“More than 50% of US office professionals agreed that they spend more time searching for documents and files than on work.”

Does it often feel that a great deal of your time is spent searching for the content you need to actually do your job? The latest version of a contract or the most up-to-date slide deck; is it in your local downloads, an email thread, or in your shared dropbox? The monotony and frustration of having to hunt down a document among a buffet of content stores, is due to something called ‘content sprawl’.

Think of content sprawl like a virus within your organisation. If left unnoticed and unmanaged, it spreads. The problem worsens until the organisation begins to suffer from symptoms like reduced productivity, wasted time (and money), and faltering morale. But what exactly is it?

What is content sprawl?

Content sprawl is the result of an organisation’s documents, data, and assets spread across a patchwork of content stores and management systems, rife with duplicate documents and outdated versions. There are a number of ways an organisation can find themselves in this content-purgatory, and often the root causes of the problem happen concurrently. Users access content by downloading and storing it locally, resulting in several versions of the same document across multiple employees’ devices. To manage the boom in dispersed teams, use of collaboration tools also increased, and many employees are working on and sharing content through numerous applications; email, google drive, dropbox to name a few.

If an organisation doesn’t have a single, company-wide, cloud storage tool for centralising all content, employees look to personal preference, creating a situation where different team members are all using separate solutions to store their content. This results in an environment where end-users struggle to find what they need to do their work, when they need it.

Why is content sprawl bad?

The goal for organisations here is content harmony, a single source of truth where end-users can quickly and easily find what they need. But with content sprawl taking hold, hours are going to be wasted by users searching for the right content, or even recreating lost documents.

With multiple users storing content in several locations, version management becomes a serious challenge. With no way to determine if a document is the most up-to-date version, users will update different versions of the same piece of content – further escalating the content sprawl issue. Such scenarios can have costly implications for an organisation, a version of a contract with incorrect pricing or language could be sent to a client for example, potentially losing the organisation thousands.

For regulated industries however, one of the biggest causes for concern is issues around security and compliance. A recent Elastic survey of 400 IT executives found that unchecked data growth, combined with a lack of visibility, is greatly increasing the risk of breaches, ransomware, and compliance violations. Governance and tracking are essential to effectively manage content, but content sprawl makes it difficult for Information Security teams to uphold processes across the organisation that ensure compliance and prevent security breaches.

The solution

Content sprawl doesn’t happen overnight, and similarly the solution also requires planning and preparation. Processes need to be put in action to help manage content, and in this situation, consolidation and migration is the key. Organisations need a single, company-wide content management system where everything is stored centrally. A single source of truth will provide the organisation and its employees with one place in which to find, store, and update content.

The CARA Platform is just that; a true platform built on a single ‘information lake’ where content and data is entered once and reused in any process across the organisation. With secure collaboration capabilities, users can be confident that they are working on the most up-to-date version of a document and can make edits simultaneously with colleagues to eliminate unnecessary duplications. And with powerful search functionality, users can easily find what they need to do their work when they need it, saving hours of time previously spent searching.

CARA also boasts world-class security features like multi-factor authentication, SSO control, and fully configurable security rules to ensure your colleagues and partners can access everything they need to do their job and no more. So there’s no need to worry about non-compliance and security risks anymore.

Implementing a secure, scalable platform like CARA equips end-users with the resources they need to tackle their work, enabling powerful process optimisation. With CARA, you’ll regain all those hours lost to searching through endless siloed systems. Contact us today to find out more : info@generiscorp.com.