Address the chaos, Part 3: 3 reasons you need to declutter your digital storage sprawl!

Men looking at computer

We all do it – use our email inboxes as electronic file storage. We save important emails and attachments in folders, flag them for later response or just let them sit, waiting in our general “Inbox” folder as it grows and grows. Better yet, we fill our computer desktops with files that are hard to find and simply clutter the screen.

We have spent the past posts in this series discussing how we need to declutter paper around the office. But chances are, paper is connected to electronic content you have created or received – content stuck on desktops, in email inboxes, in a variety of network shares or anywhere else in your organization’s connected or disconnected digital spaces.

As technology and the world around us continues to evolve, business content will continue to enter the organization in a larger and larger variety of entrance points and formats. A recent whitepaper from AIIM discusses this exact point and how leveraging multi-channel capture allows you to continuously centralize content to make it easier to access, even as the entrance points of that content continue to change and increase.

When asked how they deal with multi-channel inbound content, organizations responded most often that their strategies are ad hoc and they struggle matching up paper and electronic content. The second most popular response was that electronic inbound content tends to be printed and then filed/processed alongside paper.

3 reasons to stop the sprawl

Do you find yourself answering with those same responses? Here are three reasons you should consider capturing all of your business-critical electronic content into a central enterprise content management system, as AIIM advises.

     1. Provide a single point of access to vital business information.

Content is valuable because of the information it contains. And when employees store that important information in email inboxes, on individual desktops or in multiple digital locations, it is hard to keep track of the most up-to-date versions.

This storage sprawl can also mean staff is unable to find the information they need, when they need it. So it is important to make sure you empower your staff by immediately capturing content (including communications) into a central system so everyone who needs access can easily find what they need – in one central location.

     2. Increase internal and external collaboration capabilities.

When you empower employees with easy access to the most up-to-date information in an enterprise content management system and allow multiple users to simultaneously access information, you enable them to better collaborate on business decisions.

Moreover, when you invest in a file sync and share tool that interacts directly with the enterprise content management system, you empower employees to digitally collaborate with external parties on each piece of content with complete control over how those parties share that content.

     3. Better utilize your information assets.

Capturing all your content and managing it in a central repository not only improves information access, but can also empower you to automate associated business processes such as data entry, document routing and approval or issue resolution. Capturing data into the system or saving it from the file sync and share tool can automatically trigger processes to ultimately speed those processes.

As you can see, the simple step of capturing electronic content into a central enterprise content management system can actually revolutionize the way you do business. So, especially if you have already taken the first step to centralize and digitize your paper files, it’s time to apply that strategy to ALL the content you receive.

Jaclyn Inglis Clark

Jaclyn Inglis Clark

Over the last few years working at Hyland, creator of OnBase, Jaclyn has definitely started to drink the Kool Aid – day and night enthusiastically discussing the wonderful benefits of... read more about: Jaclyn Inglis Clark