In 2001, market intelligence firm IDC issued a landmark study on the impacts of information access in the workplace, commenting that:
“Timely access to critical information separates the winners from the losers in today’s information economy. Yet all too often knowledge workers fail in their quest to obtain the information they need. There are many reasons for this failure — some technical, some cultural, and some personal. No matter the cause, the amount of time wasted in futile searching for vital information is enormous, leading to staggering costs to the enterprise.”
The report, titled “The High Cost of Not Finding Information,” made clear that “information disasters” continued to burden organizations across industries, citing not a lack of information but rather not connecting the right information to the right people at the right time as the root of the issue.
More than a decade has passed since that initial research, and KM challenges continue to plague organizations, if not more so. Factors include increasing mobile device use, the rise of social media and the BYOD movement, as well as the fact that many employees are simply adopting their own preferred tools and applications for sharing information and collaborating at work.
New research from IDC confirms the growing urgency of this issue, evidenced by the fact that over 90% of the information today’s typical organization possesses is unstructured, and the amount of information that knowledge workers must navigate daily is increasing dramatically. Yet while KM challenges in the era of big data grow, organizations often under-invest in the technologies that can unlock the value residing within this data.
The latest report, “The Knowledge Quotient: Unlocking the Hidden Value of Information Using Search & Content Analytics,”offers compelling insights regarding how modern organizations are helping their employees access the information they need:
- 61% of knowledge workers regularly access four or more systems to do their jobs, and 13% access eleven or more systems.
- Knowledge workers find the information they need only half of the time; such inefficiencies amount to more than $5.7 million per year lost in wasted productivity, a figure that’s doubled since IDC’s 2003 report.
- Workers spend nearly 36% of their time looking for and consolidating information spread across a variety of systems, including network files shares, content management systems, intranets, legacy systems, and data repositories.
The IDC report suggests intelligent search and text analytics technologies are uniquely positioned to help organizations upgrade knowledge access in order to innovate faster, make better decisions, optimize customer interactions, and improve employee productivity.
By adopting these technologies, organizations across a range of industries can benefit. Take for example a global manufacturer cited in the report. A multinational company with 70,000 internal users is saving over $50M/year by securely unifying access to intranet, content management, customer support, and ERP sources for all users.
Other companies see new revenue opportunities. For instance, a global investment bank referenced in the report is generating millions in new revenue using unified search and text analytics technology as the underlying engine for a knowledge management system that collects, locates, shares, and analyzes the bank’s diverse knowledge streams and makes it available via a single interface—with real-time security trimming—to its thousands of knowledge workers.
Yet the report notes these examples remain the exception and not the rule, as most organizations must still overcome several technical and organizational challenges. Nearly 63% of survey respondents identified challenges associated to lack of process, discipline, and technology to incorporate a new strategy for knowledge management.
Coveo and Lexalytics together help organizations unlock the full value of their structured and unstructured data and diverse knowledge assets by making them findable and actionable by employees. Because Lexalytics’ text analytics engine is fully integrated within Coveo’s Search & Relevance technology, organizations can adopt a single solution that identifies the “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” and “how” of diverse knowledge streams, unifies searchability, and automatically recommends content and experts based upon the unique context and role of the user.
Download the full report to read all of the enlightening results the IDC study has generated, and learn how real-world organizations are successfully modernizing their KM challenges.