The Importance of Knowledge Management in the Information Age

Modern organizations are awash with information, and utilizing an organization’s intellectual capital and accumulated experiences into something actionable for business has become a challenge in the Information Age. It’s a recognized competitive advantage to turn disorganized data repositories into efficient, easy to access, and searchable vaults of information. Because organizations struggle with effective and efficient ways to accumulate and leverage their intellectual capital, knowledge workers have lost opportunities to make timely and informed business decisions that would’ve benefitted from the client and market insights that Knowledge Management provides.

What is Knowledge Management?

As a concept, Knowledge Management is about equipping individual employees with the collective knowledge of the company so that people can harness prior work across the organization for the benefit of work in the present as well as the future. It in essence institutionalizes in-house knowledge for the sake of allowing your workforce to learn from and utilize core assets you have already created.
As time goes by, a great deal of the knowledge an organization creates is based upon collaboration, whether it’s derived from shared ideas between colleagues or insights picked up from interactions with clients or vendors. Capturing these lessons learned during everyday exchanges is key to capturing knowledge into something that can be codified into processes and checklists and utilized for the benefit of the rest of the company long term.

Organizations looking to institutionalize knowledge capture can turn to information management platforms that that make collected information easy to re-use down the road and can offer helpful search tools and templates to locate, tag, and organize every in-house asset so that it can be called upon constructively and efficiently whenever it is needed.

Why does Knowledge Management matter?

We live in the Information Age where information itself acts like a powerful currency that an organization can leverage as intellectual capital in the marketplace. Organizations that can effectively capture, manage, and leverage their intellectual capital, will win more business, deliver client value more efficiently and outperform their competition.

In real world terms that means that organizations that do Knowledge Management well, are less vulnerable to losing subject matter expertise over the passage of time due to lost assets or staff turnover. And employees are liberated from the drudgery of inefficient information searches that research has shown eats up as much as 30% of a knowledge worker’s time. The bottom line here is that when employees spend less time searching for the insights they need, they’ll have more time to produce value-adding initiatives and be attentive to their actual job descriptions.

An all-too-common struggle for organizations has been keeping track of relevant existing assets that can win new deals or assist with projects currently in the pipeline. Whereas organizations that adopt Knowledge Management can properly tag documents with metadata and have benefitted from placing information in a context that facilitates its re-use in a relevant way later.

Additionally, by compiling knowledge into an accumulated knowledge bank, organizations can codify the lessons they learn over the years into checklists and processes that help ensure past mistakes are not repeated. The 2020 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends revealed that 75% of respondents prioritized “creating and preserving knowledge” as an important strategy for their future and immediate business, and yet only 9% of those same respondents claimed they are equipped with the means to pull it off.

Possessing a platform that enforces, guides, and automates the steps required for knowledge capture and re-use ensures organizations are able to use Knowledge Management the right way. And in a way that can address concerns about redacting confidential client information from people not authorized to see certain things by implementing automated workflows that help ensure a flawless anonymization process with reviews, approvals and publishing. Knowledge Management can also streamline organizations with periodic reviews of assets to help maintain the most current versions, archive anything that is obsolete, or apply new tags as internal terminology evolves.

All of this points to the reality that as the business landscape continues to evolve, leveraging knowledge from within an organization is now a priority and no longer simply a “nice-to-have” luxury. Those that aren’t thinking about adopting Knowledge Management are already behind.

How can M-Files help make a difference?

The end goal of Knowledge Management is really to future-proof your organization by codifying your institutional knowledge and avoiding any repeat of past mistakes. Because at its most basic level, Knowledge Management is all about allowing knowledge to be filed and re-used as an asset. Properly done, Knowledge Management means avoiding ever having to re-invent the wheel by enabling all employees to call upon accumulated assets and to improve workflows and become more proficient in what they do, regardless of their level of expertise.
And when M-Files enters the equation as the single source of truth for all enterprise data, the task of Knowledge Management becomes that much easier. M-Files is a metadata-driven information management platform that was designed to address common knowledge management challenges with tools that automate processes related to capturing, codifying, and re-using knowledge that can be leveraged for business time and time again.

