Updated: Sep 6, 2020
When companies buy software as a service, then the only lasting asset is the information. Effective customer engagement, business operations, and compliance all rely on one thing: effective information management. Information can be used to add value, minimize risks, reduce costs, and allow the business to identify new opportunities. Let me give you a few examples:
Add value – better connect people, information, and knowledge, to create a more effective workforce
Identify new opportunities – historic information may be used to predict – and possible change – the future, e.g. what customers will buy, when will there be problems
Reduce costs – significantly reduce costs by sunsetting legacy systems, digitizing paper and transition towards more environmentally sustainable methods to manage information
Minimize risks – meet regulations like GDPR, e.g. retention and disposition to meet data minimization and storage limitation requirements
Cloud platforms like Microsoft Office 365 is an opportunity to move away from information being stuck in a myriad of content silos. A connected platform will make it easier to manage and protect the information, users will benefit from better information discovery, and the business will benefit from a more effective workplace in addition to possible cost savings from sunsetting legacy systems that the platform can replace. All this requires a new approach for managing information, and below is a template for establishing an information management strategy for Office 365 and beyond.
Step 1: Vision - establish an information management vision which aligns with your business objectives
Identify business priorities for the next few years, e.g. improve customer engagement, reduce operational costs
Develop an information management vision to support the business objectives, e.g. connecting people, information, and knowledge with transparent and inherent security and compliance
Step 2: Critical Success Factors - determine critical success factors for achieving your information management vision
Do an information management maturity assessment to document the current situation (as-is situation), but also to identify what the business thinks should be improved (to-be situation)
Determine critical success factors based on the results, e.g. better information availability, completeness, and trustworthiness
Step 3: Requirements - determine use cases that needs to be supported
Identify, prioritize, and group use cases that needs to be supported instead of wasting time on documenting a long list of must-have and should-have requirements that quickly will be out of date
Identify legacy systems which no longer align with your business objectives, and hence business processes will benefit from consolidating / replacing with modern technology.
Step 4: Blueprint - determine the foundation for success
Determine required frameworks and technologies to meet your requirements and critical success factors, e.g. corporate metadata with master data values, site configuration with default metadata that information inherent, retention labels to automate records management, sensitivity labels to automate information protection, governance roles for continuous improvements.
Step 5: Plan - establish a plan with quick-wins
Create an plan for improvement, e.g. get the foundation in place, run proof-of-concepts for different use cases, be fluid to demonstrate value to the business, and fast-track the transition
Establish criteria for business units to buy or build business applications on top of the platform, e.g. metadata, in-place retention
Step 6: Business Case - determine the business benefits of change
Document the business benefits of the above. As an example, the annual cost of a leading legacy content management system for 2,000 staff is often higher than the annual cost of Microsoft Information Governance / Advanced Data Governance for 20,000 staff...
Please contact us to discuss the development of an information strategy and blueprint for your organization.