Embarking on a transition to enterprise information management may seem like a daunting and disruptive undertaking. You might liken it to repainting a room or getting carpets cleaned. Often, you might consider it a necessary task that you just don’t have the time to stop working long enough to implement. However, there are ways to transition to digital while minimally affecting current workflow. The real question is where to begin. Here are a few first steps to begin building your enterprise information management systems.

Get Employee Feedback

First, you want to know who best grasps what makes working better, easier and faster. For instance, all of your employees work daily in their current environment. They best understand what works and what doesn’t. It’s helpful that they specialize in their own area. As a result, they help provide specific details on what might be helpful for the overall company, especially as it relates to their department. So, get out of your office and walk the halls. Offer ample opportunities and methods to get honest feedback from your employees. Find out what hangs them up, and where they feel like their hands are tied. You also need to determine what digital workflows help them the most.

Hire an expert

Spending money on a consultant to inventory your current working practices could be well worth the money spent. Maybe you don’t have time to analyze the entire company on your own. Perhaps feedback would flow freer with a more neutral ear collecting the feedback. An expert would also bring impartiality to something that might be emotional. Bias can be hidden deep and work is emotional for some. In order to get a solid look at what you need in the way of enterprise information management, an impartial viewpoint is critical.

See What’s Out There

There are many enterprise information management systems in existence. Take some time to peruse the offerings and see if something strikes a chord. Maybe there are digital processes already built for exactly what you are looking for. Even better, maybe you find something offered that you didn’t realize you needed. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it’s not necessary. Take a look at what products and software already exist and see if you can implement that.

Spy on the Competition

Is there a similar company of a similar size with a similar business model that has their hands on effective enterprise information management? Find out what they are doing, study their methods of doing business, ask around and see what you can find out. As a business, you should already keep an eye on the competition, but don’t forget to look at how they are managing the business in addition to what they are selling the customers.  

Start at a Reasonable Pace

Once you’ve gathered your research and chosen the path you are going to take, stop. Take some time to plan the transition. You can’t completely change your current work processes into an enterprise information management makeover in a weekend. There are many steps and trying to do too much at once will disrupt workflow. It can stress out your employees and cause discord. Begin reasonably with one process, one department, one branch or whatever makes sense for your specific situation. Keep your staff well informed and ask for their cooperation and patience. Empower them to help you through this changeover to make everything run smoother down the road.

Running quickly into a total enterprise information management makeover can be disruptive to business. It’s important to put in the time and work to research the options, choose a perfect grouping of solutions and implement with care. Don’t get impatient for the process to be over with, think of it as building slow and steady so that the infrastructure is strong and can be trusted.