Information in the remote workplace

One-point of access to workplace information.

We’ve been talking about this for years – organizations everywhere and of all sizes need to significantly improve the way their employees access and take action on internal data, information and knowledge. As Covid-19 spread, all organizations were forced into remote and facing this need to improve.

Smooth sailing?

Virus or no virus, business and operations need to run smoothly. Distribution, access and action on workplace information just has to be efficient. Is it going smoothly?

Most of organizations weren’t ready for the quick change, they were just forced to adapt and evolve or suffer. Because of this, it is likely that overall productivity and performance will take a major hit in most organizations. However, some will sort-of cope OK, people will sit at home for a few weeks, chatting and calling over Teams and searching their workplace data over something like SharePoint, then returning back to the office in a couple of months. Nothing dramatic really. Obviously, the more knowledge/information-intensive the organization and the less they were prepared for remote, the more their productivity and performance will suffer. The results aren’t in yet.

Relevant, anywhere and easily

The challenge is making the huge amount of information in your organization easily available and accessible at all times, but so that employees are not overwhelmed.

Relevant information is what matters. This information also needs to be easily actionable to e.g. respond to requests, follow workflows, manage changes, complete tasks, make decisions, etc. Remembering that every time an employee has to go and find something or switch between systems and applications, it costs time and money. As “remote” could be the new normal, companies digitalizing, simplifying and streamlining processes is a must.  

However, just because data exists in your organization and it’s theoretically accessible from anywhere, it doesn’t mean that it’s very efficiently available or usable. I remember an organization that had their customer data in over 20 different information systems that just couldn’t be combined or accessed from one interface. Try and make any quick decisions in a place like that!

Don’t get me started on those companies that still take sales orders or give purchase orders via post-it notes (I have real-life examples!).

Employees

In the end, it is all about your employees; the actual users of the information. How can their lives be made easier, so that they are productive and happy no matter where they are, in the office or remote? What the average knowledge-employee needs, is an easy way to get to information they need daily and an easy way to take action. If your systems are complex, they will even revert to using something like post-it notes!

Information is everywhere; on-premises, in the cloud, in apps, systems, databases, documents, videos and calls. The problems get a lot worse, when you add old systems and non-digitalized and bureaucratic processes. Add to that employees who don’t know how to find information because of multiple complicated systems and terrible user interfaces.

Just because 50 apps can be connected together via APIs, connectors, etc. it doesn’t reduce the number of different apps that need to be accessed by employees. Data may flow and transfer between applications and systems, but there are still multiple applications. Every app needs to be learned… and truthfully, not all employees are as tech-savvy, so they don’t use them.

Sure, nowadays everything can be connected to Slack and Zoom, and new tools, e.g. Notion are popping-up. These will solve it all! This seems to be the crazy Silicon-Valley mentality, but it isn’t a viable option for 99% of the world. Adopting quickly a new “hot” app isn’t the solution for established organizations with lots of employees, data and systems.

Thinking differently

Relefant thinks differently. We attack the information problem with a 3-step process: 1. Integrate and 2. Interconnect your data/ information/ knowledge. Then 3. providing a single point of access and action to your organization’s data, information and knowledge for your employees anywhere.

By interconnecting your data/information increases in value significantly, as new insight and data can be derived from it. But additionally it interconnecting makes everything more discoverable and navigable. By giving your employees a single point of access and action to workplace data/information/knowledge, we reduce the number of everyday applications and interfaces employees have to interact with to do easy repetitive tasks with. Saving time and money to your organization, from on-boarding to reducing mistakes and at the same time improving decision-making and productivity anywhere.  

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