The World Health Organization has categorized corona virus (COVID-19) as a pandemic and countries has been declaring lockup in order to try to control the wide spread of the virus. For that, companies are finding themselves asking their employees to work from home.
Despite the long term argument about the effectiveness of working from home, in these days it shouldn’t be a big challenge as most of us have a reliable internet connection, a laptop, and the collaboration tools (big players i.e. Microsoft, zoom, google are providing their tools for free) that will allow us to achieve our daily tasks. In fact, some workers i.e. developers are very familiar with remote working and by time they knew how to make the best out of it.
However, for many workers & organizations, this will be their first experience with working from home specially for information professionals thus the big question to ask
Is your organization able to manage information from home using the traditional way?
A lot of companies specially in the Middle East still rely on traditional methods to manage their information such as shared network folders, emails, and excel sheets. Even though this method has direct effect on productivity and can lead to lots of time wasting, lost of documents, and depletion of resources; as hard as it looks, employees can still somehow work with their documents when physically available at the office. but will it be possible while working from home?
Challenges for managing your information at home
While working from home, companies using the traditional way to manage their information will find it more challenging then ever to effectively work with their content due to the below reasons
- Working with emails & attachments: the internet bandwidth in the middle east is still low compared to other well developed countries, thus working with emails and attachments from home will also affect the productivity of your employees. Email alone is insufficient, working remotely requires the need for better and up to date technologies.
- Lack of access to information: the information residing on your network shared folders will become inaccessible to your employees once they start working from home. If they need access, you need to make sure VPN access is available from their devices. this will prevent middle attacks from remote locations and failing to do so will leave your employees unable to retrieve, share, and collaborate on documents with their colleagues.
- Collaboration made complex: There is no direct mean to notify your colleague of any changes on a document or on sharing a new document. This has to be done manually either by using emails or by using one of the collaboration tool such as Slack or Zoom.
I believe that organizations conducting their business using the traditional ways have realized, during the corona virus spread, the importance of digital transformation and will put big efforts to drive their operations digitally.
Their first priority should be to allow their employees to access their information from within the company offices & from any other remote place in a secure way. Now it has become the time to have a system to manage your content, automate your processes, and enable fast decision making. Now it is time to invest in an ECM solution. Your most valuable asset “information” needs to be managed properly to get the most out of them.
For more detailed benefits of an ECM solution, check out my previous article.