Most, if not all, organizations have adopted at least some modern digital workplace solutions already: files are stored in the cloud and can be accessed via phones regardless of time and location, and who isn’t reading company email on their phone yet? The need for this change is obvious as organizations must be able to respond quicker to customer requests to remain competitive.
Also, the sheer amount of information each worker must cope with increases exponentially — meaning the toolset must be modernized to keep up with this development. On average, an information worker spends more than two hours per day searching for documents, and up to two hours per day recreating documents as the correct version cannot be found or has been lost. Eliminating the time wasters related to creating and managing documents would be equivalent to adding 98 new employees in a 1,000-person company.
According to IDC, the number of mobile workers in the US will rise to over 105 million by 2020, accounting for nearly three quarters of the total U.S. workforce. This means that it will be necessary to enable mobile workers to complete critical tasks. However, 74% of respondents in our recent survey say they are not able to sign corporate documents on a mobile device when needed.
Easy collaboration is just one element of digital business
Digital workplace solutions such as Office 365 and G Suite have focused, first and foremost, on easier (remote) access of content and easier sharing of content. And collaboration with these tools is efficient, but there’s a catch… The tools are fantastic if all the data resides in the same cloud repository within these systems, but this is rarely the case.
Furthermore, efficient collaboration is only a small piece digital transformation. How can businesses truly accelerate digital transformation? In a recent study we found that businesses still struggle with document approval processes that are too manual, complicated and lengthy. The added value of digital transformation increases when processes are digitized for more efficiency, and the business can easily comply with laws and regulations.
We think that to achieve true digital business, you need to add digital processes, and modern governance processes to the equation and ensure that data from all relevant business systems can be accessed quickly and conveniently.
Digital business needs technology, but technology is not the driver
Forrester summarizes the importance of information in digital business: “A key part of it all is information – put at work, which requires a holistic information management approach – and connecting value to create more value, throughout the entire ecosystem.”
Digital business is all about people. It connects people with technologies, information and business processes so that organizations can enable more efficient ways of working, and a better customer experience. As a result, organizations create more value.
To be able to realize true digital business, technology needs to play an assisting role, enabling people across functions to do their daily work more efficiently, and in better collaboration and alignment with business processes. Digitalized workflows help streamline common business processes and information handling in a more compliant manner.
Identify critical information
Artificial intelligence is a core element in allowing businesses to separate business critical data from clutter, and in managing that critical information. The amount of organizational data doubles every 1.2 years. The sheer amount of data in a typical company makes it an impossible task for humans to locate all critical information from all systems and repositories.
Artificial Intelligence comes to the rescue here. It is a tool for improving document management routines in several ways. One such way is the AI capability to recognize elements in data that a human cannot do at scale. Additionally, AI can look for patterns in information and automatically flag them for further management by employees. It can suggest metadata and workflows based on the class and subject of the content.
In a real-life example, one of our customers uses M-Files Intelligence Services to crawl nine million files on a network folder to identify content with sensitive personally identifiable information (PII). M-Files found 20,000 such files and assigned them to a data protection officer for further review. As only 0.2% of files in that network folder contained PII data, it would have been very inefficient to try to identify these files without text analytics.
Connect business data and documents
The integration of business data and other content and documents is a key element in embracing digital business.
Take a salesperson, for example. Their job is to sell as much as possible. To do that, they will often need to work in Salesforce, travel from customer to customer, and create and process information related to specific customers. They need easy and fast access to everything related to the customer before visiting them regardless of where the data is stored.
In an optimal set up, the salesperson could manage both the customer and other business data as well as related documents in one unified view that is familiar to them, like Salesforce — and have access to that view with all relevant information, even from their mobile phone to be able to revisit a document while on the road.
Manage all daily information in one view
As another example, let’s look at a typical office worker. There are over 120 million Office 365 commercial monthly active users, per an AIIM Industry Report. A lot of these users utilize SharePoint to store content and collaborate. According to the same AIIM report, 58% of sensitive data in the cloud is stored in Microsoft Office documents.
However, in many companies, information is also stored in other, legacy systems. According to AIIM’s State of Intelligent Information Management, 53% of companies have three or more separate content management systems to store their data.
To manage content across these systems and other repositories, such as network folders, businesses need a solution that allows them to search, access and manage information regardless of where it resides.
And think if that view could be the familiar Microsoft Office 365 view, with no need to leave it to look for information in other systems. How powerful is that?
About Eija Paajanen
Eija works as Product Marketing Manager at M-Files. Eija develops the product launch processes, manages launch projects, and develops the product value proposition in addition to creating product-related content.