Organisations today handle a huge mix of information from various sources like files, emails, websites, and social media. It’s becoming difficult not just to locate the right information at the right time, but also to extract value from all this data. Doing this well helps businesses remain competitive, stay ahead and make informed decisions.

Developing a good enterprise search strategy powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), businesses can not only quickly locate the information they need but also ensure they are utilising all the data they collect. 

The imperative for enterprise search

The modern organisation is a complex maze of information stored in various formats, locations and systems – be it internal servers, cloud-based applications, or even paper documents. The sheer volume of data, in Microsoft 365 alone 2 billion new documents are added every day, coupled with the necessity to access it promptly, makes it critical for organisations to invest in an effective enterprise search solution. A lack of this can result in wasted time, decreased productivity, and potentially detrimental business decisions based on incomplete or outdated information.

In light of the increasingly intricate legislative landscape, it becomes paramount to adeptly address eDiscovery and FOI (Freedom of Information) obligations. An effective enterprise search solution stands as a valuable resource for organisations, aiding them in navigating these intricate challenges effectively and efficiently.

What is enterprise search?

Enterprise search is the systematic process of locating, retrieving, and presenting information within an organisation. It goes beyond traditional search engines by indexing and searching content across various data sources such as databases, intranets, emails, documents, and more.

At Inform we believe enterprise search is crucial for modern businesses to enable:

1. Improved decision-making: Informed decisions are the backbone of a successful enterprise. Enterprise search empowers employees at all levels to quickly find the information they need, enabling better decision-making based on up-to-date and relevant data.

2. Enhanced productivity: Searching for information manually can be time-consuming and frustrating. Enterprise search can streamline this process, by providing a central solution for finding information regardless of the format or the system the information is stored in, saving valuable employee time and increasing overall productivity.

3. Efficient knowledge management: Organisations accumulate vast amounts of knowledge over time. Enterprise search helps in organising and cataloguing this knowledge, making it easily accessible to all employees, regardless of their location or department.

4. Compliance: In regulated industries, enterprise search aids by facilitating the precise retrieval of data, ensuring compliance with data security, privacy regulations, eDiscovery, and FOI (Freedom of Information) requirements.

5. Competitive advantage: In a data-driven world, companies that can harness their information effectively gain a competitive edge. Enterprise search can aid in uncovering insights, trends, and opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Limitations of traditional enterprise search

While traditional enterprise search solutions have provided some level of relief, they are not without their limitations. Keyword-based searches often yield too many irrelevant results or, conversely, may miss important data if the exact terminology is not used. Furthermore, these systems are generally incapable of understanding the contextual relevance of information.

How AI can help improve the enterprise search experience?

1. Improved relevance and accuracy: AI algorithms can assess the context of a query and deliver more accurate results. Machine learning models can also continuously learn from users’ behaviour to improve future search outcomes. ChatGPT is a excellent example of how this works.

2. Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP capabilities allow the system to understand human language in a way that goes beyond simple keyword matching. This makes it easier for employees to find what they are looking for, even if they cannot remember specific terms.

3. Semantic Search: AI-powered semantic search understands the meaning and relationship between words. This enables the system to provide results that are conceptually related to the search query, thus widening the scope of relevant information retrieved.

4. Automation and Categorisation: Through machine learning algorithms, the system can automatically categorise and tag information, making it easier to sift through large data sets. This enables the ability to extract and categorise key information from unstructured content in text documents, enabling improved search relevance. It can identify essential phrases, sentiment, and language, thus allowing the search engine to understand the context and content of documents. For organisations that store a considerable amount of visual data, AI can categorise, tag, and describe visual content. This feature ensures that relevant images and videos are also included in the search results.

5. Real-time Data Analysis: AI can analyse real-time data and provide instant insights, which is particularly useful for monitoring trends and making timely decisions. This capability empowers organisations to swiftly adapt to changing conditions and capitalise on emerging opportunities. By processing and interpreting data as it’s generated, AI ensures that decision-makers have the most up-to-date information at their disposal, enhancing their ability to make informed choices and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced world.


As the volume of organisational data continues to grow, the limitations of traditional enterprise search solutions become increasingly apparent. AI offers promising advancements in the field, transforming enterprise search from a simple retrieval tool into a powerful asset for data interpretation and decision-making. Investing in AI-enhanced enterprise search solutions can, therefore, unlock the immense value of information that organisations hold, boosting productivity and ensuring more informed business decisions.

If you want your business to thrive in this data-rich age, harnessing AI for your search needs isn’t just smart – it’s essential. Don’t let your valuable data go underutilised. Dive into AI-powered enterprise search now and be the leader in your field. Ready to elevate your enterprise search game? Let’s get the ball rolling!

Ready to unlock the power of your information? Get in touch!

