Gaining an Advantage - Document Management Software vs the Status Quo

This article was written by iDatix iNSIDER Steve Weissman. Weissman provides expert guidance on enterprise information management, helping people work better and work better together through improved governance, compliance, and process efficiency. A specialist in managing content, collaboration and communication, he has decades of experience in capture, imaging, forms, content management, business processes management/workflow and other related areas. He is currently the Senior Pragmatist & Master Prognosticator for Holly Group and teaches a CIP Prep Program.

The biggest issues associated with doing nothing, which is certainly the easiest and comfortable thing, is that you end up unnecessarily prolonging whatever operational pain you’re experiencing. This is true even when circumstances aren’t dire.

A lot of times people think, “Well, everything is working OK. We know what we’re doing. There’s no great hang ups. Yeah, we could probably do things better. But, you know…(dot, dot dot)

The issue is, there is a drain on efficiency and there is a drain on financial performance.

It’s like a slow leak of a bathtub.

Sure, it still works.

You can clean up your kids by throwing them in there.

And it’s all fine because they’re usually done before all the water drains out.

But the simple fact is the water is draining out. You are not making the most use of it as you can.

So there’s a cost there that is literally in that case leaking out of your operation if you will.

So where a lot of people think, “Doing nothing is OK. We’re kind of preserving what we have.

The truth is there are costs there. I know we’re going to talk about a few more of them in depth, but it’s a fallacy to think.

Like exercising. If you’re not moving ahead, you are falling behind. There’s no such thing as staying where you are.

There’s nothing quite like a crises to spark action. What’s interesting in the business world is, sometimes the crises is somebody else’s.

That if you’re even a smaller community bank, you read about something that’s happened with a large one, like Bank Of America or somebody, which I’m just using as an example. I’m not suggesting there’s some problem the world doesn’t know about. But a lot of times, organizations look to their peers to see what’s happening. And they think, “Oh my goodness. That could happen to me.”

There’s a fair amount of denial where they would think, “Oh, that would never happen to me.” But it can, and it does. There are lots of risks that often don’t get thrown in your face until something bad happens. But they do exist.

So in some ways, some of this document management best practice that we’re kind of talking around, it’s an insurance policy. It’s good business. So unlike an insurance policy, you’re not left feeling like you’re just writing checks with no return.

But you’re also guarding against really bad things happening in terms of your information, or how compliant you are with regulations, or keeping your legal counsel happy because perhaps there’s a lawsuit bubbling up. And you want to be sure that you’re protected.

Then again, under that same heading of “if you’re not moving forward you’re falling behind,” there are missed opportunities that you may not even notice you’re missing because you don’t have the proper structures in place, and the proper policies in place.

So I put all of this under the heading of “risk avoidance” or “risk mitigation.” It makes great sense to sit down and talk about all these things before you have that problem. Because once you have the problem, if it’s not too late, it certainly gets too expensive, which document management software can help you prevent.

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