The importance of organisational memory to businesses of all sizes has long been known, but it has especially come to the fore with the exponential growth of data storage capacities created by information technology advances in the past 10 years.
Put simply, information locked within the structure and practices of a business becomes a powerful resource of knowledge when it is brought to light, organised and made accessible to the business.
Former British Army program manager Neil Glentworth has built a business which unlocks that information for clients. Brisbane-based company Glentworth was started from home in 2008 and now has 25 employees, with revenue last financial year of $1.95 million.
He had worked for about two decades in the field of information management before starting his company. He saw that unlocking the potential of information for businesses was only going to become even more important in a digital economy.
“Information and the expertise contained within any given organisation generally increases by 60% each year,” 37-year-old Glentworth tells StartupSmart.
“As all organisations struggle to grapple with these pains necessary for growth, a tailored approach is the most sought after outcome to increase productivity and continue to achieve against competitors.”
The company has already collected an impressive list of corporate and government clients that includes Santos, Rio Tinto, KPMG and the Queensland Government Departments of Communities, Community Safety and Emergency Management Queensland.
Operating as an information management specialist, Glentworth has identified a niche that was not being served by large, one-size-fits-all professional services firms and targeted product firms that supplied specific software and hardware solutions.
“Where a large firm offers every service from accounting to legal, and the product firm provides the range of applications with limited shelf life, Glentworth sits astride the niche framed by both players and provides bespoke problem-solving advice to overcome organisation’s growth and information management issues.”
He says being a niche operator has its benefits and drawbacks: “Offering a niche service is a double-edged sword.”
“Because it’s exclusive, competitor forces are modest. However, clients struggle to understand the return on investment implications because they have never entertained the thought of having an information management specialist design new approaches to old problems.”
He sums up Glentworth’s proposition to clients with an Albert Einstein quote: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”