Government entities in Australia generate millions of records each year, capturing the essence of decision-making processes, service delivery, and the creation of public policies. The significance of records management cannot be overstated, as it serves as the backbone of accountability, transparency, and informed governance within these organisations. In this article, we will delve deeper into the importance of records management and shed light on the criticality of complying with specific requirements at the federal, state, and local government levels. 

Understanding records management

Records management is a systematic practice that revolves around classifying, organising, and maintaining all records created or received by an organisation. Within government entities, this practice is of paramount importance, ensuring the integrity, visibility, and accessibility of vital records. 

The benefits of effective records management for government organisations are vast: 

  • Ensuring Compliance: Government entities operate under a multitude of laws, policies, and regulations. Effective records management ensures that records adhere to these requirements, mitigating the risk of legal disputes and potential penalties. 
  • Efficient Retrieval: A well-structured records management system allows government officials to access the information they need promptly and efficiently. This ensures that decision-making processes are well-informed and supported by accurate data. 
  • Promoting Accountability and Transparency: With records properly managed, government entities can be more transparent about their actions, fostering public trust and confidence in the administration. 
  • Providing Evidence: Records are invaluable evidence of past decisions and actions. In legal proceedings or audits, well-maintained records act as a reliable source of evidence, safeguarding the interests of the government organisation. 
  • Ensuring Continuity and Disaster Recovery: In times of crisis or disaster, records management becomes crucial for ensuring the continuity of government operations. Properly preserved records serve as a foundation for effective disaster recovery strategies. 
  • Supporting Digital Transformation Initiatives: As government organisations embrace digital transformation, records management plays a vital role in transitioning from physical to digital records, ensuring data integrity and security. 

Complying with specific requirements at different government levels

Australian government entities face a complex web of regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. Complying with these specific requirements is vital for maintaining proper records management. Some of the key regulations and guidelines include: 

  • Australian Government Records Management Standard AS ISO 15489.1-2017: This standard sets the framework for records management practices at the federal level, ensuring consistency and compliance across government agencies. 
  • Archives Act 1983: This federal legislation governs the management of Commonwealth records and emphasises the importance of preserving historically valuable records. 
  • General Retention and Disposal Schedule (GRDS): Issued by the National Archives of Australia, this schedule provides guidelines for disposing of records that no longer have ongoing value, while preserving those with enduring significance. 

In addition to federal regulations, each state and territory government has its specific requirements and guidelines for records management. Some examples include: 

  • Standard on Records Management issued by State Records NSW. 
  • Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS)  issued by the Public Records Office of Victoria. 
  • Records Governance Policy issued by the Queensland State Archives. 

Furthermore, local government entities must also comply with specific regulations set forth by their respective states or territories. 

Calling on our expertise

As an Information Management expert within a government organisation, the task of managing and maintaining records can be challenging, especially with the ever-changing landscape of information management. To navigate through the intricacies of records management and harness its benefits fully, it is crucial to seek expert guidance. 

Inform offers specialised services in information management, tailored to meet the unique needs of government entities in Australia. Our team of experienced professionals understands the nuances of records management regulations and best practices at federal, state, and local government levels. 

By partnering with Inform, government organisations can benefit from the following services: 

  • Records Management Strategy: Developing a comprehensive records management strategy that aligns with government requirements and enhances efficiency in record-keeping.
  • Compliance Audits: Conducting thorough compliance audits to ensure that government entities meet the necessary regulatory obligations for records management. 
  • Digital Transformation: Assisting in the transition from physical to digital records, ensuring data integrity, and facilitating secure data storage. 
  • Training and Workshops: Providing tailored training and workshops to empower staff with the knowledge and skills to implement effective records management practices. 


As an Information Management expert within a government organisation, your role in records management is pivotal to upholding accountability, transparency, and evidence-based decision-making. Complying with specific requirements at the federal, state, and local government levels ensures that records remain accessible, retrievable, and preserved, safeguarding the interests of the government and members of the community alike. By implementing effective records management practices, government organisations can proactively manage their information, promote good governance, and deliver high-quality services to the public. 

To optimise the benefits of records management and address the unique challenges faced by government entities, consider leveraging the expertise of Inform. Our specialised services in information management can enhance your records management strategy and empower your organisation to thrive in the complex landscape of modern governance. 

Information management is a process of organising, storing, retrieving, protecting, and distributing information and data in an efficient and effective manner. Below we run through the 6 key steps when considering information management within your organisation: 

The 6 steps for approaching information management

#1. Understand the different types of information

Structured data refers to information that is organised in a defined format, making it easier to store, manage, and analyse. Examples of structured data include spreadsheets, databases, and inventory management systems. Structured data typically has a well-defined structure, with consistent formats and values.

Unstructured data, on the other hand, refers to information that is not organised in a defined format. Examples of unstructured data include text files, emails, images, videos, and social media content. Unstructured data is often more complex than structured data and can be more challenging to manage and analyse.

