Every business has its own way of managing operations and organizing company resources. But your organization’s system might not work as efficiently as you’d like. Whether your company has been open for months or decades, you likely have spreadsheets, workflows, and documents stored in random places — if they’re stored at all.
Tips to Store the Information Resources
Companies can ensure access to essential information by storing company resources in a logical way, rather than relying on historical knowledge and hearsay. Here are some creative ideas for a flawless information resources system.
Corporate wikis are one of the best, and frequently overlooked, ways to store company resources. These knowledge management solutions hold information about products, services, processes, and best practices. With these centralized resources at their fingertips, both new employees and seasoned staff can access information in a snap. No interruptions necessary.
Organizations can also permit employees to edit the wiki as needed, ensuring that company resources are always up-to-date. This involvement can also prompt employees to innovate on current processes and update training protocols. Having a corporate wiki encourages employees to act independently and actively contribute to the company’s knowledge creation.
Your business might have countless documents on local hard drives around the office. You might also have company-wide search parties whenever you need a certain spreadsheet! The reality is that storing documents on individual computers or peripherals is not only inefficient but risky. A stolen laptop or software crash could halt operations if essential documents were on the hard drive.
Fortunately, cloud storage services can keep your documents accessible, organized, and safe.
When switching your documents over to a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Docs, keep everything in folders with clear labels. And while it may be tempting to double dip with note apps like Evernote, resist the urge. It will be easier on your employees if you keep all your documents in the same place. Your team can then access, share, and collaborate on documents efficiently from anywhere in the world.
Backup Drives and Services
As much as you might intend to embrace the integration platform as a service (iPaaS) paradigm, your business likely still relies on some locally hosted systems. And while cloud-based file storage might be your goal, chances are you’ve still got plenty of locally stored data, too. You’re going to need digital backups of all this critical data. Without a backup protocol, a fire, flood, burglary, or data breach could wipe out these important resources.
So, what does backup storage look like? For most companies, a combination of external backup drives, additional cloud storage, and online backup services is sufficient. You might consider backing up your most sensitive data in two locations. Many backup services can run automatic backups as often as once per day or more, but weekly backups may be enough for some organizations. The right schedule will depend on your business needs and IT capacity.
Multimedia resources are the future of employee education, and forward-thinking companies should consider using videos for key info. To implement this storage strategy, your business could create a private YouTube channel or upload videos to a cloud storage platform. Employees can then access these resources during training or when brushing up on a concept. Such access can be especially useful for a remote workforce.
Videos are another way to get employees involved in developing company resources. Knowledgeable team members can make step-by-step tutorials on company processes to share with other employees. It may also be useful to repurpose webinars and store them as part of this video knowledge base.
Good Old Paper
While most corporate operations are online, there’s still a place for old-school paper resources. Handbooks, manuals, and even posters are easy to access and may better serve a multigenerational workforce. Physical resources can also bridge the internal communications gap for non-desk employees. Offline workers like warehouse and field employees may not have internet access for much of their workday, so you’ll want to meet them where they are.
However, it’s important to consider which information to keep offline. Company org charts, HR policies, and procedure checklists can be useful when available in a binder or on the conference room wall. But you’ll want to keep sensitive information like passwords in secure online locations. It’s not worth risking company data falling into the wrong hands.
While businesses once required employees to stash their cell phones in desk drawers, organizations are now embracing the promise of mobile tech. Mobile adoption is a must for companies that want to keep up with employee needs. This makes a company app an accessible and intuitive method for storing company resources and sharing updates.
There are a number of internal resources that fit well into mobile applications. Some companies might use their app as an internal communications tool, providing notices and culture resources. Others will develop their app as an on-the-go knowledge base or mobile version of their corporate wiki. No matter which approach your company takes, be sure to prioritize security measures like multi-factor authentication and encryption.
Financial information is another resource that might not be as organized as it could be. (This may be particularly the case for smaller businesses that lack an accounting department.) Without the right storage system, you might be relying on paper receipts and disorganized invoices to keep track of cash flow. Fortunately, invoicing software like QuickBooks and Square can keep invoices tidy, timely, and visible to all who need access.
These types of apps also store scanned copies of receipts, so you won’t be sweating during tax season. When invoices, receipts, and cash flow information are in the same convenient location, your company can enjoy serious time savings. Digital invoicing and payment confirmation will cut down on administrative tasks so you can focus on running your business.
Remember, your company’s information resources are the backbone of daily operations. Your teams have worked hard to develop these procedures, documents, checklists, and best practices, so you want to keep them both accessible and secure. Developing intuitive ways to keep information available yet protected will keep every employee in the know so they can better support your organization.