Process automation has become a pivotal activity within digital transformation programs. Yet, 70% of these programs don’t reach their stated goals. One significant reason for this is poor information management. In this blog, I’d like to discuss why many organizations are struggling to properly match content – both metadata and unstructured content – to their processes.
According to information management industry experts AIIM, the greatest challenge to process automation is ‘dealing with information overload at the intersection of content and processes’.
What does the AIIM statement mean in practice? The truth is that many organizations fail to properly account for how information drives business processes when planning and implementing their automation programs.
If the correct content is not available when needed, and in the context of that process step, then the automated process simply will not deliver.
The challenges of handling information
There are many challenges when it comes to handling information. These include:
- Rapid growth in information and channels
We’re all aware of the exponential growth in structured and unstructured data but the growth of information delivery channels is equally concerning. Recent research has suggested that companies now use an average of almost 1000 applications. Adding over 100 new applications each year. In addition to internal systems, enterprises now have to be able to work with systems from customers, partners and suppliers as well as social feeds. The research found that less than one third of enterprise applications are currently integrated.
- Poor quality of data and content
According to the most recent IDC Data Trust Survey, a little over a quarter of data professionals fully trust the data within their organization. The implications of that finding are stark for automated processes and the old saying of ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’ has never been more relevant. What happens to your employee’s ability to execute a process when documents are difficult to find, inaccurate, out of date or there are multiple versions of a document in use with no way of knowing the most recent or up-to-date versions?
- Poor access to relevant information
In 2022, VentureBeat reported that the average employee spent over 3.5 hours per day searching for the information they needed to do their job – a full hour more than just the year before. There is simply too much information stored in too many locations and it is, sadly, poorly managed. The inability to effectively search and retrieve documents costs large enterprises approximately $7.5 million annually when you factor in the cost of duplication and rework.
- Difficulty overcoming knowledge and information silos
According to IDC, companies stand to lose up to 30% of their revenue due to inefficiencies caused by siloed information, such as the inability to work efficiently or share knowledge effectively within the organization. More importantly, as remote work and collaboration with partners and customers grows in importance, organizations will struggle to share information both internally and externally.
How smarter information improves automated processes
So, what can we do to change things? Years of working with customers have shown us that effective information management is required for successful process automation. You can choose the right processes, select the best automation tools and put together a fantastic change team. But all that work will be fatally undermined when poor information stalls automated processes or, worse still, leads the processes to deliver low-quality outputs.
In our experience, process improvement comes from a central information management platform that integrates with enterprise applications and processes, so that the correct information is instantly available to the employee in the context of the process steps or workflows. It allows information to be created, shared, and used beyond the organizational firewall, while simplifying governance and compliance through applying the correct policies at the central content hub.
For example, the OpenText Business Application Builder for Extended ECM speeds and streamlines the automation of key business processes while extending the value of your Content Management platform.
This ‘information-first’ approach to process automation puts information provision front and center in your business process automation program. It flips the model. The role of information isn’t to support the automated process. It drives the process. In today’s digital business, getting this right might determine whether your business thrives or even survives.
Understanding how to bring information and automated processes together
The OpenText Business Process solutions help organizations worldwide to create success in their digital and content services transformation. These innovative Business Process solutions offer out-of-the-box adaptable and configurable business processes utilizing best practices. Our process automation capabilities will clearly demonstrate to every organization exactly the value that information management brings to drive business success.
Let us help meet your business process challenges. Come to booth 312 at OpenText World, October 11-12, Las Vegas to discuss your business process requirements!
We will demonstrate how we align business and IT by understanding your business requirements and delivering a solution to meet your needs.