There have been plenty of disruptors in the last few years related to technology and fewer more disrupting than the cloud. This week, Systemware, Broadridge and AIIM presented at a lunch on this topic. We talked about embracing the possibilities that come with the cloud – it really shouldn’t be a 4-letter word.

Although quickly gaining popularity as the future of information management, storing content in the cloud is still often viewed as a double-edged sword – particularly in highly regulated environments. On one side – gains in cost, efficiency, accessibility and flexibility are weighed up against the other side of perceived risks associated with security, privacy and compliance.

Peggy Winton (@pwwinton), AIIM President, spoke about 3 distinct eras through which we have been in the past 25 years.

  1. Document management and workflow
  2. Enterprise content management
  3. Mobile and cloud

Each successive era is stacked on top of the previous. From our perspective, each era brought good and not-so-good practices.  And with digital transformation, each organization will need to sift through the good, the bad and the ugly of each.

Digital transformation is more than an information governance or cloud discussion. Instead it is about collaboration, automation and security.  In this third era of cloud and mobile, we work in new ways, we automate processes, and we have new security threats almost daily. Paraphrasing Peggy, she defined Digital Transformation in these ways:

  • The business (where purchasing power is shifting) cares far more about what something is (a contract, press release, RFP, sales materials) than where it is stored.
  • Information is protected based on what it is and whose it is, not based on format or restricting the device upon which it is accessed.
  • Changing of businesses regarding information management tools include:
    • Ease of use
    • Usability with less IT involvement
    • More easily integrated into day-to-day processes
    • Consumable by the drink, not the gallon

Recently, at AIIM2018 in San Antonio, Systemware hosted a roundtable discussion on moving beyond ECM to Intelligent Information Management.  A great discussion took place on what digital transformation meant to each group/organization represented in the room.  The names and faces have been removed from this discussion for anonimity. This is so that we can share what we believe will resonate with others who are both defining their internal challenges and identifying their objectives before moving forward in the digital transformation journey.

Download the complete AIIM 2018 Industry Watch Report: The State of Intelligent Information Management.

Digital natives

In preparation for this event in NY, a few of us at Systemware had a discussion around cloud and mobile as disruptors. We believe one of the biggest technology-adjacent disrupters of the last 10 or so years is the entry of digital natives into the workforce.  Digital natives have different expectations, needs and ways of doing things.

What’s so different about them?

It all started with millennials. And we can attribute some of the accelerating change  to this group in the workforce.  Digital natives are the new normal.  We are living in this digital world and we need to better understand them to understand how we must change.

  • Always on–Growing up in a digital age has colored every aspect of their lives. My nieces and nephews have always had some device.  Each played interactive games on computers and phones. And, they were the first adopters of tablets, apps and social media.
  • Binging ‘expert’ level–they’ve never known a time that wasn’t connected and using some sort of media. Their music is streamed. Maybe millennials remember the music download phenomena that killed the CD, but any other digital native probably only knows streaming services – for music, movies, shows and even games.  They use multiple devices, binge different media simultaneously and do it as second-nature. Nearly 1/3 of millennials have cut-the-cord on cable.  Some may never have subscribed to cable after moving out of their parents’ house.
  • Buyer behavior–digital natives’ behavior has changed the way we market, and how we offer specials, services or products. We must deliver more content – faster and omni-channel. As a result, a larger number of tech firms are looking for ways to market and communicate with customers and prospects within their environments and on apps used by digital natives – go where they already go.
  • Great expectations–It’s not just how the information is consumed but the value of the content that is important. And they don’t have these expectations only in their personal lives; they carry this with them into their careers. How are we as technology companies and service providers catering to their needs? Are we allowing them to use our technology to engage with our content in a way that is most interesting, most useful and most productive?  Because, believe me – if we aren’t – they will likely find someone who does provide high value content with interesting and better ways to engage with the content.
  • User behavior–how can we help them to make their organization’s information as consumable as the apps and sites they frequent? How can we make it easier to find, more accurate, timely, and safe?  How can we improve the experience for both them and their customers?

A new approach

For a few years now, businesses have modified their models to attract and engage with younger purchasers in order to win their loyalty. Now, progressive organizations also think about what they must do to support the internal customer experience and that means including these digital experts in discussions about transformation. It’s about inviting their unique digital perspective to help the team create valuable, worthwhile change. And with user experience as part of the conversation  you can transform the way the organization thinks about and interacts with content. It’s no wonder so many companies are creating user experience initiatives along-side their digital transformation initiatives. They really do go hand-in-hand.

If you haven’t yet included a millennial in your digital transformation discussion, now’s the time.  Although some have reached leadership roles, many millennials are still on a path toward leadership; however, their input could be exactly what you need for your transformation-especially in conversations around user experience. To this conversation they will bring a different perspective.

  • Processes should be simple, not cumbersome
  • Workflows should be more intuitive and less about creating work-arounds where problems exist
  • Automation should be an option where repetitive doesn’t need human intervention.

At Systemware we embrace this as an opportunity to deliver content services that create the foundation necessary for transformation.

  • Make data available – while ensuring security, addressing compliance and information governance.
  • Automate repeatable work and let people do more intelligent, customer-focused work.
  • Let data be accessible to tools that not only improve workflows but also improve decisions.

Learn more about Content Cloud.

Broadridge and a new approach

Andrea  Chiappe, CIP (@ChiappeAndrea ), Broadridge joined the lunch discussion to provide their innovative, services-based approach to digital transformation.  Here are a few points from Andrea’s dicussion.

The status quo

Today millions of companies work with organizations like Iron Mountain, that come once a day, pick up a box of documents which are archived and never thought about again. Unfortunately the digital solutions to solve for this problem have followed a similar approach: store the content; provide a presentation interface; and forget it.

While regulatory compliant, these solutions fail to recognize the value of the content and data to drive decisions, provide customer insight and facilitate user experiences.

A better way

  • A Services based model in the cloud
  • A robust API layer in the form of micro services for data and content access and retrieval
  • Ephemeral capabilities for information management
  • An approach by which best of breed capabilities can be built upon the underlying platform to unleash the value of the information

Why is cloud so important in this new approach?

  • On demand model
  • Access to integrated and developed services
  • Costs

Micro services can enable us to link together services to solve problems; integrate services we develop, clients develop and 3rd parties develop to reduce the need for custom development; and create consumable services out of machine learning and AI to provide insight and action and drive consumer experience, services and quantitative analysis.

Smart digital transformation

Now that you’ve considered the digital natives as part of the digital transformation conversation, and you’ve considered the way we should be thinking about the solutions of the future, and the innovative new approach of companies like Broadridge, we’d love to partner with you on this journey for a smart transformation.  We believe content services can create the foundation necessary for the changes ahead.  When you are ready, let’s discuss your initiatives.  Meanwhile, as you explore and define your next steps, why not join us for an upcoming event to get more on smart digital transformation.

June 5 – Systemware kicks off our 4-1-1 webinar series on getting beyond ECM to Intelligent Information Management with Content Cloud.  As you examine your IT environments and define requirements for the next generation of ECM, it’s time to get the 4-1-1 on content services to support your smart digital transformation.

Learn more and register.