In order to retain a competitive advantage and remain relevant, companies are hard-driven to continually implement solutions to answer to line-of-business requirements. Solutions are introduced in the businesses to respond to specific business needs; with little or no consideration to the long-term management of data related to the solutions.

Managing the data and information in a holistic manner can give businesses a competitive edge, ensure legislative compliance, protect against reputational risk and have enormous economic benefits. The implementation of an integrated content management solution will not only meet your governance requirements, but also add operational value to the business.

Information is everywhere and information theft is becoming prolific. Hackers are treating information as an asset that they can use to their own benefit. Regulations for the management of data are becoming more stringent and consumers and data subjects are becoming more conscious and knowledgeable.

In the age of data, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information a company now has to manage. As a result, businesses don’t take the time necessary to create a strategic framework for the management of information. Data is managed in a fragmented and siloed approach in multiple disconnected applications and locations, resulting in hidden, unprotected and legacy data and databases and unnecessary outdated information consuming storage space.

A strategic, encompassing and dynamic approach and ongoing roadmap to the management of data is beneficial from both expenditure and protecting reputational risk point of view.

When considering the strategic management of information, every business should understand what the purpose of the data is; where data is ingested, created and stored; the short-term and long-term access needs; and what is the life cycle requirement, both for business and regulatory.

A strategic roadmap will answer to existing data, and by maintaining the roadmap, consideration can be given to the integration and management of data from future implemented business solutions.

Companies ought to investigate the option to outsource the documenting and implementation of a records management framework to service providers in the information management industry, who are equipped with the skills and experience to deliver a purpose-specific information management plan.

Once a strategic roadmap is in place, it is easy to understand and define business requirements for solutions and platforms, as well as preferred licensing models; for integrated data and information management. Companies can then proceed with confidence in acquiring solutions to manage information and records, both structured and unstructured data formats, aligned to well-defined strategic considerations.

Your data ought to be managed in a simplified, integrated manner preferably with automated processes in a secure solution. Elsie de Waal-Gunter, Business Analyst at Meniko Records Management Services, says: “While no single solution will satisfy all requirements for every aspect of information management and integration with line of business systems in all industries, the aim is to find a solution with components that can answer to the bulk of your information management needs.

“A consistent data and records management approach on an integrated solution saves time, money and adds value to an organisation or business.”