Why is Information Management important?

Imagine what it’d be like if every decision was based upon good quality, up-to-date information? Where everyone had ready and equal access to the information they need? Where good quality information was available to support all the work you do?

What would it be like if it was easy to find the experts you need to talk to? Where you could share your expertise with those who needed to know it? And if the relevant information you needed to keep up to date was delivered to your desk automatically?

You’re imagining a world that’s recognised the value of information management.

A cliché, but true

It’s no less true for being repeated, but for many organisations their information and knowledge is their greatest asset.

Unfortunately it is often underutilised. Many organisations don’t recognise information as an asset or entity in itself, and they don’t know how to manage it effectively.

Small companies are especially bad at this as they’re so used to sharing information informally within a small team. It’s only when they grow, or when a key member of staff is absent, that they realise they need to store and share their information properly.

The bottom line is that information management can save an organisation money. Some information management tools and practices may cost initially, but chosen well they can quickly show a return on investment.

I’m an information manager, so you may think I’m a bit biased. But I’ve seen first hand how even basic information management practices can help an organisation. I’ve listed some of the main reasons below, in three categories: saving money, making money, and staying on the right side of the law.

Managing your information saves you money

The first thing you’ll notice after implementing information management strategies is that it saves you time and money. It:

  • enables colleagues to share work with each other to avoid re-doing work
  • saves staff time by helping them find the information they need quicker
  • gives you and your colleagues better information to make better decisions and avoid costly mistakes
  • enables you to know what expertise is held by people within your organisation to avoid buying in that expertise
  • enables you to recognise what your staff know and use their knowledge, increasing morale and job satisfaction
  • stops you losing vital knowledge and information when a colleague leaves
  • stops the workplace grinding to a halt when a key member of staff is unexpectedly absent
  • helps your team do their jobs, resulting in less frustration and a happier, more productive team

Managing your information makes you money

When you’ve adopted sensible information management practices in your organisation, you’ll see how it can help you work more effectively, and be more profitable. When you and your colleagues embrace information management, you:

  • know what your experts know, so you can better define your position in the marketplace to go out and sell your company’s expertise
  • can package your expertise in the right format, enabling you to sell that same expertise over and over again
  • look at what you know in a systematic way and identify the gaps in your collective knowledge – then go out and learn what you need to know
  • improve your customer service by knowing more about your customers and their needs

Managing your information keeps you out of trouble

If making your organisation more effective wasn’t enough, information management means you know you’re on the right side of the law. And you can prove it.

Right now,

  • does the way in which you store information about people comply with data protection law?
  • is the security of your IT system good enough to protect the data you have on people and enable you to comply with data protection law?
  • do the marketing telephone calls you make or emails you send comply with privacy and electronic communications law?
  • do you know what company information you need to keep, and for how long, to comply with tax and corporate governance laws?
  • and do you have in place ways of ensuring that you are kept up to date on developments in information law that effect you?

It’s too important not to manage your information

Information management isn’t something which should be left to chance. Smaller companies make up the majority of our economy, yet they don’t operate as efficiently as they should.

Information management is about looking after the core of your business, which is what you know and how you use it. It enables you to grow, to avoid problems, and to make your working life easier.

Why wouldn’t you manage your information?

ONEIS – hosted information managment

ONEIS brings information management to smaller companies in very practical ways.

We’ve taken the core ideas that big companies use to manage information amongst thousands of staff, and distilled them into a practical system a small company can use. Provided as a hosted system, ONEIS is quick and easy to use, and enables your company to take advantage of all that information management can offer.

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