Electronic document management is essential across most industries today. Without your documents, would your business have trouble moving forward? Would you be able to even exist at all? If that sounds a little dramatic, you might be one of the business leaders who is behind the curve (which is somewhere you really don’t want to be). Now that we rely on technology so much, electronic document management is essentially managing what is, in effect, the core of your business.
Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business is designed to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to conduct electronic document management—creating, editing, collaborating on and storing documents. However, when you hit a snag with sync and share, you might not only lose valuable information but the means to create value for your business.
Okay, so, mostly these data disruptions and occasional losses can be taken on the chin, and you can move on. But in certain industries, such snags and mistakes can be extremely costly. In this post, we’ll look at several industries where electronic document mismanagement can be costly in a very real way.
First, let’s look at why document management is important:
The misery of poor electronic document management
If you are unsure of the value of good electronic document management, think about the amount of time your organisation devotes to:
- Trying to locate documents – almost 10 percent of the average office worker’s day is spent looking for the correct existing information and documents.
- Figuring out who has the latest version of a file or files.
- Recovering content when work is duplicated or overwritten.
- Inefficient storage because documents and are stored in multiple places across your business instead of in a central location.
And it’s not just time wasted and frustration for your employees, because along with all that when you don’t manage your documents properly, you expose your business to certain risks:
- Security – if document management best practice isn’t adhered to, it can lead to important information being exposed to the wrong people at the wrong time.
- Critical documents – stored incorrectly (such as being held exclusively on one laptop) can be stolen, damaged, lost, etc.
- Lack of audit info – who has viewed, updated, edited a document? If you don’t know, then you can’t see mistakes or inefficiencies in business processes.
From the digital to the real
The implications for electronic document management are especially important in certain industries, where data loss and mismanagement can have serious implications for businesses and their employees.
The healthcare industry often handles very sensitive and private information including doctor-patient records, the personal information of hospital staff as well as the people they treat daily. A leak of information here is not only embarrassing for everyone concerned, it can be seriously costly. Employees of a healthcare institution and patients’ financial information as well as their medical history can be exposed. This can lead to compliance and regulation fines, not to mention the loss of reputation that these institutions are likely to face.
- Building and construction
You might not think electronic document management would have as big an effect on the bricks-and-mortar world of building and construction. Actually, with the amount of collaboration that takes place on a daily basis between the likes of engineers, architects, project managers and builders, etc. electronic management and mobile working are a big part of the day-to-day running of the functions that go on from office to building site. And when your document management stalls, whether it’s from sync and share issues and network problems to questions over how documents with images included are stored and labelled, there can be millions of pounds’ worth of delays. This could be a public-sector project that may have a lot of public finances invested in it, which if it goes wrong, it can become more than just embarrassing; people can lose their jobs.
- National security
Speaking of the public sector, one of the more romantic ideas when it comes to modern technology and information management is international espionage and the threat of cyber-attacks. This is a real threat, however, there are more ‘everyday’ concerns that should be addressed within the public sector, from a sensitive information standpoint. Poor electronic document management includes improper storage of information and documents, inadequate permissions management and altogether poor compliance. And it is poor electronic document management which leads to information leaks, rather than covert operations by a rogue nation. But just like a cyber-attack, failure to acknowledge the importance of electronic document management can cause its own national scandal and embarrassment, and civil servants will be held accountable.
Prevent potential snags
We know that these challenges exist and the problems they can cause. Which is where we can help. Easier365 makes it simple for your employees, regardless of industry, to better their electronic document management practices, by solving OneDrive for Business’s syncing issues and lack of interface. You can select and sync specific files rather than every item in your OneDrive for Business folder; there are no limitations to the number of files or to size, and your users benefit from an application interface. They can easily find the exact file they need and store it safely without having to drag an entire team site around with them. These are virtual solutions, sure, but they have a very real impact on your business.