Reports

Digitalizing Core Business Processes

By Bob Larrivee, Vice President and Chief Analyst of Market Intelligence, AIIM 
Produced in Partnership with Canon Business Process Services
Available for download with permission.


In “The State of Intelligent Information Management: Getting Ahead of the Digital Transformation Curve,” AIIM made the case that every organization is on — or should be on! — a Digital Transformation journey. The heart of this Transformation journey is understanding, anticipating, and redefining internal and external customer experiences. AIIM believes that Digital Transformation effectiveness is imperiled by a rising tide of information chaos and confusion, and that rising tide of information chaos and confusion is creating a demand for new information management practices that extend beyond traditional Enterprise Content Management.

How organizations describe these new information management practices is still evolving.

AIIM believes that four key Intelligent Information Management practices or methodologies — and an associated set of modular and configurable technology building blocks — are critical to Digital Transformation success:

Practice area #1 — Digitalizing core organizational processes

  • Robotic process automation
  • Business process management
  • Multi-channel intelligent capture
  • High-volume process optimization/transactional ECM

Practice area #2 — Modernizing the information toolkit

  • Cloud content management
  • Internal & external collaboration platforms
  • Low-code and “self-service” development platforms
  • Content integration & migration tools

Practice area #3 — Automating compliance & governance

  • Records management & digital preservation
  • eDiscovery & legal
  • Industry & geographic specific compliance
  • Blockchain

Practice area #4 — Leveraging analytics & machine learning

  • Artificial intelligence, content analytics & semantics
  • Data recognition, extraction & standardization
  • Metadata & taxonomy management
  • Document classification & personal information identification

Our research in the State of the Industry report identified Digitalizing Core Organizational Processes as currently the most important of the 4 practice areas for organizations relative to achieving their Digital Transformation goals, and so our objective in this Industry Watch was to probe more deeply into how organizations view process automation and to determine whether the reality of their current efforts is enough to achieve true Digital Transformation.

Which core business processes do you fee are the most likely candidates for Robotic Process Automation in your organization?

Organizations have yet to fully grasp the potential impact of the new wave of process technologies. It is growing increasingly clear that while new technologies become available, and terms like multi-channel intelligent capture and RPA are bantered about by consumers and evangelized by suppliers, there will not be widespread adoption in a short period of time unless the operational value of the technologies align with the goals and vision of the organization.

Understanding of the potential transformative impact of RPA and intelligent capture technologies is still in its very early stages, indicating a need for basic industry education on the technologies and development of use cases to better understand its content-specific applications.

In order to gain consumer acceptance and grow their confidence, education must be provided on both the technology and the benefit they deliver to the organization as a whole and the groups and individuals impacted by its introduction. An important question to answer is how the technology will support information security, operational efficiency, regulatory compliance, and improving the customer experience.

Core Findings

Our research leads to these three core findings:

  • True Digital Transformation requires more than just digitizing back end processes.
  • Many organizations have yet to do the very basic work of process automation, putting them at a severe disadvantage in their efforts to embrace Digital Transformation. Despite the relative maturity of many core process improvement technologies, there is still significant market opportunity here for solution providers, although this kind of basic process standardization should not be confused with true Digital Transformation.
  • New technologies — like Robotic Process Automation, Blockchain, Low and No-code Process Engines, and Intelligent Capture — open up opportunities to not only improve process, but to totally rethink them.

What's Next

Many of the organizations responding to our survey have a fair sense of where they are today and future opportunities for digitalizing their core processes. Digitalization of processes is not just the application of technology, it is the improvement of those processes, governance over how the processes function, updating current and implementing new technologies to meet the growing and changing business demands, and educating the user community in the new ways-of-working. AIIM believes that four key Intelligent Information Management practices or methodologies — and an associated set of modular and configurable technology building blocks — are critical to Digital Transformation success:

  • Modernizing the information toolkit
  • Digitalizing core organizational processes
  • Automating compliance & governance
  • Leveraging analytics & machine learning

Digitalizing your core business and organizational processes, shown here as one element of IIM, requires actions in each of the four practice areas in order to be successful. When digitalizing processes is not just about automating the steps in the process, it is changing the way the business functions. Digitalizing processes focuses on goals to improve responsiveness, increase organizational agility to transform and compete in the changing business landscape, and enhance the customer experience to drive adoption, establish loyalty, and increase satisfaction.

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