Welcome to the modern era, where business data is the new oil of the digital age and is drilled for not with heaving oil derricks but with Enterprise Information Management (EIM). EIM is the big-picture wrangling of all the data encompassing a particular business.
Businesses today compete by using Data. Look no further than Amazon, Facebook, and Google which are built off of a foundation of customer data. However, this data source is normally comprehensive in nature. It includes the routines, principles, and practices that go into that information’s accessibility. It is also the means by which that data is governed and protected, and how it is leveraged throughout the various levels of a company.
Want to determine how best to satisfy customer needs? Keen on identifying bottlenecks in a process? Are you ironing out means of achieving business goals? Enterprise Information Management is the asset used to accomplish these goals.
In a world where would-be oil barons struggle to maximize the amount of black gold they can draw out of the ground, EIM is the mechanism Bold Businesses use for success.
The Types of Enterprise Information Management Systems
It is difficult to imagine that any organization will be successful without access to the right data, at the right time, for the right people, to address the right purpose. However, many organizations only manage one aspect of their data – the physical storage – and neglect the other components needed to use data to its fullest extent. – The Data Administration Newsletter
There are a multitude of businesses with varying goals and needs. So too are there various systems to be leveraged to answer their information needs. Here are a few common examples:
- Content Management Systems are programs used to create and manage digital content. These systems facilitate collaboration in the workplace through streamlined document- and digital asset management, as well as records retention functions.
- Business Process Management Systems are platforms used for automating, measuring and optimizing processes related to the delivery of goods and services.
- Customer Experience Management (CEM) Systems provide tools for businesses to track, organize and manage all interactions with the customer throughout the customer lifecycle.
- Information Exchange Systems are collaboration- and document-sharing tools that allow members to work seamlessly and efficiently.
- Data Discovery Systems are tools that help organizations identify where data is stored – as well as its uses, how it is distributed and to whom. These tools can also be used to identify sensitive information and develop processes to protect it.
In some organizations, starting small and focusing on a specific business goal will eventually lead to enterprise-wide program.
Developing an EIM – A Need-Based Approach
The development of an enterprise information management framework will largely depend on the organization’s needs and priorities. When creating the EIM framework, the first question must be if the structure aims to answer specific business goals or if it will be an enterprise-wide initiative.
Some goals to assess during the development phase might include:
- Is the ultimate aim to increase revenue?
- What must compliance needs be met to reduce corporate risk?
- Is a reduction in the cost of running the business an objective?
- How well is the organization insulated from retaining continuity during and after disasters?
A business can take one of two approaches when addressing the information and data management needs of the company: it can use various programs and applications from different providers in addressing specific needs of the business, or it can adopt a self-contained suite of systems working together seamlessly.
Why the Fuss Over EIM?
Managing and utilizing business data should be a top priority. A robust and dynamic enterprise information management system gives insight, which supports fast, data-driven decisions. It also empowers team members by connecting people with the right information and processes.
An enterprise information management system might not have a direct financial impact on the business. But cost-savings and increased productivity contribute to the achievement of business objectives.
Having an EIM in place protects the business from internal leaks and other external threats. It also minimizes the risk of exposure by helping meet governmental data compliance regulations.
But mismanaged data can also cause irreparable damage to a business. Security breaches and hacking are an obvious and prevalent harm.
Epsilon, a digital and marketing company in the US, learned this lesson to the tune of $4Billion. In 2011, hackers infiltrated Epsilon’s database and stole clients’ information.
Mismanaged data can also compartmentalize a business. Hampering the flow of information often leads to reduced productivity, redundant processes, and poor customer service. In extreme cases, a business may face sanctions and litigation when government regulations and policies have been violated.
Whether it is thousands of barrels of oil or terabytes of data, the goal for any successful Bold Business is the same. It is to optimize its gathering and usage. Thankfully, when it comes to the digital space, there are enterprise information management systems to keep things from getting messy.