Go Green with Document Management

Document Control vs. Document Chaos

Posted by Mike Paperalt on Oct 29, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Document Control vs. Document Chaos

Where’s the Hanover contract? What happened to Joe’s time sheet? Have you seen my expense report? 

If questions like these are heard in your organization, maybe it’s time to look at the way your documents are being handled.  From sales, to personnel, to accounting, many organizations still suffer from document chaos.Harried_Worker

Document chaos {n.  dok-yuh-ment key-os} – a lack of organization or order for written or printed paper and computer data files

Yes, it’s true…enterprises are still letting paper chaos impede their processes and growth.  This, despite the large number of vendors who offer solutions designed to nearly eliminate paper and automate internal processes. 

We wondered why, so we turned to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM).  AIIM’s Annual Report on the State of the ECM Industry was published in April.  According to the report, more than two-thirds of organizations studied say that document controls (EDM/ECM) is mission critical, yet, they also report usability and adoption issues that have emerged.  In fact, sixty percent of respondents say that gaining user adoption has been a big problem for their ECM projects. Sixty-two percent of organizations with a significant ECM capability find that their knowledge workers still rely on file shares for day-to-day information access.

There’s a definite perception gap between management’s perception of ECM benefits and worker’s perception of the benefits.  Workers site issues with managing, accessing and preserving content. 

EDM/ECM has traditionally been a method for dealing with “structured” information in a “structured” environment; i.e., spreadsheets and documents on a network, in an office.  But, today’s workforce and technology is anything but structured.  There has been an explosion of content outside the traditional structured information…videos, tweets, emails, to name a few, along with major changes in how, where, and when knowledge workers do their jobs, thanks in large part to mobile technologies, analytics, information and collaborative “clouds.

Beyond Document Control

What seems to have been proven beyond a doubt is that the changing landscape of technology has moved us beyond mere “document control” into a new frontier that requires a wider range of capabilities, accessibility and collaboration, while ensuring the utmost in security, compliance and audit trails. 

Indications are that:

  • new approaches to privacy and security are imperative, with users’ needs driving technology;
  • there will continue to be more virtual and distributed work, requiring better, easier more accessible collaborative tools;
  • a shortage of networking and analytic skills among organizations IT staffs, along with the fast moving scope of technologic capabilities will result in shifting from in-house capital expenditures to current year operating expenditures (SaaS/Cloud technologies);
  • increased regulation of the cloud by national governments

What all of this means is that while content is critical, content is everywhere,  and content management is essential, the processes and structures that we use to manage, share and control that content are evolving.  The structures and technologies of traditional EDM/ECM are being replaced with technologies that are largely invisible to the users. 

Old school document control is becoming a new era that encompasses management of all types of content, as well as the management of the people who use the content and processes that control the enterprise.

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Topics: Document Management

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