The metadata-driven M-Files platform can address common Knowledge Management challenges to help capture, codify, and re-use knowledge. With metadata, views, enterprise search, templates, and workflows, M-Files provides the right tools for organizations to keep up with the new realities of doing business in the Information Age.

Source: https://www.m-files.com/the-importance-of-knowledge-management-in-the-information-age/

How to Use Information Management to Secure a Competitive Advantage

That old saying “knowledge is power” is one that all of us are very familiar with, whether it’s from work, school, or life. Gaining that insight or competitive edge by accessing and consuming information can help everyone make better-informed opinions and decisions and improve potential outcomes. But as more and more data is saved and consumed across organizations, it also becomes harder to find the right information when you need it.

When it comes to managing your information within an organization, that “insider’s gold” needs to be easily leveraged by your employees so that the latest and greatest insights can be a key part of what makes your company successful. But how can a company ensure that all of this is managed in a centralized location? The answer is information management.

Let’s look at the three keys to securing a competitive advantage with your company’s information.

1. Deploy federated search capabilities

What’s the use of having “insider’s gold” in your information if you can’t find it when you need it? This is where federated search comes in. Federated search allows knowledge workers to search multiple collections of text at the same time, making it easier for employees to find the data they need to excel at their jobs and improve business performance.
So how does it work? Most organizations have information stored on several different repositories – including network shares, hard disk drives, and cloud-based storage systems – that can soon become a complex, disparate web. Rather than wasting time searching for a particular document in each of these repositories, federated search allows knowledge workers to go through every repository at once. This increases the speed employees can retrieve information and act on the insight contained within it, which not only helps employees work smarter, but also improves client relationships by having access to the information they require at your fingertips.

2. Maximize the value of data

To become a successful digital organization in today’s increasingly turbulent business landscape, companies need a strategy to not only easily discover the information housed within the organization, but also maximize the value of critical data. We have already established that knowledge is power, but failure to value and manage data can leave knowledge work businesses open to losses because of improper security, problems with sharing and collaborating, and poor data quality.

By instituting an information management strategy, companies can often improve inefficiencies within their business and reveal opportunities to improve revenues. This can include enforcing better integration with marketing and sales systems to improve customer service or learning the market value of your data and offering new services based on that information, which all create additional revenue streams. However, the biggest gain from maximizing the value of your data can often be felt within your organization. Management can learn to recognize trends and pinpoint problems by using data as business intelligence, enhancing organizational efficiency, and establishing new strategies to help the business exceed its goals.

3. Keep your data secure and compliant

The best information management strategies do more than simply relieve companies of the burden of finding information. They enable employees to gain insight from that information and secure it to reduce business risk and ensure the company remains compliant with data privacy regulations. Most businesses consider compliance a burden, but it should be looked at as an opportunity to win and retain customers. Prioritizing data privacy protection can be a major competitive differentiator.

Businesses, especially in heavily regulated industries like finance or health care, need to set and enforce governance rules and company policies to ensure only authorized people can view and share sensitive information. The added benefit? Governance rules can make it easier to keep audit trails that can be accessed at any time. Therefore, when a customer or regulator asks for evidence about a potential data privacy issue, the organization can easily pull the information requested in real-time to avoid hefty fines.

Focusing on compliance not only increases customer loyalty by ensuring data rights are being respected, but it can also help with data cleansing, which can improve efficiency. Creating a data map of the organization can help streamline operations by eliminating “ROT” – redundant, obsolete, and trivial data that can eat up storage and bog down processes – and ensure customer information is kept up to date.

