Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

By Brian Kopack

I found $20 running one day last week.

I run for a lot of reasons – it gets me outside, it helps me de-stress, it keeps me young.  A New York Times article last week said it makes me smarter.  Totally hope that’s true.

When I find a little cash every once in a while – that’s pretty good too.  Effort pays off.

Content management is a lot that same way.  Lots of benefits.  You know it works.  You know it makes your business better.  You know you need to actively participate.  You know the rewards are worth the effort.  And, every once in a while, you pick up a little something extra.

Businesses start taking content management seriously to address operational issues: organization, security, collaboration (or lack thereof).  They evolve with their strategy because technological changes are constantly creating opportunities.  Then the continuous improvement mindset takes hold.  Processing efficiency, procedural flexibility and innovative problem solving become the cornerstones of a more vibrant organization.

With that mindset, what started with filing cabinets, calculators and 24-column paper becomes a comprehensive content management strategy - connecting people through technology.  The goal being to spend time not simply doing work, but doing valuable work.  Managing processes and the flow of information in our companies as effectively as possible frees up our schedules from the tasks that steal our time but lack value.

That’s where IOS comes in.  When you believe that the idea matters, like we do, the details fall into place.  Our discovery-driven approach to problem solving supported by our singular focus on content management puts our clients in a position to control the pace and direction of their improvement.

From there, the direction of the content management strategy might include the conversion of data out of a legacy system into a new system or custom software development or the integration of multiple systems or process re-engineering - or all of the above.

That all facilitates sharing information efficiently and automating processes to create two things we are all looking for and can never get enough of: simplicity and time.  The true benefits of any content management system.

Who couldn’t use a little more of that?
Thursday, December 3, 2015

Information Nowhere

By Brian Kopack

Two questions.  Does your content management system support the needs of your employees?  Does your content management system allow your employees to support the needs of your customers?

Normally, we talk about businesses - creating efficiencies and making businesses smarter.  Since business is about ultimately about people, let’s flip the script and look at it from the people angle.

Combine those two questions above into a single question.   No matter the “end-user” – management, departments or customers, what experience do your content management system and your processes provide?

I spent one day last week in information management purgatory.

My mother and I visited the Social Security office and the IRS office in the same day.  Both told us the other office is one we need to talk to for help.  If you thought there would be some sharing of information between government agencies - you’d be wrong.  We had what we thought was an easy question about a simple misunderstanding.  That was true. The problem was that neither government office could pull the information from its system nor explain how we could solve the problem they thought we had.

Gridlock on a personal level.

They sent my mother a letter with the obligatory, “Contact us if you have any questions or need further information”.  We did.  They weren’t prepared to help.

Clearly, the end-user I am most concerned with in this story is me. But, I can tell you with metaphysical certainty, the employees behind the computers who had to (most unsuccessfully) answer my questions about their questions, were as unhappy with the systems they were using and the information to which they had access as I was with the information I was receiving.  Their experience was definitely not great.  Mine was worse.

It would be devastating if any of our clients felt that way about work we had done.

In fairness, I cannot imagine how hard it would be to implement any kind of system for the government.  A million requirements.  A million processes.  Millions of people to train.  I get all of that.  But at the end of the day, the system you rely on has to provide useful information to the people using it, and they have to be confident they can use it to solve problems.

It’s all about service and contribution.

We take the services we provide and the contributions we make to our clients’ businesses very seriously.

Our expertise allows us to provide services our clients couldn’t experience on their own.  Our work has to contribute to making our clients better and in turn, their employees and customers better.  That’s the IOS circle of life.  That’s just the way we think.  From the largest Fortune 500 company to the smallest, privately-held business, we know that when it comes to content management, the end-user experience is critical because technology, no matter how innovative, fails if it doesn’t help people.

The goal always has to be the same: right information to the right people at the right time for the right purpose.

The recipe is always the same: expertise, creativity, agility.

The guiding principle is always the same: It’s the idea that matters.

That’s IOS.