Finding (the right) information is never mentioned in a job description, yet everybody needs to be able to do it. Still, too little attention is given to the right tools and skills for workers to be efficient and effective - why? Is search software a luxury or a forgotten necessity?
For example, you might have experienced your team complaining about the lack of information or good assets for them to use. You kindly point them at the place they can find what already exists and the problem is solved (at least for the moment).
Or that co-worker that is continuously slacking and mailing you (instead of their manager, as they don’t want to lose face) to help find content, or even create it.
You point them at the shared drive, only to find out that this co-worker never got introduced to this drive during their onboarding and therefore did not know of its existence. I’m sure that there are many more examples to be shared here.
So, before we start looking at a potential content problem, let’s focus on the findability problem for now. Why is this a problem? Don’t we have technology to solve that?
Fragmentated environments and data explosion
The short and simple answer to that last question is: yes, there is technology to help and solve that. However, the numbers of tools in use is growing exponentially. McAfee estimated back in 2019 that an average enterprise uses 76 file sharing cloud services; and that doesn’t even include (legacy-) on-premise sources.
With that, so does the amount of data that is being created. And that data is literally all over the place.
Now, some apps and services have their own built-in search capabilities that are very functional in helping you find the right information fast in their own eco system. But what if you don’t remember or didn’t even know in the first place where the information was stored? Well, then you’ll be hopping from system to system searching for the same thing the entire time.
Gartner estimates that your team might spend up to 30% of their time looking for information. I’m pretty sure that you will say that your organization runs a tighter operation, but you’ll probably agree that it will still be way more time than it needs to be.
Findability becomes a content problem If workers give up on their search, they might recreate the content they were searching for themselves. This gives you a different kind of content problem; duplicates, version control, and extra storage to name a few, will start cluttering your systems once more. Did I forget to mention that a lot of time and effort is wasted in the recreation process?
The Work-From-Home Age Especially after the global pandemic, workplaces have rapidly become more virtual. The benefits of in-person communication when sharing information might not be available to everyone to the same degree. On top of that, most of that in-person interaction is now virtual, adding even more data to your systems.
For new employees, having direct (in-person) access to help and information are critical success factors in ramping up quickly and becoming a happy and productive employee. In a virtual world, you will largely depend on the software tools to do your work and the information you can access, like through Slack and Teams.
57% of workers rank ‘The importance of being able to find the files and documents they need quickly’ as one of their top 3 problems to solve when supporting remote work (Wakefield Research 2021)
It’s Budget Season: why invest in a search tool? Whether it is to find a good recipe for Risotto via Google or find a new pair of shoes on Amazon, people know what a good experience looks like and use search functions in their daily life all the time. It can be a disappointment for them if they cannot have those experiences at work as well.
Secondly, your teams will be more effective and efficient. They’ll spend less time looking for information and surely less time on reworking and/or creating duplicated content. It will also save them a lot of frustration, which will contribute to a happy and productive work life.
In addition, it can save your organization software license costs. There are situations where you have licensed a number of users for just the purpose of being able to view the information in there. A unified search tool can dramatically cut those costs down by making the data viewable in your search tool.
Last but not least, you’ll be able to make better decisions based on what your data tells you. By being able to access all of the data from one interface you won’t miss a vital piece of information.
About Ayfie: The amount of data that organizations and their workers handle on a day-to-day basis is growing exponentially every year. On top of this, they are using more and more software tools that capture and store data. This makes it hard to access, share, act on the right information/knowledge and to stay compliant with data regulations.
Ayfie’s technology unifies the data from all your different data sources in one place so you can access it and enable knowledge sharing, deal with compliance and make better business decisions.