Information management policies

Nearly half of UK-based businesses do not have a document and information management strategy despite the explosion in volumes of corporate data being generated and the new pressures imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley, etc, according to the latest research quoted by

A survey of IT professionals found that although awareness of the importance of effective information management was high, the awareness of legal requirements was still poor.

Nearly half of those interviewed said their company still did not have a document and information strategy in place; over a fifth said company information was still held only as hard paper copies.

According to the research, the top four information management priorities were: retrieving documents quickly; collaboration between departments on joint documents; consolidating information management; and data security.

“Following the adage that knowledge is power, and recognising that knowledge is often derived from information, then enterprises should be smarter and more powerful than ever,” said Forrester analyst Barry Murphy. But the reality is far from it: “Most enterprises are drowning in a sea of unorganised information, unable to leverage its full potential.”

In the context of the UK construction industry, I, of course, believe that web-based collaboration tools have great potential to assist organisations in “leveraging the full potential” of their information. They can break down the ‘silo mentality’ that often prevents information being shared, making information and processes more transparent. And, of course, by committing all information to an electronic repository, all four of the above-mentioned priorities can be met: information can be found more quickly, there is more timely, detailed and context-sensitive collaboration on documents and drawings, instead of multiple ‘islands of information’ one single, consolidated source of data needs to be managed, and – assuming the provider has all the relevant resilience built-in to its hosting environment, backed up service level agreements, etc – data is managed more securely.

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