To effectively manage both structured and unstructured data, it is important to understand the different types of data, how they are used, and how they can be stored and retrieved. By categorising data into structured and unstructured types, you can begin to develop systems and processes that are tailored to the unique needs of each type of data.

#2. Develop a system for storing information

Having a consistent and organised system for storing information makes it easier to find, retrieve, and manage information when you need it. Here are some key considerations for developing a system for storing information:

  1. File Naming Conventions: Develop a consistent and clear system for naming files that makes it easy to identify the contents of the file. This may include using a naming convention that includes date, author, and subject matter.
  2. Folder Structures: Establish a folder structure that makes it easy to find information quickly. This may involve grouping information by department, project, or other relevant categories.
  3. Version Control: Establish a system for version control to ensure that you are working with the most up-to-date information. This may involve using version numbers, dates, or other identifying information to track changes.
  4. Accessibility: Ensure that the information you need is easily accessible to you and your team. This may involve setting up a shared network drive or cloud-based file sharing platform.
  5. Archiving: Develop a system for archiving information that is no longer needed on a regular basis. This may involve establishing retention policies that dictate how long information should be kept.
  6. Metadata: Consider using metadata to provide additional information about files and folders. This may include information about file size, author, date, and other relevant details.

By developing a system for storing information that includes these considerations, you can ensure that you have a clear and organised approach to managing your information. An effective system for storing information can save time, reduce errors, and improve the overall quality of your work.

#3. Use technology to manage information

By leveraging technology such as Microsoft 365 to manage information, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your information management processes. Whether you are using SharePoint Online to store and track documents, or collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams to improve communication and coordination, the right technology can help you to better manage and leverage information to improve your business. Some considerations for using technology to manage information:

  1. A Document Management System (DMS) can help to improve document control, version control, and access to information. It may also have features for document collaboration, workflows, and approvals.
  2. Collaboration tools can help improve communication and collaboration within your organisation. They allow team members to share information and ideas in real-time, regardless of their physical location. 
  3. Search tools such as Microsoft Search helps to quickly locate information within your organisation. This can save time and improve productivity by reducing the time it takes to find information you need.
  4. Platforms such as Microsoft 365 allow you to store and access information from anywhere with an internet connection and secure login. This can help support a hybrid workplace allowing for a reduction in physical storage and office space.  

#4. Establish information security protocols

By managing information security and privacy effectively, you can protect sensitive information from unauthorised access and ensure legal compliance. This can help to safeguard your organisation’s reputation and provide peace of mind to stakeholders and customers.

#5. Create a culture of information management

Creating a culture of information management is an important process for any organisation or business, as it involves establishing practices and processes that enable the effective and efficient handling of information. This culture encompasses a set of values, behaviours, and practices that promote the responsible use of information, the accurate recording of data, and the secure storage and sharing of information within the organisation.

#6. Continuously review and update information management practices

As technology and business needs evolve, it’s important to ensure that your organisation’s information management practices are up-to-date and aligned with your current needs and goals. Here are some reasons why it’s important to continuously review and update your information management practices:

  1. Changes in technology: Technology is constantly evolving, and new tools and systems may become available that can help you better manage your information. By regularly reviewing and updating your practices, you can identify and implement these new technologies to streamline your processes and improve your efficiency.
  2. Changes in regulations: Regulations related to information management can change over time. By staying up-to-date on the latest regulations, you can ensure that your practices are compliant with current requirements and avoid potential legal or regulatory issues.
  3. Changes in organisational needs: As your business evolves, your information management needs may change as well. For example, you may need to collect new types of data or manage data in a different way to support new business initiatives. By regularly reviewing and updating your practices, you can ensure that they are aligned with your current business needs and goals.
  4. Identify and address gaps: By regularly reviewing your information management practices, you can identify any gaps or inefficiencies in your processes. This allows you to make necessary adjustments and improve your practices to better support your organisation’s information management needs.


Best practices for up to date information management practices

  1. Establish a regular review cycle: Set a regular schedule for reviewing and updating your information management practices. This could be an annual or bi-annual review, or more frequent reviews if necessary.
  2. Involve key stakeholders: Involve key stakeholders in the review process, including IT, legal, and business leaders. This ensures that everyone’s needs are taken into account and that any necessary changes are properly vetted and approved.
  3. Evaluate current practices: Evaluate your current information management practices to identify any gaps or areas for improvement. This may involve reviewing processes, policies, and technology solutions.
  4. Develop an action plan: Based on your evaluation, develop an action plan to address any gaps or inefficiencies. This may involve implementing new technology solutions, updating policies and procedures, or providing additional training to employees.
  5. Communicate changes: Once you’ve updated your information management practices, be sure to communicate any changes to your employees and stakeholders. This ensures that everyone is aware of the new practices and understands how to comply with them.


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