Even though digital information is evolving at a rapid pace, the world is still document-centric.
Documents, whether created by a human or generated by a machine, underpin every operation, communication exchange and innovation in the Intelligent and Connected Enterprise. What is changing, however, is how they are created, their levels of complexity and their collaborative nature.
Consider all the business documents that need to be managed, from invoices, payments, contracts, waybills, orders, etc., along with their differing formats: video, voice, JPGs, smartphone images, PDFs and more.
Information Across the Enterprise is Extensive
The dynamics surrounding many documents are changing, impacted by their context, whether it is the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), AutoCAD or XML. Even though the lifecycle of a contract or a transaction has changed considerably, in many cases, data is captured in the form of a document.
The vast majority of business information relates to employees, customers, suppliers, assets and products. But, for this information to provide business value, the Intelligent and Connected Enterprise must be able to engage with it in meaningful ways to uncover insights.
To help businesses connect with their information and unlock its potential, regardless of whether it resides behind the firewall or in the cloud, OpenText is continually developing information-based enterprise applications. These include departmental applications like accounts payable, case management and invoice management; industry-specific applications like claims processing and regulated documents; as well as active applications for supply chains.
These applications give the Intelligent and Connected Enterprise real-time access to information that has been enriched with analytics and AI. With the right, intelligence-infused information, users can make informed decisions. That same information can also be used to identify new opportunities, such as ways to optimize processes, improve products or services, or monetize data.
To rise to the challenges of a digital economy, organizations must digitize their business processes. This goes beyond converting paper records to electronic or automating process steps. Ideally, organizations should digitize core business processes from end-to-end, in their entirety.
The benefits of digitizing information-intensive processes are numerous. Costs can be reduced by up to 90%. Errors can be reduced. New channels and new routes to the customer can be leveraged. Replacing manual paper-based processes with digitized processes and documents allows businesses to collect data to better understand process performance, costs and risk factors. This is where ERP has been so critical for the enterprise: it has given the enterprise a process advantage.
When processes and data are fully integrated, analytics and AI can be applied to add value across the enterprise. Enterprise Information Management (EIM) combines processes and information to deliver the Information Advantage.
Investing in the necessary technologies (like analytics and AI) and infrastructure will help organizations capitalize on Information Advantage. This requires creating data lakes rather than storing information in data warehouses. In data warehouses, information is kept in large repository or folder format, whereas in data lakes, information is maintained in its most raw format. This kind of information makes analysis quicker and information more actionable as advances are made in computing, chipsets, real-time streaming and data pipelines.
Data lakes include information from every connected device and all this information (both structured and unstructured) can be remotely connected to an IoT platform. Organizations can leverage this information in different ways to help drive IoT-enabled processes and greater visibility. Deciding which systems and devices need to be connected to the IoT platform, what type of information needs to be obtained, what transactions need to be accessed, and what to measure will then determine the type of analysis and reporting that is required.
It is unsustainable for an organization to retain vast amounts of data from every connected device over a long period of time. By deploying edge analytics (analytics conducted at the device or network point level) in alignment with information governance policies, data with long-term strategic value can be identified.
To unlock the Information Advantage, the Intelligent and Connected Enterprise will plug into its customers’ digital ecosystems. It will integrate technologies that enhance automation (like machine-to-machine communications, the IoT, AI and analytics) with legacy IT infrastructure, standardize its data across systems, and create dynamic and flexible processes to support new technologies and devices.
In all its formats, information beats at the heart of business. It drives digital transformation and maximizing its value will be the key differentiator for the Intelligent and Connected Enterprise.
What benefits have you experienced as a result of digitizing information-intensive processes? Are you using analytics or AI to uncover insights in your organization?
By Mark Barrenchea
Mark is the CEO and CTO of OpenText
As CEO of Canada’s largest software company, Mr. Barrenechea oversees the strategic direction of the organization and upholds the company’s position at the forefront of the industry. Under his direction, the company has grown both organically and through strategic acquisitions, into a $1.85 billion technology company.