With the rise and shift to remote working, many government agencies have turned to Microsoft 365 as an easy way for users to communicate and collaborate. Yet, it is extremely important that government agencies maintain complete and accurate information of what users create, send, or receive as part of their work.
The way information is created, evaluated, captured, protected, consumed, and distributed is key to effective digital government. It can empower your agency to extract a wealth of business value from your data. It can also minimise the risks and costs of mismanaged information. The key to harnessing the benefits of digital government lies in a sound information management strategy supported by a robust governance framework.
An explosion of information
While working with collaboration tools like Microsoft 365 has ensured business continuity, it has also created an explosion of information everywhere. Consider that in Microsoft Teams, 250 teams can be created per user and up to 500,000 teams can be created by a global admin. Couple this with Exchange Online and critical communications via email. How are the files being captured and conversations being recorded? Do employees spend time manually searching for files or communication they need to reference, or decisions that were made?
Microsoft Office edit online capability for Word, PowerPoint and Excel files is a great document collaboration and co-authoring tool for teams to work together remotely. At the same time, how are users enjoying a frictionless editing and co-authoring experience while controlling versions, history, and security?
Microsoft Power Automate (originally called Microsoft Flow) allows employees to create simple workflows (or flows) across multiple applications. How are organisations governing the content in these workflows?
Understanding the concept that information is everywhere will ultimately lead to empowering people to make better decisions. What do we mean by information everywhere?
Information is a record, and it is defined by three key concepts: context, authenticity, and trust. A record needs to be understood in its context. It also needs to have authenticity over time. It needs to be protected and not modifiable. If it is, then we understand what those changes are. And then, ultimately, it needs to be trusted by people so that they can effectively make more informed decisions.
When we look at the ‘everywhere’ concept, we are looking at dispersed working environments — whether it’s someone’s home, office, café, and a wide variety of applications that are being used on a range of different devices. Then we look at participants and the collaboration with a range of different people, including internal and external stakeholders.
Why does this matter?
Information is an asset that must be captured and harnessed as an asset. As such, it is essential that government agencies maintain complete and accurate information of what users create, send, or receive as part of their work. How do government agencies deliver the governance required while freeing users to collaborate as desired?
The first consideration should be developing and maintaining a strong information, process, and collaboration governance framework. The goal is to strengthen control over your information management practices while increasing the value of information wherever it may be stored (whether in Microsoft 365 or another Line of Business system). What you manage and how you manage it can mean the difference between a static repository and a dynamic information ecosystem.
Governance becomes the foundation upon which the information ecosystem is built and grown. It is the framework that ensures success as you address the people, policy, processes, and platform components of your digital journey. In many cases, it is the “glue” of coexisting technologies that extends the value of current IT investments and enables the interoperability and integration of line of business systems, content repositories, and business processes across government.
Consider the value of corporate knowledge and how it can be maximised. Are you able to provide end users with access to relevant information within their application of choice for them to make faster more informed decisions? The modern workplace is here to stay which places more emphasis on the way people consume information and contribute to the decision-making process. How is the information accessible when your team needs it?
Organisations require a frictionless user experience while information is accessible anywhere, anytime, on any device, in their application of choice, in the way that they would want to consume the content.
Better together: Objective + Microsoft 365.
As a Microsoft gold partner, together with 30 years of experience in designing, building and implementing software for the public sector and other highly regulated industries, Objective provides comprehensive capabilities that bring enhanced information and process governance to Microsoft products.
Both Objective and Microsoft believe that government agencies would realise significant benefits from implementing an integrated Microsoft 365/Objective ECM solution — providing both robust information governance and unparalleled collaboration.
The combination of Microsoft 365 and Objective delivers a modern, collaborative workplace where team members work in familiar applications with trusted information. Simultaneously, the broader agency benefits from a complete and accurate picture of all information.
Together, Objective and Microsoft 365 are balancing collaboration and information governance with Objective GOV365. Take a deeper dive to learn more and download the Better Together insight paper.
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