64% of Your Staff Can’t Find the Information They Need to Do Their Job

In September, M-Files surveyed 250 UK-based IT decision makers within a wide range of organisations. The intent was to have them self-assess regarding their information management and information security challenges. We’ll be releasing the full results soon—but in the meantime here are some interesting highlights.

Staff Can’t Find the Information They Need

Of the respondents surveyed, just under 36% find it quick and easy to find the documents and information they require. Which means that a staggering 64% of decision makers experience problems when searching for company information.

Their three biggest difficulties are:

  1. Information is saved in the incorrect folder or system
  2. Different versions of files are saved in multiple folders or systems
  3. Documents are not named correctly

If IT decision makers are finding this a struggle, it’s fair to assume that the less IT-savvy members of staff will have even bigger problems.

So why is this the case? Well, of the people surveyed, just 39% work at an organisation which has a purpose built document management solution in place. However, not all document and information management solutions focus on employee ease of use and ensuring quick and easy access to information.

Wasted Time and Money

Almost two-thirds of respondents admitted to recreating documents they knew already existed because they were unable to find it on the company network.

Whatever the reason for this (such as whether documents have been saved in the right location and named incorrectly, either by themselves or their colleagues), it’s clear that companies are wasting time, money and valuable resources through employees needing redo the same work.

 

Remote or Mobile Access is Not a Cure-All

Remote working is increasingly prevalent as companies cut costs by reducing physical office space, or attempt to entice the best talent through offering flexible working options. However, this is only a positive if employees can work efficiently outside the office.

Of the IT decision makers surveyed, only 1 in 10 find it easy and fast to search for documents remotely or using their mobile device.

More than half specified that they’d like to be able to access and edit documents while working remotely or using a mobile device. As information access is primarily an essential requirement of mobile information management, it’s concerning that employees are continuing to have difficulties while working remote.

Disconcertingly, 75% find approving documents from their mobile device a challenge. The biggest obstacle is that certain documents require a physical signature for approval.

The total of these results demonstrate that a vast majority of IT decision makers struggle to fulfill just a fraction of their role when working outside of the office.

BYOD and Personal File Sharing Apps are Not the Answer

We’ve discovered that many people are turning to BYOD and personal file sharing applications to address the challenges they face with remote access to company information. However, many of these are doing so without the knowledge or authorisation of their organisation. This means employees could be putting confidential company information at risk in their attempts to access information when they need it, and the company is none the wiser until it’s too late.

Around a quarter of the decision makers surveyed confess that their organisation has suffered a security breach in the past year due to employees using personal mobile devices, or unauthorised file sync and share applications, to find and manage company information.

As a result, almost all have taken steps to reduce the risk of an information security breach. While 75% have created a formal information security policy and trained staff on these policies, in their attempts to ensure information is secure some have made accessing information harder for employees by changing access rights to sensitive information, and limiting access to information via mobile devices.

The drawback with restricting use of devices or access to information is that employees may see no alternative other than implementing their solutions to find what they need – increasing rather than reducing the threat.

So what is the solution?

By providing employees with an information management solution which allows them to quickly and easily access and manage the information they need from any device, employees can work more productively whether in or out of the office.

What’s more, if the solution is user-friendly enough, people will want to use it and the use of unauthorised BYOD and personal file sharing apps will decrease, reducing the risk of an information breach.

Originally Posted under advice by Julian Cook