Welcome to the digital age, where conversations are often dominated by cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain. While these topics rightfully demand attention, there’s a foundational element that often goes unnoticed amidst the buzz: information capture.

Imagine building a grand castle without a solid foundation—it’s a risky venture, isn’t it? Similarly, in the realm of digital transformation and information governance, effective information capture serves as the cornerstone upon which successful strategies are built.

From improving data accessibility and security to enabling improved decision-making, information capture matters. However, evolving technologies and the ever-present human element create unique challenges that need to be considered when creating or improving upon your organization’s capture processes.

Why Information Capture Matters

In a world where data is the new gold, effectively capturing and managing information is no longer just good practice—it’s a strategic imperative. Without capture processes in place, organizations risk being buried under mountains of unstructured data and unable to harness its transformative potential.

Capture lies at the beginning of the information lifecycle and serves as the foundation for all subsequent stages. Solid information capture processes and procedures are essential to achieving:

  1. Efficiency: Effective information capture streamlines processes by reducing the need for manual data entry and minimizing errors. This leads to faster processing times and increased productivity.
  2. Compliance: Proper information capture ensures that all necessary data is recorded and stored in accordance with legal and industry standards, thereby avoiding penalties and legal issues.
  3. Data Accessibility: Systematic information capture allows for easy data retrieval and access. This is important for responding to queries, audits, and for day-to-day operations.
  4. Improved Decision Making: With accurate and timely data capture, organizations can make better-informed decisions. Access to reliable information helps in analyzing trends, forecasting, and strategic planning.
  5. Security: Proper information capture includes measures to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access and breaches. This is crucial for maintaining the confidentiality and security of information.
  6. Scalability: As organizations grow, the volume of information increases. Efficient capture processes ensure that the organization can handle this growth without compromising on accuracy or efficiency.

Information Capture Challenges and Considerations

In this webinar, “Elevating Information Management with Effective Capture,” a panel of seasoned records and information management professionals discussed challenges in the realm of information capture. Following are a few of the key challenges discussed by Laurie Carpenter, Director at Redgrave LLP; Schanna Penzone, Senior Records & Information Manager for Cisco Systems; and Cadis Stuart-Hodges, Global Records Manager for WestRock.

Navigating Version Control

Version control presents significant challenges in managing multiple copies of documents stored across various locations. Establishing a single system of record and designating an official record owner are crucial steps, yet gaining user buy-in can be difficult as individuals are accustomed to maintaining their own copies.

Additionally, defining a clear version control philosophy is essential. For example, in platforms like Microsoft Online, minor changes can create numerous unnecessary versions, complicating document management. Deciding whether to overwrite existing versions or create new ones and training users on the adopted approach is key. To overcome version control challenges, it’s recommended to involve stakeholders and hold whiteboarding sessions to develop effective file naming conventions and structures that everyone can rally behind.

Best Practices when Navigating Version Control

Establishing Clear Policies and Processes

The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to adopt new ways of working, but it also fueled the creation of silos as individuals prefer different tools and storage systems. To mitigate this, it’s crucial to establish clear processes and guidelines for information capture, version control, and document management, in addition to gaining buy-in from employees.

Schanna Penzone, Senior Records & Information Manager at Cisco Systems, recommended thinking about the future when establishing your policies around information capture. “It’s really important to be able to think forward, think ahead in terms of how we might use this information or what we might need in order to retain that information for a period of time and then ultimately dispose of it,” she said. Proper planning today aids in better decision-making tomorrow.

The Role of AI in Document Management

After being presented with the question, “Are naming conventions necessary with AI?” the panelists acknowledged the value of artificial intelligence (AI) in document management, particularly in search and retrieval. However, they stressed the importance of having a naming convention and taxonomy in place for effective tagging and search. Simply put, you need to tag it, so AI can find it.

Are Naming Conventions Necessary with AI?

Note: Compliance and governance risks associated with AI must also be carefully considered, which necessitates well-defined AI governance policies.

Get Started: Build Your Foundation

A pair of professionals shake hands in an office as others look on

In a nutshell, effectively capturing and storing information is more than just digitizing hard copies. It involves detailed process mapping, seamless collaboration, sound technology utilization, and adherence to policy. These elements combine to yield the best results and positively impact the journey of critical business information—from inception to the archive.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking to optimize existing processes or a newcomer eager to navigate the complexities of information management, this eBook, Effective Capture: The Foundation of Information Governance and Digital Transformation, can help you navigate your way to success. Use it as a guide to build a strong foundation of capture for the rest of your information management program to be built upon. Here are a few key highlights you can expect:

  • Defining Effective Capture: Understand what information capture truly entails and why it’s the linchpin of comprehensive information management strategies.
  • The Capture-Management Nexus: Explore the intricate relationship between capture processes and information management, and why a robust capture process is non-negotiable for organizational success.
  • The Evolution of Scanning: Delve into the evolution of scanning processes, including imaging and digitization of paper documents, and discover why paper capture remains relevant in today’s digital-first landscape.
  • Developing a Capture Strategy: Identify crucial factors to consider when developing a process for physical document capture, ensuring nothing falls through the digital cracks.

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your organization’s information assets? Download your free copy of Effective Capture: The Foundation of Information Governance and Digital Transformation and harness the power of effective information capture, paving the way for digital excellence!

Download Your Copy Today!