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Information overload could soon be a thing of the past as systems get smart



Today, businesses have no boundaries. Thanks to cloud computing, tablets, smartphones and other technology advances, you can work anywhere, on any device, at any time. Working with your contractors and partners is just easy as turning to talk to the person next to you and when on the move between meetings you can stay in touch via your tablet. Small, portable and capable, it hardly comes as a revelation when analyst houses tell us tablets are on the rise in the enterprise and PCs in decline.

As we’re now on the move and working with a large ecosystem of organisations, surely, systems that allow enterprise content to be stored and accessed from anywhere must be every worker’s dream?

Perhaps not.

If each and every person in a company turns to personal cloud services to store their business files, you not only open up the business to security risks, but information becomes fragmented across the enterprise. If files aren’t stored centrally, knowledge can’t be shared. But storing content in enterprise-wide cloud systems, breaking down silos and increasing knowledge sharing, also raises issues. People may simply find themselves drowning in data.

In my last post I mentioned the vast amount of data we create and consume in our personal lives. With 100,000 tweets and 684,478 Facebook posts a minute, consumers are bombarded with a firehouse of information every day. Now consider the amount of data created, shared and stored on your enterprise ICT system: HR policies, board reports, marketing materials, sales collateral, financial documents, contracts. The list is endless.

With such a mountain of information available, finding the content you need, when you need it can be a nightmare. The hours wasted sifting through files to locate what you need, reading comments and feedback, and establishing which version is correct could amount to days! And with data now being held, not only on servers, but on PCs, smartphones and tablets, the business data explosion is set to continue.

Shifting your enterprise content store to the cloud may provide external access and mobile working capabilities that on-premise systems can’t support, but how do you locate the information you need or avoid replicating documents that already exist when you are faced with a mountain of data?

The answer is intelligence. And I’m not questioning your own levels of acumen, but that of your enterprise technology. In the consumer world, information overload is now being dealt with via intelligent systems. Take Facebook’s Graph Search. The potential benefits for marketing departments and advertisers aside, Graph Search is a powerful, smart search engine that allows users to quickly find answers about friends in their social graph based on their likes, check-ins and profile data.

And Facebook isn’t the only tech goliath looking to intelligence. Google is set to roll out Knowledge Graph this year, highlighting the fact that the future of search lies in a system that understands how we think and what we want before even we do. No longer mere data retrieval, Knowledge Graph is an intelligent search that provides answers rather than just links to answers. And let’s not forget that Amazon has been using its recommendation engine in the retail space for years. Isn’t about time we caught up in our work lives?

This intelligent search is now exactly what is required in the enterprise. Enterprise search thus far has failed and it’s now time to change the game and roll out systems that are inherently intelligent. Imagine a platform that understood what enterprise content you were likely to need and on what device you would like it on. Imagine if, based on your actions on the platform and teams you work with, files were intelligently selected and synced to your devices so you could work on them when online or offline. Then, placeholder files for additional enterprise content that you might be interested in appeared so you had access to them if required but huge amounts of bandwidth weren’t consumed due to them being blindly synced automatically.

This is exactly what the modern workforce now needs and we’ve tried to respond to this need with Huddle’s intelligent recommendation technology. It pushes files that users need to review, approve and comment on to their preferred device for offline viewing and presents them with their to-do list. New tasks can be added as soon as they come to mind and, with just one tap, items can be assigned and completed.

The cloud needs to offer enterprises more than just secure storage; it needs to be smart otherwise workers will find themselves drowning in data. The future of not just consumer search but enterprise storage lies in intelligence and the possibilities that lay ahead are extremely exciting!

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Tags: business, cloud computing, enterprise search, enterprise storage, facebook, google, huddle, personal computer

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