To collect is Human, SharePoint provides order

To collect is Human. Do you know what a baroque kunstkammer is?  It is the original File Share, a place where curiosities were stored and looked at by people before computers were mainstream.  Everything was collected, coins, games, books, and other natural and unnatural items.  There was NO order but with the development of library science and taxonomies, these cabinet of curiosities were organized.  File shares are the modern version of the kunstkammer.  It is up to IT to turn these cabinets in to an engine of revenue discovery.  SharePoint Search is becoming an instrumental tool helping IT discover what is out there and organizing it so that knowledge workers can find what they are looking for.

How do you prepare to move from unstructured File Shares to the future?  There are 7 Steps, which lays the groundwork for new technology investments like SharePoint, Enterprise Content Management or Enterprise Search.

The Seven Steps

  1. Establish Information Organization Priorities
  2. Build a Business case
  3. Identify and Prioritize Information Sources
  4. Build User Profiles
  5. Develop a Taxonomy
  6. Implement the Taxonomy
  7. Govern the Taxonomy

While moving through these seven steps, three drivers will be prevalent in your discussions. The users of the information, the business that creates the information, and the information itself.

The Users have demands and requirements that they need to be able to use the information.  They can be standards, or behaviors that are discovered.  The business has priorities on how the information will be used to address the business goals and objectives.  The information within a business has it own characteristics and demands as well.  Leaders have to consider the growth rate and how it is maintained.  The structure of the information must be present, but might not be obvious to all business functions.

How big is this problem?

Hilbert et al. (2011) – globally stored information increases 23% per year (94% of the content is digital).

Scientific American – in 2007 global information was equivalent to 61 CD-ROMs per person

Economist (2010) – each US household in boarded with 34 GB of information per day

Short, Bohn, & Baru (2011) (2011) – workers process 11 TB of information per year.

Gille (2012) – Between 2003 and 2008, the amount of global information increased 162.4% from 5,608,991 TB to 14,716,646 TB (i.e. a 21% annual growth rate).

SharePoint can help tame information with SharePoint Search and how it can present enterprise content.

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