By deploying an effective information management strategy, organizations can use their information to make more informed business decisions, improve customer loyalty, and create new revenue streams. Information is the golden ticket to help increase competitive advantage and improve the bottom line – you just need to know how to use it and protect it.

source: https://www.m-files.com/how-to-use-information-management-to-secure-a-competitive-advantage/

Benefits of Intelligent Information Management

Today, as the result of inefficiencies in information management, 30 percent of knowledge workers spend 30 percent of their working time looking for information, rather than on something profitable.

Metadata, by its definition, tells more about other data. It gives common “keys” to finding information based on what it is, rather than where it is located.

With metadata, information can be categorized in a common, efficient way, so that everyone has access to it. Metadata, while already providing a lot of benefits for the organization, is still only one step on the path towards improved profitability.

To efficiently manage all organizational data, you need a method of finding, identifying, managing and processing information regardless of its location. You need connectors to access data in other repositories and intelligent tools to find and manage the information you need.

Webopedia explains intelligent information management as a set of processes and underlying technology solutions that enable organizations to understand, organize and manage all sorts of datatypes.

Intelligent information management comes from a metadata-driven approach to document management combined with the ability to manage information across systems and repositories without the need for migration. Additionally, AI is part of the package to help automate the related processes.

Information management is key to achieving both more profitability and compliance with laws and regulations. Intelligent information management provides transparency to workflows and helps you adhere to compliance requirements more easily.

Source: https://www.m-files.com/resources/en/rt-blog-fc-en/10-benefits-of-intelligent-information-management-3

Why Collaboration Keeps Growing in the Remote Work World

For years, experts have been saying that telecommuting—otherwise known as working from home—would be the “wave of the future.” However, few predicted the wave would rapidly crash into the real world so quickly to become the “new normal.”

A recent study showed about 20% of people said they worked from home prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. As of late 2021, 71% of workers were reportedly working from home. Another 54% said they would prefer to continue to work remotely after the pandemic recedes to an endemic. For most companies, this paradigm shift represents a challenge in terms of building a new tech infrastructure that evenly facilitates at least three modes of work—in-office, hybrid, and remote.

Of key importance is the role of information management platforms that leverage a new-normal sense of collaboration and communication—especially in companies with workers spread across far-flung nations and time zones. Steve Jobs once said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” But, to do “great things,” an organization requires “greater” communication and collaboration tools.

Facing the “anywhere/anytime” challenge

As American workers continue to spread out into remote teams, the importance and value of project collaboration can’t be overstated. Knowledge workers must be able to work together anywhere, anytime, and from virtually any device. A 2021 Gartner study estimated nearly 80% of workers used collaboration tools—an increase of more than 40% since Q1, 2020.

Along with this shift came new and daunting challenges. For example, workers reported being unable to access key documents due to a lack of collaborative, accessible document management systems. Not only were workers scattered, so were their documents and data. Or worse, workers were using the wrong versions of documents that could often be lost in a swamp of email attachments.

Addressing collaboration frustration

So, how do forward-facing companies address these challenges and get the best out of their remote and in-office workers? The answer begins with a superior information management platform.

Workers must be empowered to share information easily and securely, as well as to work together more productively. They can’t do that if crucial information is still trapped in data silos or sitting on a hard drive in an office somewhere.

The good news? Document management solutions like M-Files face and defeats new-normal challenges for remote workers. No matter where or what your team focuses their resources and time, all crucial data is stored in one centralized repository, so everyone has access to exactly what they need. The result? Improved communication with clients and each other.

Keeping clients in the know

The digital-first experience has long presented an opportunity for organizations to create more personalized client experiences. For example, if a client needs a document, your team must have a streamlined system in place to make retrieval simple and secure. Solutions like M-Files mitigate issues in these areas by making content available internally and externally—but only to those who need access.   Advances like these are ultimately why collaboration has continued to rise over the previous two years, despite the massive disruption brought on by COVID-19. When you give people the resources they need to perform at their best, they will.

