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How to boost your Business IQ

Tackling information overload and content chaos

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Businesses are struggling to cope with growing volumes of data and increasingly stringent corporate legislation. The problem is particularly acute in small business.

With volumes of corporate information rising at breakneck speed, market research firm MORI found that one in six of 1,000 workers surveyed currently experiences problems in finding the information they need to do their jobs. Microsoft warns that this “content chaos” impedes productivity and teamwork. And the situation is only getting worse with increased financial and regulatory pressures on businesses as government begins to regulate in real-time.

According to Microsoft, businesses that fail to address this grassroots data management issue and opt for basic legal compliance will risk falling foul of government legislation. Businesses need to bolster their basic IT infrastructures to increase their ability to react to compliance issues and work smarter, the software giant advises.

Microsoft has come up with a measure of business performance – dubbed Business IQ - determined by an organisation's “ability to store, manage and deliver access to information whenever, wherever and to whomever it is required”. Expect Microsoft consultants to be using this Business IQ concept to sell the company’s business intelligence software as a way of help businesses to improve regulatory reporting and become better organised. Microsoft plans to publish a white paper on Business IQ later this year.

But we digress.

"Businesses must realise that the right approach to compliance is about more than just dealing with each regulatory issues as it arises - it's about business competence," said Steve Harvey, director of people and culture at Microsoft UK. "Real-time regulation will place far greater pressure on businesses to meet standards. Their current lack of ability to make information available to staff shows that too many just aren't ready.”

"They need to make sure that teams and individuals are aware of their responsibilities from a compliance perspective and have the tools to carry them out. This is the basis for Business IQ - a concept that can be used by business to understand how its IT structure is likely to impact its productivity and ability to be respond to regulatory demands," he added.

Many companies lack the IT infrastructure to give staff access to information at their fingertips, with the problem particularly acute among smaller businesses. This is affecting the productivity of the UK’s small business sector, The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warns.

"The UK has a well-documented and long-standing productivity deficit compared to our leading international competitors," said Matthew Fell, head of small business and enterprise at the CBI. "Overcoming this gap is vital to the UK's long-term global competitiveness. Effective deployment of technology, coupled with information management, is a key part of the package of measures that can help drive up the UK's productivity levels." ®

Related stories

IT voices drowned in corporate governance rush
IT still matters - just not how it used to
Shackling the email content beast
UK firms must monitor staff IMs
McNealy slams Sarbanes-Oxley

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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