Three Reasons to Tackle Document Sprawl Today

By Marko Sillanpaa

Document sprawl across multiple silos effect every organisation. According to AIIM, 52% of organisations have three or more document or content systems another 22% have five or more systems. Most of these content repositories don’t talk to each other forcing users to work across multiple applications to access the documents they need to perform their daily jobs.  This sprawl has resulted in additional costs and risks to these organizations.

Here are three reasons to address document sprawl.

Increase Operational Efficiency

With content spread throughout an organisation it is given that it will take time to find information when you need it.  According to a McKinsey report, employees spend 9.3 to hours per week while an IDC report puts that number at 12.5 hours.  That is like having one out of every four employees doing nothing but looking for documents. 

Today, users need to search various systems for documents needed to perform their daily roles. By federating content repositories, documents can be accessed across content systems from one common application. 

Users are able to access documents from one application instead of logging into several. This allows easier access to documents hidden away in legacy content stores or file systems. Federated repositories also allow users to not only find these documents but make changes to them as well.

Address the Needs for Compliance

The value of information as an asset is being recognised by more and more across organisations. No longer are organisations concerned with records retention but also new regulations, like the GDPR, are requiring a higher knowledge of the documents an organization maintains. 

This means that more controls are constantly being placed on documents. Implementing controls across multiple disconnected systems is complex and time consuming.

By federating content repositories, retention and other information governance rules can be set in a single application and the controls can be enacted on the documents where they sit.  From one interface you can set retention schedules or identify which documents contains personally identifiable information (PII) and the controls can be set in the content repositories in which the document reside.

Reduce Annual IT Costs

Maintaining various content stores can be costly. This starts with annual maintenance costs. 

Each system may also require specialized skills to maintain.  Often an administrator familiar with one platform may not be familiar with another. User training also increases with multiple platforms. 

Legacy systems can increase these costs as annual maintenance increases on older versions and the specialized skills need to maintain the system become harder to find. And if the platform is out of maintenance it can create high levels of risk.

By federating content repositories, platforms can be consolidated as needed. Focus on support and future growth can be placed in the federated repository, while existing integrations can be maintained to legacy systems from legacy repositories.  Consolidation does not need to occur in one step which decreases the need for major changes in existing processes and integrations.

Document sprawl effects almost every organisation.  Documents are spread across various content repositories and locations.  But there no reason that that content can’t work together.

Marko Sillanpaa is responsible for developing the OEM and VAR channel for Simflofy's leading content integration platform. Simflofy's content integration platform allows access to content stored in Alfresco, Documentum, OpenText, SharePoint, FileNet, Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive repositories as well as FTP servers, network shares, and file systems simultaneously through the Simflofy API.

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