Source: https://www.m-files.com/resources/en-hub/rt-main-blog-en/why-collaboration-keeps-growing-in-the-remote-work-world

How AI is Radically Transforming Information Management

Over the last decade, virtually all industries have been altered and improved by the growth of artificial intelligence. However, one area that has changed radically, but many might not think of, has been the document management ecosystem.

Information-rich tasks have benefited from AI enormously, particularly in terms of knowledge management, business process management, security, and compliance. All these applications allow employees to work smarter, not harder ? freeing up their valuable time so they can focus on big ideas and long-term goals.

Finding information faster

Every day, businesses create and process massive amounts of information – contained within it is the insight they need to better understand their market, better understand their customers, and create more effective products and services. By making sure that key personnel has access to the right data at the right time, AI assistance can mean the difference between success and failure.

An award-winning, AI-driven platform like M-Files is designed to give organizations of all sizes the ability to become more efficient without forcing employees to rely on siloed, manual tasks. It can help people spend less time finding the information they need so that they can spend more time acting on it.

Encouraging collaboration and strengthening security

When data is siloed off and essentially trapped in one department, it’s not able to get into the hands of ALL the people who need it. It’s essentially locked off by whoever created it, inaccessible to those others who may benefit from it as well. This is especially true with things like reports, or information pertaining to specific clients. Something that is valuable to the marketing department may be important to sales, too – but the latter may not know it exists.

“If you don’t know what kind of information you have, the only way to mitigate all risk and ensure that it’s kept safe is to lock it all down,” says Jayson deVries, Senior Product Manager at M-Files.

“Of course, that’s not conducive to knowledge sharing within an organization,” he adds. “So, AI can help you understand which information needs special for data protection treatments, and which can be shared with applicable groups.”

AI at the core

Unlike other information management solutions on the market, AI is embedded at the core of M-Files and pervasive throughout the entire platform, including external repositories. M-Files’ native AI capabilities enable improved visibility, security, and processing of information. With a self-learning mechanism incorporated across AI components, M-Files removes the burden from users, as learning happens behind the scenes with no extensive, upfront manual-dataset training.

Source: https://resources.m-files.com/blog/how-ai-is-radically-transforming-information-management

Grow Your Business by Going Green

What if you could do something good for the planet and make your workday easier?  It sounds crazy in our digital era, but the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper annually. In the last 20 years, the usage of paper products in the US reached 208 million tons (up from 92 million) ? a growth of 126%.

It’d be one thing if all that paper served an important purpose, but according to one recent study, it’s estimated that about 45% of all paper documents that are printed in offices end up in the garbage by the end of the day. The same study estimates that companies spend more than $120 billion per year — every year — on printed forms. Luckily, there’s a more ecological and economical choice.

By digitizing your paper-centric documentation processes, and automating them, you can unlock powerful efficiency and productivity. M-Files partners with services that help analyze and scan your company’s physical documents, so you can securely digitize your data. Once it’s entered in M-Files, everyone on your team can instantly access the most up-to-date version of a document and share it in milliseconds. No printers, fax machines, or copiers are needed.

Green looks good on you

Deploying a document management solution as part of your business’ green policy won’t just eliminate large amounts of wasted paper, it can also spruce up your image. It shows customers and partners that your company is striving to be more environmentally conscious while potentially creating a more satisfying workplace for employees.

According to a study by Neilsen, corporate sustainability is important to a majority of people ? 85% of millennials and 79% of Gen X say it is “extremely or very important that companies implement programs to improve the environment.”

Many consumers around the world are adjusting their shopping habits to align with their values. For earth-conscious consumers, your business’ ecological actions truly matter.

Going paperless saves time

Organizations with an overarching system in place to handle all their information electronically not only reduce their impact on the environment but also operate at a vastly superior level of efficiency compared to those that still rely on paper files and folders. Given the large expense and inconvenience of paper documents, maintaining them in an electronic document management system leads to a substantial increase in efficiency and a decrease in operational costs.

Source: https://resources.m-files.com/blog/grow-your-business-by-going-green