SER Blog  Customer Stories & Use Cases

5 signs that it’s time to eliminate information silos

It’s pretty rare that documents and data are stored in the same place. They’re typically spread out across various systems in information silos. Making matters worse, this information is often managed, stored and “protected” – not always intentionally – in different ways.

Here are 5 signs that information silos are killing your team’s productivity – and how to fix this with a solution that both improves information management and optimizes overall business processes:

1. You are unable to find documents that belong together based on subject matter or content (e.g. relating to a business process) without switching between different applications.

2. Not only are you unable to control access to specific documents, but you have no way to track or document usage and accesses.

3. Legal retention periods and other compliance requirements (e.g. GDPR) can only be fulfilled with considerable effort.

4. It’s very difficult to manage documents in a traceable manner, e.g. with workflows, and thus digitally map your business processes.

5. It’s often unclear which process, supplier, customer, etc. a document belongs to and in what context it is used.

If one or more of these statements applies to you, this a clear sign that there’s immense potential to boost productivity in information-based daily work. Learn how an ECM system can help you free your information from silos and connect it with people and processes.

Bringing together the right documents

As a rule, there will always be a large number of systems and applications in every company where data and documents are found: email programs, ERP, CRM and other LOB applications, archives and databases, the file system and an increasing number of collaboration solutions such as Microsoft Teams. So the potential interfaces between an ECM and these systems are very important. They enable you to connect the content, consolidate it or make it available across systems via enterprise search. Once this is complete, information can also be identified, analyzed and presented in the correct context using artificial intelligence. A modern ECM such as Doxis from SER Group has standard interfaces for numerous systems, including certified interfaces for SAP and Microsoft applications for secure integration.

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Break through the silos: Centralized document management

Connecting information by breaking those silos is only the first step. We also have to be able to understand this information and its value. Information logistics is paramount – in other words, being able to use the right information at the right time and in the right process. It is important therefore for this content to have a structure. Most of the time this can be achieved through uniform metadata management. The metadata assigned to the content indicates the context where it originated, what type of document it is (e.g. invoice, contract, request, etc.), who created it and when, and so on. Uniform means the metadata can be assigned and managed for entire eFiles, for data and for processes, so that all of this content can be found, for example, in a comprehensive search and linked to one another in the correct context.

If, for example, several items of information with the same project number are identified, this content can be connected automatically in the corresponding project file: ERP data, project requests, invoices, etc. Related information, for example, on suppliers or partners for the project, can also be found and linked, resulting thus in a complete picture of the project.

Understand documents as part of business processes

Why is it necessary to connect information in this way? In your company, it is not only the individual case, the individual document, or the individual order that matters. All these business processes are interrelated and form an overall picture. When information is missing, it is not only a productivity killer for your employees. All the tasks and processes related to a particular document will also come to a standstill if information is missing. And this has an impact on customer service, production processes, supplier relations, and compliance. With Doxis, you can connect information and processes in the right business context and break through silos created by individual applications. This enables information and business processes to be digitalized and managed from start to finish in a traceable manner.

We would be happy to discuss with you how you can eliminate your information silos and improve your productivity. Contact us here ⯈

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