The Value of Content Assessment
In my previous post, the first in my series on content assessment, I described the information landscape with respect to content. Organizations are facing ever increasing volume, velocity and variety of information. Understanding growing piles of uncontrolled content through content analytics has clear benefits to organizations of every size. Each organization – and the range of stakeholders in those organizations – will benefit from engaging in content assessment. How? In three main ways:
1) There is value to all stakeholders in simply understanding content better through analytics. Dynamically analyzing silos of unmanaged, uncontrolled content via content analytics provides new insight about this information stakeholders previously did not have. Before, stakeholders simply knew the ‘speeds and feeds’ about a content repository: the number of documents, the size of those document, etc. Content analytics now delivers insight about the content and that insight leads to better, more informed decision making. Which areas represent the most risk? Where should we start our governance efforts? Where should our priorities lie? What is the projected ROI of better information lifecycle governance?
Today, organizations make these kinds of decisions about their unstructured content repositories with limited data. More likely, they avoid making decisions because they lack this kind of insight. No longer. Improved understanding and insight about your unstructured information leads to better decisions about how to take action.
2) One such action to take is to decommission content, the systems that support that content and the systems that rely upon that content. Decommissioning is primarily an IT concern. They manage the costs of the information infrastructure. By default, most organizations have been doing nothing with their content. And as such their infrastructure costs have continued to rise. With an understanding of the content, you can take on these these once avoided decisions with more confidence. By understanding the content in a particular system, you can take action to shut those systems down and save costs.
3) There is a flip side to decommissioning old content and the systems that support content. It is that by understanding content, you will be empowered to preserve the necessary content. Preserving the necessary content enables the decommissioning you want to execute.
Content assessment provides you the ability to identify content that is valuable. This makes general line of business users happy, as they are resistant to decommissioning because they don’t want you to throw away ‘something they’ll need’ in the future.
Content assessment provides you the tools to identify content that requires lifecycle governance. The compliance officers and records managers will be happy because your organization’s obligations will be met in a documented process. You will be taking steps to enforce your content policies on disposition of content while still working to control your costs.
Content assessment provides you the tool to identify content that is legally relevant. The lawyers will be happy because they can use it to find the information relevant to legal cases where it resides in uncontrolled environments – and exert the kind of control the eDiscovery process demand.
Three main ways content assessment delivers value to your organization: via understanding of you content on its own; via decommissioning and consequently reduction of IT cost; via preservation and governance for fulfilling the needs of line-of-business stakeholders and compliance minded stakeholders alike.
Next in the content assessment series . . . what content is ‘necessary’ to your organization and how does content analytics help to make this determination?