Information, in all its formats, is the lifeblood of business. Yet, it is an asset that’s often poorly managed, and therefore, provides less value than its potential. Let’s face it. Information only has value when it is refined and used for decision-making.

So why do we not treat information with the respect it deserves?

There can be many reasons for this, but I believe that fundamentally, it is about ease of access and use. To help us make the right decisions, we need to have easy access to the right information, at the right time. This way, we can use information to make decisions that are smarter, faster, and safer.

And the key to ease of access and use?

The short and sweet answer: intelligent information management.

Intelligent information management lets you distinguish business-critical data from clutter. It allows you to automatically connect data to the right context and add metadata tags to further enrich the content. It lets you manage information stored in any system or repository, be it on-premises or in the cloud, from just one user interface. It lets you do that working from the office, from home, from an internet café, or a customer site, or any other place your employees might be working from. And it lets you automate the workflows and processes related to that information. What’s more, it does all of this automatically. Suddenly, content chaos becomes a well-organized and managed well of information.

The payoff for your business is that you’ll gain competitive advantage. You know when and how to react, and even be proactive. You can provide better customer service with up-to-date information available for all team members. All of this is even more relevant in today’s flexible working environment when employees, customers and business partners might be working anywhere, even in different time zones. Immediate and easy access to relevant and correct data is suddenly the deal-breaker.

Let me give you an example of what this intelligent information management could mean…

Let’s start with the hypothesis that you have stored your documents and other information in network folders. The amount of data has grown over the years… there could easily be millions of documents stored in those folders, with duplicates and different versions of the same content, distorting any initial idea of a logical structure to find the exact right document quickly and easily.

To make sense of that chaos, and the numerous versions of the same document, you can first connect M-Files — even when stored in the cloud — and your on-premises network folders, or any other archive you might be using, such as on-premises or cloud-based SharePoint. Then, you can let M-Files Discovery crawl the folders and identify certain patterns and forms of information — like personally identifiable information (PII) — and lift them up for a closer look. This way, you have discovered critical, actionable information and can focus on it rather than trying to navigate through all the redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT) data stored to find what you need.

M-Files smart tools can then add numerous tags to classify and describe the content so that it is easily accessed and managed in the future as well. Even automatic workflows can be assigned to the document to make sure it is handled according to company guidelines and in accordance with your business processes. Everyone — meaning everyone who is supposed to — will have access to the same document in their own context so that finding the information becomes intuitive. Automatic duplicate detection will ensure that you don’t accidentally end up storing the same document your colleague already saved, but that you keep on using the one common version.

So, do you want to work smarter, not harder? Let M-Files work for you with intelligent information management at your fingertips.