management issues. Regardless of the kind of change an organization must determine whether they are ready to face the change and adjust to it. Determining readiness is a big factor in the potential success of your ECM project.

The list of subjects is comprehensive and the seminars are free after you have register. If you think that your company doesn’t really need them a quick reminder of an old adage is probably relevant here: “If you think there’s nothing wrong, you don’t know what’s going on”.