In this era of digital – enterprise, workplace, and transformation – digital content is a technology sector that is rapidly changing. It’s time to re-align how we think about digital content; to look beyond content as files to manage and see it as an information source and asset. All forms of content, regardless of format, can be transformed into data. It’s when that data is exposed that we can develop new narratives and gain insight. There are enabling technologies, content services, and digital capabilities to make this possible, but they are simply tools. Information Readiness is the intelligent use of those tools that readies content as a critical information source.

When there is simply data, it’s all noise. It’s impossible for a human being to absorb data without a narrative. Once we figure out how to turn…ideas…into a story, though, it becomes information. And then we can act on it.   – Seth Godin1

The AIIM (Association for Intelligent Information Management2) recently wrapped up its annual conference in Dallas (March 3-5, 2020) that focused on the digital content storyline and Information Readiness; intelligent information management plays a critical role in digital enterprise transformation. Full disclosure, I was elected to the Board of Directors for AIIM in January 2020. Despite looming virus concerns, over 650 attendees braved the elements to attend the event, making fist and elbow bumps the new method for business introductions.

I’ve covered content management and document processes for several decades as an analyst and application developer. Most recently I’ve reported on the content services market and its key players. As much as I’ve learned of the market, I know that technologies, platforms, and applications only help to manage files and documents. The crux of intelligent information is how the content and technologies are used to expose the information they hold. This is where content management becomes a business strategy and an information readiness effort.

The crux of intelligent information is how the content and technologies are used to expose the information they hold.

Is your organization information ready? You can start by assessing how your firm considers, manages, and tracks its unstructured content. You will find repositories and pockets of information stored in line-of-business applications, content platforms, record managers, and archives. Understand where the information lives and learn how to make it more accessible to users and the business. Plan to rationalize, tag, and catalog useful information. That also means finding information that is irrelevant and unusable. It’s time to consider digital content as a valuable source of information that can not be overlooked.

The AIIM Conference was a perfect reminder that there’s much more to information readiness than deploying the technology. It’s a business strategy that improves employee effectiveness and customer experiences. At play are verifiable hard skills (AIIM offers professional certification, CIP) and soft skills, that improve leadership, business, and customer buy-in.

 

1. Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog, March 3, 2020.
2. Formerly known as the Association for Information and Image Management