It’s easy to fall into a routine at work. We’re consumed by a perpetual list of activities; focused on checking off one task and moving onto the next to be as productive as possible.
But if you take a step back from your daily routine, can you visualize how information flows throughout your company to help you complete those tasks? Where does that information originate from? Where is it stored? How is it accessed and shared? This information flow could actually be hindering your productivity more than you realize. For example, when looking for the right information and insight to complete a project, you may search your emails, servers, databases, fileshares, etc. Perhaps you try website search and then call a colleague for his/her expertise. Is there a process? And if so, is it effective?
A recent Harvard Business Review article looks at the information challenges faced by a leading outsourcer and IT consultant. The company’s information “flowed through hierarchies; geographies and functions operated in silos; most people weren’t aware of expertise elsewhere in the company; and few were collaborating to transfer best practices and help clients.” This flawed information flow prohibited employee collaboration in a globally dispersed company. In fact, the most central five percent of the company were bottlenecks – and if removed from the corporate network, the number of relationships in the company would drop by 29 percent.
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This is a prime example of the broken knowledge management system that exists in many organizations. But what’s broken can be fixed with advanced indexing within enterprise search. Because it is critical to have access to corporate knowledge and contextual content wherever it resides, including in employee’s minds, there is no need to move this data. Keep everything where it is, but have an ability to index it, so that employees can easily locate the right information and the right expert – whether they’re across the office or across the globe – to complete their tasks faster and more insightfully. Employees will start collaborating and producing. They’ll stop wasting time searching in multiple systems and recreating work. With more nimble employees, companies can ultimately become more competitive.
Does the Harvard Business Review example sound a lot like your company? Or has your organization embraced the knowledge management system of the future, where information can be accessed in real-time wherever it resides, based on enterprise search technology?