Data, Data Everywhere: It Costs More than You Think

Your business runs on data: financial data, contracts, emails, personnel information, invoices, inventory records. Data in boxes and filing cabinets, data on your file server, data in the cloud, data on every laptop and desktop. Hey, storage is cheap.

But time is not cheap.

The statistic I see over and over again is that knowledge workers spend as much as 20% of their time looking for documents and information within the company. How many times have you re-created the wheel because you couldn’t remember where you saved the last one? Or opened a file and realized it’s not the most recent version?
Do the math: If every employee in your organization wasted just one hour a day (12.5% of their time) looking for data they know is available, that’s conservatively about 240 hours a year per employee. With a $60,000 salary, that wasted hour costs your company $6900 over the course of a year.

There are other risks as well:

  • Lots of data in multiple places is hard to control. Keeping information out of the wrong hands may be more important than making it available to the people who need it.
  • Everything you save is discoverable in a lawsuit. Those nasty emails Josh and Alison exchanged seven years ago during their divorce proceedings won’t help your defense against a hostile work environment claim.
  • Maybe you kept the old file server running so you could access old project and customer files. It’s still attached to your network – is anybody maintaining its operating system and security functions?

If your company has been around for more than a couple of years, the thought of dealing with the amount of data you’ve accumulated can be daunting. You need to find it all, get rid of duplicates, decide what to keep and what to throw away, get it to its new home in some kind of order, and put a system in place to keep it manageable.

Fortunately there are a number of excellent Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems and tools designed for businesses of every size, style and budget. Up-front analysis and planning is the key to selecting the right set of tools and executing a successful implementation; choose an ECM partner who will take the time to get to know your business before recommending a set of products.