Study: Digital capabilities to manage information are still lacking

Most knowledge workers would welcome more digital tools to improve information handling and collaboration with their peers.

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Image: iStock/mrgao

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic sent them home in droves over a year ago, most knowledge workers report they still do not have the digital capabilities they need. 

According to a new study released Thursday by iManage, a knowledge work platform provider, just 23%of knowledge workers report their organizations are "ahead of the curve in digital capabilities to support knowledge work." 

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Because technology has changed the way people live and conduct business around the world, " ... organizations must have a breadth of capabilities at work that include collaboration, secure storage and retrieval, ability to work from anywhere and capacity to curate and repurpose institutional knowledge," iManage CEO Neil Araujo said in a statement. 

With knowledge workers making up a significant proportion of the global workforce and much of the world's GDP being dependent on intellectual capital today, iManage said the research "demonstrates the need for many organizations to sharpen their strategies for enabling their professionals to connect with, activate, use, and retain critical knowledge across their businesses." 

Another issue uncovered by the report, Making Knowledge Work, is the data and information knowledge workers need to do their jobs is often siloed and spread out across their organizations. This can make them less productive, iManage said. 

The study, which was conducted by Metia Group, also found that:

  • 68% of knowledge workers said the information contained in contracts, emails, and spreadsheets constitute the three most important sources of digital information for an organization
  • 74% of respondents said knowledge work will be more important to business after the COVID-19 pandemic ends 
  • 47% of respondents said improving employee productivity and collaboration is one of their organization's top goals
  • 28% of respondents said that most or all of their documents are scattered across multiple systems
  • 30% of respondents said that documents reach their organization via five or more channels

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The research also uncovered that fewer than 40% of respondents said their departments were using automation when working with "very important" digital documents or files. Fewer than 37 reported using automated workflows.  

About the research

The study's findings are based on analysis of more than 500,000 global, digital conversations over two years, alongside in-depth interviews with subject matter experts, as well as survey results from a sample of 1,068 businesses across the US and UK. 

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By Allen Bernard

Now a freelance business writer and journalist, Allen Bernard is the former managing editor of CIOUpdate.com, eSecurityPlanet.com, ITSMWatch.com, and EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet.com. Throughout his 20-year career, Bernard has focused on explaining the...