We live in a digital data world where we’re constantly surrounded by information and documents that we need to get stuff done. Adding to this, it’s more important now than ever that information is organised in a way where you’re not spending time simply looking for documents in a hybrid model of working.

Elastic.co specialising in data analysis and search, teamed up with Wakefield Research, conducted a survey of 1,000 knowledge workers where executives and employees both agreed that time wasted in finding documents negatively impacted output, productivity, and employee sentiment.
It showed that 60% of the respondents spent more time searching for documents rather than replying to emails and 85% spent time during their day simply searching for documents.

So where can we start to fix this and why is it important? Here we’ll talk about what information architecture is, some challenges businesses face, and how a well-structured and planned architecture can benefit you.

What is Information Architecture?

Information architecture is the practice of organizing and labelling information in a way that makes it easy to find and use. Having a well thought out and designed Information architecture is key to great user and employee experience.

The elements and structure include:

  • Organisation structure – referring to how the information and documents are categorised.
  • Labelling – referring to how the information is presented.
  • Search – refers to how the information can be queried by a user.
  • Navigation – how the user moves through the organisation structure to access the information they need.

 

What are some challenges business face?

You’d think that it’s common for employees to know exactly how their documents and IP is stored, organised and labelled but for many, this is not always the case. Ever said to yourself or colleague through your day, ‘Hey, where can I find that doc you showed me yesterday that you need help with?’, ‘Which version is the latest one that we should be working on?’, or simply spent too much time to finding what you need?

For a lot of small medium businesses, tackling this always comes as an afterthought and usually only get the limelight years later when they have grown to a size where it can no longer be swept under the rug or ignored.

Challenges start to pop up:

  • Time wasted in finding documents
  • Increased number of emails
  • Risks and errors due to multiple copies and versions of the same document
  • Employee burnout and reduced flow state
  • Hindered collaboration and productivity

What does this all equate to? Cost in time and resources stopping you and your business to get to where you want to be.

What can I do?

Technology is your friend. With the right systems in place and architecture designed and implemented, it can help with reducing time and money wasted on simply finding documents and allow you businesses to move forward seamlessly and grow and a faster pace.

Thing to consider:

  • Start with a plan – Success always starts with a plan. Look at how you would like to tackle this, who would be the best people to do so, in what timeframe you’d like this to be completed by and what does success look like?
  • Analyse current gaps – Assess how much is it costing your business in its current state both from a time and monetary standpoint. What system is currently in place and where are your shortfalls? How far are you from your future state in your success?
  • Look at your technology stack – This is important as the technology stack will assist in how your team operates on the daily, extending to how your team collaborates and how productive they in their various working modes.
  • Get help – You’re not alone. There a many IT partners out there that can support you through this journey allow your employees to continue doing what they do best.

 

What are the benefits for your business and employees?

When employees can work more efficiently, it leads to a better experience and increases the chances of achieving business goals. It may seem like a small thing but having the right Information architecture can help mitigate risks not only in related version control or email overload, but can reduce burnout, employee attrition and maintains their flow state giving you the best version of the talent you’ve worked so hard to hire.

 

Conclusion

This is one of the key foundations to help increase collaboration and improve productivity for employees and for your business. Many businesses also do this in conjunction with a cloud migration which goes hand in hand.

By implementing the right information architecture, your business can achieve its goals more efficiently and effectively and allow them more space and time to do what they do best.

Looking for help in putting together a plan or to build this into your IT roadmap? Feel free to reach out here.

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