Improving Knowledge and Data Management
In this new knowledge economy, intellectual property and information are just as important as the manpower that produced them. Longevity of knowledge is achieved through successful organization of documentation. Information that workers produce can get lost with the passage of time and/or people leaving an organization to go to another job. Paper files have buried nuggets of information that tend to be more useful to the person who created the file than to the organization. Instead of sorting through paper documents, most workers prefer to search electronic hard drives for past knowledge and historical data. Improving knowledge and data management within a company means having data readily accessible and available to workers in an instant.
Even in this digital age, paper is still abundant as a primary data source. Much of corporate memory still resides on paper. But a single piece of paper usually can be used by only one person at a time, making it difficult for others to use the information on that paper. The ability to access, edit, and distribute documents at any location and time can increase knowledge and allow information to be used more effectively. Workers already spend too much time looking for missing information stored on paper. Deloitte & Touche reported in the early 1990s that U.S. managers spent an average of three hours a week looking for paper that had been misfiled, mislabeled, or lost. The act of becoming paperless can help with finding and retrieving information instantaneously, ensuring that an organization uses its personnel effectively and makes information available immediately.