The chaos of digital file management
Part 1 of 2: Addressing common historical challenges
Many people continue to underestimate the complexity of the digital age. Consider connectivity, let alone interoperability—the number of systems that must speak to one another is growing daily—translating to a multitude of factors and associated challenges that impact technology and people. In short, the result can be pure chaos regardless of the elements involved.
For the technology portion of the chaos, the number of systems required to now successfully operate any organization in the digital age is borderline terrifying. Far beyond file management as a system, there is file management as a practice—thousands, if not millions, of documents and files strewn across various disparate systems, all mislaid to time and space.
Consider this. How many systems does your organization currently have that represent data in all forms and formats? Could you even begin to name them? After all, there are ERPs, CRMs, file-sharing platforms, email, websites, intranets, and so many more. Worst yet, there is also a high likelihood that a paper file repository—if not multiple locations—exists to add additional complexity to finding files.
So how does an organization manage? Luckily, interoperability and integrations are the standards. This new technological state alleviates some of the more cumbersome workloads and workflows, enabling people to—at the very least—move and share files from one system to the next. However, even at the best of times, people still represent the connectivity between systems, departments, workflows and processes. Files still need to be filed, they still need to be processed, and they still need to be found. That’s the clincher.
For far too many, the only way to find said files is to lean on a few team members who are “in the know’. And we all know these people—every work environment has at least one. These folks have most likely been with the organization for years, have insight into legacy systems, and understand the more covert and obscure work habits of all surrounding them. They are therefore indispensable—and also a danger to the organization.
My point here is that the more emphasis placed on the human factor, the more likely that an eventual process failure will occur. Not to be macabre, but we’ve all heard the old “someone getting hit by a bus tomorrow” adage. And as cliche, as it may be, it exists for a reason.
Knowledge transfer from one individual to another can be tenuous at best. And until we all learn how to use a long-repressed and hidden superpower of telepathy, ensuring processes and systems are digital and connected is paramount.
Jokes aside, there are other human factors that we must now take into consideration. For example, the events of 2020 significantly accelerated the digital age—making remote work a reality for the vast majority of knowledge-based workers. That, in turn, added extra complexity in creating, storing and securely accessing files from locations far outside of the historic four walls of the workplace.
In fact, 2020 meant a whole new way of connecting systems with people, battling compliance, security, access and bettering workflows to ensure a seamless business could exist.
And even with all of the strides taken relating to personal processes turned into repeatable digital staples, the digital chaos is still palpable and requires solid, future-proof solutions.
An excellent place to start is with a document management platform that makes document management seamless, efficient and easy regardless of process, location or device. Then, imagine integrating any business system, including CRMs, ERPs, document storage platforms, and more, to get the most out of your infrastructure investments. And though it doesn’t solve all the chaos, it eliminates the lion’s share—making your life, job and business a little less chaotic.