Businesses survive or die based on decisions made on information available to them, and yet the majority of organizations have little control over the growing mountains of information that they create on a daily basis.On top of the formal data being created by database-centric applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management(CRM) applications, more and more of an organization’s intellectual property is being created as ad hoc information held in documents created by individuals in Microsoft Office or other mainstream desktop applications.

To make matters worse, there are the increasing pressures of governance and audit, where the ability to show exactly how a process happened, what the outcomes were and to be able to demonstrate that such information is being kept according to the various legal and other compliance requirements placed upon us is becoming more important.Historically, organizations have looked to discrete but interlinked solutions, mainly underpinned by enterprise content management (ECM).However, ECM systems are generally aimed only at managing information that has already gone through several stages of a document’s creation process and has already been agreed to have considerable business value held within it.On top of the ECM system lie all the business intelligence and reporting systems, along with all the main tools aimed at audit and governance.

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