As a business leader, there is a plethora of information that your organization has to deal with—physical and electronic documents, data generated by multiple business processes, workflows, mobile apps, and various communication channels, including social media, and many more.
Is this high influx of information giving you sleepless nights? Are you struggling with:
Wastage of time and resources in segregating documents based on their type
Connecting customer communications with organizational processes and workflows
Analyzing and predicting data and historical performance
An organization typically uses workflows, documents, and integrations with various applications. These processes can be fully or partially automated, while others are manual. Additionally, frontend systems might be more optimized than backend processes. Coupled with other enterprise challenges, this disconnect between frontend and backend processes can lead to information silos, resulting in ineffective and slower decision making, further impacting your customers’ experiences.
Amidst all this chaos, you are most likely losing out on extracting valuable insights, essentially rendering data as a liability instead of an asset.
Sure, technology is already involved in gathering information. But you need to leverage the right set of capabilities to create opportunities from this unstructured data. So, what can you do to avoid drowning in a sea of information and to safely navigate toward efficient and well-informed decision making?
Moving from Chaos to Order
Here are six initiatives you can take to optimize your data!
Automate your business-critical, document-intensive processes to efficiently manage data, create a paperless environment, and ensure secure storage, search, and archival
Contextualize your data to extract relevant and meaningful information, thereby driving intelligent decision-making
Drive meaningful engagement with your customers across multiple channels and devices by analyzing their intent or sentiments for personalized interactions using artificial intelligence
Generate business insights and use analytical tools to create better, and more targeted, offerings for your customers, and to enhance future strategies
Auto-classify documents based on characteristics like structure, text, or both for automated sorting, sequencing, and classification of documents
Analyze trends and predict the impact of strategic changes in your organization using process insights tools to overcome bottlenecks and create real-world simulations
Managing and analyzing data holds far more value than just optimizing your business processes. Data analytics can, in some cases, predict the unpredictable. At the very least, data and insights can help you adapt rapidly to unprecedented situations.
In fact, according to Gartner, “Data and analytics combined with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will be paramount in the effort to predict, prepare and respond in a proactive and accelerated manner to a global crisis and its aftermath.”
Expecting (and Conquering) the Unexpected
Digital transformation has been widely regarded as the ultimate enabler of business continuity, during and (prospectively) beyond the pandemic.
To accelerate your digital transformation initiatives and drive your organizational growth, you must focus on improving your decision-making capabilities and automate your customers’ journeys wherever possible. This will enable your enterprise to eliminate information chaos and pave a path that leads to customer experience and process innovation.
The importance of robust processes and high-level security in managing organizational records and data cannot be overstated, especially for government organizations. Governmental organizations require various security and access control functionalities in order to ensure compliance with corporate information security guidelines. Further, they require records managers to aggregate records from multiple channels while adhering to dynamic guidelines and compliances.
A records manager facilitates document acquisition from multiple sources while arranging them in a predefined, hierarchical file plan—indexing, archiving, searching, and maintaining the integrity of the records by not allowing any sort of modifications to documents, marked as records. They also work to define filing and retention rules to keep records active for a stipulated period, including rules for naming, storage, and hierarchy management, among others.
Such detail-driven and complex records management processes are nearly impossible when executed manually, especially with the sheer volume of incoming records within government organizations. Digitizing and automating the records management process is the key to sustaining a high quality of work, without sacrificing efficiency, security, or compliance.
Digital is No Longer Optional—It’s Imperative!
Take, for example, the custodian of national records and heritage need to digitize the operations of all government entities related to the archives to build a modern records management system. To successfully execute this vision across all the government agencies and entities with governmental stake, the custodian will have to define the regulatory guidelines and standards, to be adopted within a pre-determined time period.
For organizations like these, digitization is truly the only way forward. In an increasingly digital and technologically-forward world, they must be prepared to deal with documents and data in any format—be it analog or digital. Perhaps more importantly, governmental organizations, have a responsibility to maintain comprehensive and secure records, to easily manage those records as needed, and to remain on the cutting edge.
Digital places a variety of demands on government organizations, making it a challenge to fulfill requirements in time for compliance. Furthermore, adhering to a long-term vision requires organizations to look beyond compliance requirements, at the future impact of immediate steps.
Some of the specific challenges faced by governmental organizations include:
Unique compliance items, each with its comprehensive requirements
Managing electronic and physical records using the same platform
Managing metadata continuously across any record’s lifecycle
While the goal for compliance is a short-term requirement, it is important to understand the long-term vision for digitizing records and correspondences by:
Treating information as an asset and exercising tight control of the record’s end-to-end lifecycle, from creation to disposition (and archival), to ensure integrity and accountability
Ensuring that processes, as well as end-products (records, documents, correspondences), are digital, for effective governance and visibility
Making all records accessible, given the requisite authorizations, to immediate stakeholders, the broader community, and other departments and agencies
Building a system that is not only sustainable and scalable, but also secure and compliant with the applicable standards
The Path to Digital
Record managers and policy administrators can define the lifecycle of physical and electronic records within their system. The system then facilitates, (1) the definition of rules for the tracking and movement of records across users and, (2) the setting of rules for record archival and final destruction. To progress down the path of digitizing their records management process, organizations must move through certain stages:
Define their strategic and operational plans
Examine the organization’s records, inventory, and taxonomy
Assess the policies and processes pertaining to records management
Establish retention schedules and disposition requirements
Making it happen
Establish a technology platform with digital capabilities
Implement end-to-end digital records management by leveraging a robust platform
Embrace the future with extensible records management
Leverage cutting-edge technologies
Scale and build adoption capabilities
Speeding into the Future
Digitization of national and state records is a critical achievement. However, it is more apt to consider it a series of ongoing steps, rather than a concrete milestone. These steps will continue indefinitely to achieve an efficient, secure, connected, and cutting-edge government ecosystem.