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4 top trends shaping information management

Before I get into the prevalent trends shaping information management, I would like to first clearly explain what IM is exactly and how it differentiates from data management.

Information management is a program that manages the processes, people and technology in an organization to understand the structure, process and usage of information for management and business intelligence purposes.

On the other hand, data management is a subset of information management. It is the process of obtaining, managing, transforming, sharing, documenting and preserving data.

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM is a technology for managing all your organization’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers with a goal to Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies streamline processes, stay connected to customers and improve profitability.

Gartner predicts that by the year 2021, CRM will be the largest revenue area of spending in enterprise software. As a business, you have targets for sales, business objectives and profitability. However, getting up-to-date, reliable information on your progress can certainly be challenging.

How do you streamline the many sources of data coming in from sales, marketing, customer service, and social media monitoring into useful business information? Simple, you don’t.

The CRM does all of that for you and also helps you in creating strategies by leveraging all that data. This is probably the most important trend in information management and is something that every business should be taking very seriously. Currently, the most popular CRM in the market is offered by Salesforce with over 20% market share followed by SAP with just over 10% market share.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

A majority of the public still thinks that AI, machine learning, blockchain etc. are still futuristic technologies with not much present practical usage. This is partly true since we have just scratched the surface of what can be accomplished through this tech. However, there are several companies and governments using such tech for information management.

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This Fourth Industrial Revolution has certainly been the most aggressive one certainly becoming very prevalent in today’s business environment. In fact, AI technologies such as speech recognition and virtual assistants will be ready for mainstream adoption over the next few years and have a transformational benefit.

However, to really benefit from AI, your information management must ensure that along with a high volume of data, the quality must also be excellent. While many companies have made leaps in the digitalization of information, the challenge now is to make this vast volume of digital data available for content cognitive services and analytics tools.

When content is stored across isolated repositories, though, it’s hard to manage and tap the vast data resources. So, when (not if) your company wants to implement AI and other analytics technologies, it would be great if all of it is available at one place and connected.

3. Augmented Reality (AR)

Again, people do seem to be a little confused about AR and virtual reality (VR) so to clarify - AR adds digital elements to a live image using the camera on a smartphone. Examples include Snapchat lenses and the game Pokémon Go.

On the other hand, VR implies a completely immersive experience that shuts out the physical world. VR devices such as Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard can help users get transported into a number of simulated environments such as a roller coaster or on the back of a dragon.

The prevalence of this particular trend can majorly be witnessed in product information management (PIM). While that cannot create an AR situation by itself, data within PIM can be used to create an AR-based interface on web interfaces. Web users on product pages can use their phones to interact with products with the help of AR.

An example of that is when L’Oreal helps customers interact with its skin care products from their smartphones. Also, Lenskart helps customers “try” various frames via their Smartphone app. Though of course not applicable for every business, AR can certainly be a game changer in many industries, especially with the reduction in physical outlets.

4. More video content

Some 54% of consumers want to see more video content from businesses. With this increased demand, many influencers are proactively producing different types of video content in order to meet the need.

The higher demand is particularly because people are more likely to pay attention to videos and there is a higher tendency to skip parts of audio and written content. In fact, even Neil Patel, the celebrity digital marketing specialist, revealed that 2019 will witness more video content than ever before.

It is also observed that video formats have higher conversion rate majorly because people expect to “see” how certain things carry out. Forbes reported that viewers are 95% more likely to remember a call to action (CTA) after watching a video, compared to 10 percent when reading it in text format. If you are not able to rent expensive studios, you can even shoot videos on your smartphones and upload them on your product page.

To conclude, it must be said that information is the life blood of any business or organization. It helps dictate how businesses form strategies, implement processes and drive results. It is at the core of businesses, which is why so much effort and resources are pumped into it developing efficient information management systems.

For businesses, improving efficiency and gaining a competitive advantage means increasing income. On the other hand, all this information does come with a huge responsibility, especially since more transparency is being demanded by people and Governments. This is where managing information becomes a very critical function and every business must ensure to do it diligently.

Failure to comply with such regulations can land businesses in big trouble, with potentially huge fines, which is another reason why organisations take information management so seriously.

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