Document management solutions, with intelligent information management (IIM) lets an organisation manage its data more effectively. Added IIM offers new capabilities that help to create a more productive and cooperative organisation. It can help maintain higher levels of security while improving document accessibility, and ultimately helps you spend less time and money on finding and managing documents.
In the past, enterprise content management (ECM) solutions were used to manage digital documents. However, often these solutions don’t overcome the challenge of easily sharing and accessing documents securely from anywhere: ECM depended on users saving documents to the right locations, for example.
IIM overlays intelligence to streamline that process. It uses metadata, data that describes and provides information about other data, to fundamentally alter the way documents are managed. Metadata can include the type of document such as a contract or a purchase order, which project or customer the document is about, who created it, who edited, it’s status, when it needs to be updated or approved, and more.
Accessing documents faster
Typically, only one in five document searches is successful the first time and it can take up to eight attempts to find the right information. It can take up to 25 minutes to look just for one document. IIM overcomes this through its metadata approach.
Using metadata, users can search for documents based on what they are, not where they’re saved. This makes it easy to find the documents you need faster, and it reduces the risk of choosing the wrong document because duplicates are eliminated and the system surfaces the most recent version.
Users simply type in their search term and the correct document comes up. It doesn’t matter whether the document is saved in a business system, file share, or cloud-based repository; the metadata means it’s instantly discoverable.
Sharing documents made simple
Traditional collaboration models may require users to email documents to each other and either take it in turns to edit the document or else find a way to merge their changes when they’re ready. This creates complexity and opens up the possibility of errors as the team tries to consolidate the input of two or more collaborators, making version control difficult
Using an IIM solution, collaborators can co-author documents, working on the same document simultaneously. One team member checks the document out for co-authoring and emails a link to their team mates. They can make their edits at the same time, using any device, from any location, and forward the link to other teams in the company for review. Even though multiple people are making changes, it’s easy to see what they’re doing while they’re doing it. When everyone is finished, the document is simply checked back in and finalised.
This eliminates version control issues, providing an audit trail, as well as removes the time wasted while colleagues wait for each other to finish with a document before they can edit it. This can dramatically improve the speed at which teams collaborate and meet deadlines.
Improving document security
Accessing documents from anywhere, using any device, can potentially open the company up to a data breach. With privacy legislation tightening worldwide, it is becoming less acceptable for organisations to have a breach and the ramifications can include significant reputational damage as well as the data loss itself.
IIM systems use password protections to secure information. Some IIM systems include artificial intelligence that detects and flags sensitive information so that additional security action can be taken.
This approach strengthens security and avoids human error risks. Files are stored securely and are only accessible to authorised users. Because sharing happens via secure links, there is no more unnecessary transfer of documents via emails or USBs.
Whether employees work from a central office or are dispersed among various offices and out in the field, IIM can empower them to be productive and collaborative from anywhere, at any time, with full confidence that their documents will remain secure.
For more information on how our document management solutions can help you save time and money, contact Upstream today.