Every business today faces the challenge of managing information although the nature of the threats might be different. Here are a few challenges we have come across ourselves or while working with our clients:
- Volume of Data: More often than not, sheer volume of the data causes a problem. More data is good but to gain insight into large volumes of data and converting it to actionable information is difficult. This is where businesses enter the realm of big data and data analytics. It is essential otherwise the data is a wasted asset.
- Security of Information: The laws around how data is managed and stored are getting stricter and rightly so. Most organisations feel the pressure to comply with regulations such as Data Protection and forthcoming GDPR regulations with very little knowledge of what is actually required. The basics of all such regulations are the same - is to have defined processes to manage and process data so the business is aware what data is held against any individual - employee or customer, where it is held and is accessible only to authorised personnel. Document and records management solutions would have inbuilt controls to ensure some of the above.
- Information Accessibility: We live in a world where instant gratification is in demand and customers are used to it with social networking apps and tools. The same speed of response if expected of businesses. Can businesses live up to the challenge? Yes, but only if they have the right information accessible at the right time. Businesses like Amazon, Uber and Apple are ahead in the game, predict customer behaviour and invest in making it easier for customers to respond. In business to business there are fewer examples but solutions like mobile capture are being used by insurance companies to empower their customers to initiate a process, passing the control in the customers hand and at the same time making information available on the device of preference.
- Cost of Managing Information: Cost of managing information is a subset of all the challenges mentioned above. However, it is the least worrying as the returns on investment in managing information properly are far greater - better customer service, low risk of data breaches, competitive advantage, better employee engagement and improved efficiency of business processes.
What is your biggest information challenge? Please add your thoughts, experiences and best practices to the discussion.