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Why government agencies need modern document management

Andy Huber

Senior Account Executive , iManage

US government departments and agencies face many document and email management challenges that can affect their services. Most handle highly regulated and confidential information yet must answer to the public and comply with Freedom of Information Act requests — a complex dichotomy of privacy and transparency needs.

Documents and emails may fall under precise management, retention, and security protocols. Projects often involve several departments, agencies, or external industry partners. Multiple stakeholders with varying levels of access need to share sensitive details and work on documents simultaneously. Agency personnel are often expected to deliver high volumes of work within tight timeframes. They do their best, but legacy technologies fail to deliver the control and visibility they need. Information gaps and silos severely limit their productivity and ability to deliver timely responses.

Information gaps and silos hinder productivity

Storing emails separately from documents creates a serious knowledge gap. Emails often contain context-critical discussions and decisions that become lost in the shuffle. Workers must manually search numerous email folders to find them, assuming they know the discussions exist.

Emailing files back and forth or uploading them to a shared network scatters copies of documents across multiple departments, servers, and personal devices. Every location is a silo that potentially isolates the most up-to-date knowledge from workers who need it. Numerous document versions with conflicting edits sow confusion.

Staff waste time logging in to multiple applications as they hunt for information. Manually transferring data from one application to another consumes even more time. Workers must re-create knowledge assets from scratch when they cannot quickly find needed files. These disjointed workflows and other repetitive manual tasks, such as processing forms, hinder their ability to meet mandatory timeframes. Beneficial government programs get delayed, and public questions go unanswered.

On top of these many inefficiencies, government agencies are prime targets for cyberattacks. Legacy software, on-premises storage, and manual workflows are highly vulnerable to security breaches.

As dire and pressing as these many issues are, a single modern solution can solve them all.

How government agencies overcome these challenges

Agencies are bringing documents and emails into a single Document Management System (DMS) where AI and automation can modernize workflows and boost productivity. A cloud DMS offers several key benefits, including:

Easy-to-use design boosts productivity

Intuitive and user-centric design minimizes the learning curve for a diverse range of workers with varying technical comfort levels. A focus on simplicity, with a familiar interface that is easy to navigate, helps employees quickly become proficient to maximize productivity.

Find answers easily with a single source of truth

A cloud DMS automatically preserves and organizes all documents and emails into one central repository. With one location for everything, workers can easily find the most recent files and answers they need. Intelligent search capabilities enable fast and comprehensive information gathering. Meanwhile, the system retains prior versions of documents for audit purposes, so teams never lose past work or edits to it.

Secure access from anywhere supports collaboration

Workers can securely access documents and collaborate from any device and any location. Access, edit, and share documents anytime, anywhere, from any device to empower remote workforces, speed communications, and enhance responsiveness to constituents. Robust security features such as encryption, authentication, and access controls can ensure sensitive data is always protected, even if a device is lost or compromised. 

Flawless integrations increase efficiency

Ditch manual searches and data entry. A DMS that integrates with Outlook automatically captures and saves emails, chats, and related attachments. As it does, it incorporates identification and categorization processes that speed up retrieval and access. Integrations with Microsoft 365 and other applications enable tools to automatically exchange information, breaking down information silos and closing knowledge gaps. Securely connect your document management system to other applications to automate tasks, refine workflows, and further extend its functionality. Direct integrations with existing government IT infrastructure give employees the comfort of working with familiar tools, even within a new system, to minimize disruption.

Enable effortless collaboration with co-authoring

Transform individual expertise into a shared resource by enabling collaborators to work on documents simultaneously. Enable real-time co-authoring and editing while accounting for appropriate access and permissions. Version control ensures everyone finds the most recent information to improve communication and complete projects faster. Organize projects with an intuitive structure that allows teams to immediately understand what’s happening at all times.

Secure AI features boost productivity

Help knowledge workers work smarter, faster, and safer with Secure AI features that:

  • Automate routine tasks: Automate mundane tasks such as email inbox management with an AI-powered assistant that automatically files emails and attachments in the proper folder.
  • Summarize and enrich documents: AI-generated document summaries provide immediate answers. Employees can auto-compare documents and ask follow-up questions, saving hours as AI instantly uncovers meaningful information and insights.
  • Boost knowledge management: Access existing knowledge faster with AI-powered recommendations for relevant documents or emails based on the current task. Maximize the value of past projects by ensuring their reuse and accessibility. And make more well-informed decisions that consider all the available data and knowledge.
  • Search intelligently: In seconds, find and retrieve the correct information and relevant documents. Access, re-use, and share knowledge across the organization with a search function that learns from how people work.

iManage: The safest choice for large-scale deployments

Empower your workforce, enhance security, and better serve the public with a cloud-native DMS built from the ground up to handle the demands of large organizations like government agencies. iManage brings government teams together to co-author documents and share knowledge in an intuitive, integrated workspace.

iManage can also help you simplify compliance in today’s rapidly changing regulatory landscape. iManage Records Manager offers a central interface for managing both physical and electronic records, enabling you to apply retention policies across multiple repositories and:

  • Enforce good governance practices, including the automated, defensible disposition of content.
  • Ensure existing document and records management practices align with evolving regulations.
  • Significantly minimize risk of data exposure and reduce storage costs.

As the industry leader in protecting sensitive and confidential content, the iManage platform leverages operational services and infrastructure built on Microsoft Azure to embed security into the lifecycle of every workflow. Its state-of-the-art Zero Trust information architecture ensures all data is protected and secured. Meet data privacy and security regulations and ensure transparency with comprehensive governance and security features that have demonstrably protected all types of assets in the past.

In addition to thousands of the largest organizations and law firms across the globe, more than 100 federal, state, and local governments trust iManage for their modern document management needs. Our extensive experience with large-scale deployments means we can also offer the most cost-effective solution for your agency.

As the company dedicated to Making Knowledge Work™, we’re here to help government agencies achieve their mission goals and serve the public in the most effective way possible.

Learn more about what iManage can do for government agencies today.

About the author

Andy Huber

Making Knowledge Work

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