How Do I Design A Program That Works For Our People And Our Business?

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Information Economics: The Intersection Of Value,Risk And Cost

Information Economics is managing and leveraging information created and received by an organization with a view to the bottom line. Every business needs an enterprise-wide information strategy that aims to reduce risk, ensure compliance, lower costs, and now with the emergence of big data, prepare for analytics. Information Economics provides a comprehensive and collaborative strategy to help organizations optimize information value and limit risk at every stage from the initial creation of records and information across their active life, right through to secure destruction.

Organizations Need To Ensure Information Is Treated As An Asset

People And Processes In Perfect Harmony

The previous chapters of this eBook looked at minimizing the costs of managing your records, extracting maximum value from your information and mitigating risk. In this chapter we discuss how to develop a records and information management program that harmoniously integrates all your people and processes. Not only do organizations need to manage information with a view to the risks it entails, but they also need to ensure its treated as an asset.

The Need To Unify Information Management

Information needs managing. 25% of organizations say the volume of paper records is taking up around 35% of office space1. Research indicates that people are 26.5% more effective when they have faster and easier access to information2. And non-compliance could land you with fines of up to $775,0003. Furthermore, information mismanagement impacts on customers. Recent research highlights what 77% of consumers hate most about customer service is being passed around and having to repeat a request4. Having the right data to hand when its required is mission critical.

A Quarter Of Organizations Say Paper Records Take Up 35% Of Office Space

As an information professional, you understand these facts. But you need everyone in your organization to appreciate what’s at stake – and to understand how to reduce the costs of storing information, how to make frequently used information accessible and how to protect all information from risk. Your records hold information that can help you understand what your customers have asked for in the past, and predict what they’ll want in the future and when they will want it. Data science is a corporate discipline that can provide you with new ways of organizing and finding value in information.

1 AIIM 2014 – An update from the battlefield
2 Association for Information and Image Management
3 UK Information Commissioners Office
4 2014 Paper Light Attitudinal Research Campaign

The Current Situation

Information management is growing in importance as data becomes more essential to business success. However, taking control of your information requires bringing employees along for the ride. Convincing senior stakeholders and other employees is central to success.

48% of companies now say that data is often used to substantiate business decisions, but only 16% can say that all employees have access to the data they need and a user-friendly way to analyze it4. So while the significance of information is growing, the engagement of employees seems to lag behind.

48% Of Companies Use Data To Substantiate Business Decisions...

Motivating and engaging employees across all levels of the organization to use data is imperative to overall performance. It’s a leap for most employees to move from “that’s interesting” to “I can use that information” – information must be relevant to employees for them to engage. They must also be able to see via goals and targets, how using data can help both the organization and the employee to be successful. 53% of respondents to a 2015 survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit stated that data initiatives are most commonly pushed from the top of an organization, down. Seeing C-suite executives lead by example inspires those further down the organization. However, training and retraining of employees is ranked as the second most effective tactic for driving employee engagement and adoption of data analytics (48%), after the C-suite example setters5.

5 The virtuous circle of data – The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2015

Consider The Risks To Your Business

As well as the threat of fines for non-compliance there is the ever present spectre of data breach with 90% of companies that suffer a significant data loss going out of business within two years6. In the UK, 31% of the worst security breaches in 2014 were caused by avoidable human error7, serving to highlight the need for education and training. 87% of European and North American businesses do not believe that ex-employees have taken information owned by their organization to a new employer – a naïve view that information of all types at all levels is not being exposed by existing and future employees to competitors8.

90% Of Companies Suffering A Significant Data Breach Go Out Of Business Within Two Years

It is all the more remarkable that just 47% of North American mid- market companies have monitored information risk training in place8 and only 27% have policies covering the security, storage and disposal of confidential information8.

In the end it comes down to readiness to change. Research in 2014 found that 21% of office workers and 41% of senior managers were reluctant to change the way they handled information9. This suggests businesses need to treat information like any other asset and ensure that standards for use are agreed, reinforced and measured.

However, employees seem to be making it work through sheer determination and attitude rather than policies, processes and communication. 31% say they felt reluctant at first, but try to take a positive attitude and get to grips with information management10.

6 London Chamber of Commerce
7 Information Security Breaches Survey 2014 – UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills
8 Beyond Good Intentions – A PwC report, 2014
9 Opinion Matters – Iron Mountain Berkeley PR 2014
10 2014 Paper Light Attitudinal Research Campaign

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