With all the talk about creating value with artificial intelligence these days, it’s surprising to realize how much of the business world still runs on paper. IDC estimates that nearly one-third of all documents used each day across the globe are on paper and that more than half of all organizations struggle with digital transformation. PYMNTS.com reports that more than 72% of invoices are sent via postal mail and more than 80% of payments are made by paper check.
We can call up information from a vast global library with a search engine, but many organizations lack that same capability within their four walls. Creating value with artificial intelligence starts with making all information digital. Fortunately, a combination of rapid scanning, intelligent character recognition and machine learning is now making it possible for organizations to not only turn paperbound information into digital assets but to also trigger automated actions based upon the content.
A new Iron Mountain e-book outlines the benefits that nearly every department within an organization can realize from replacing paperbound processes with digital workflows. Here are just a few.
Customer satisfaction isn’t well-served when support line callers must wait hours or days for answers, nor when call center representatives must sift through mountains of paper records for pertinent information. Intelligent content management aggregates everything the organization knows about the customer — including purchase history, contracts and information in free-form sources such as emails and social media — into a consolidated profile. The result is a more informed interaction, quicker resolution and a higher likelihood of repeat business.
Up to 70% of a mailroom worker’s time is spent sorting incoming mail. Imagine if those documents could be instantly digitized, automatically tagged and routed to the right people and departments with intelligent workflow management. By creating value with artificial intelligence, the mailroom is transformed from a document routing center to an information hub. With robotic process automation, content in documents can even generate programmatic outcomes, such as creating invoices, cutting checks and sending job offers to candidates.
HR is one of the most paper-intensive functions in an organization. Large corporations screen thousands of applications and resumes each year; onboarding new employees can take weeks as the necessary forms are created and signed. Intelligent content services reduce hire times by matching candidate qualifications to open requisitions. Job seekers can check the status of submitted applications by voice inquiry. Much of the onboarding process can be transitioned to self-service with videos and online forms replacing classroom training and paper. Regulatory compliance is more disciplined thanks to reduced error rates. Employee satisfaction goes up while cycle times and turnover go down.
Managing contracts is an arduous manual task that’s made worse by amendments, attachments and jurisdictional requirements that are unique to each document. Legal staff members must respond to regulatory requests in as little as 48 hours. Sales cycles are delayed when contracts are misfiled or lost. The digital process makes all documents searchable. New contracts are drafted more quickly based upon templates and existing contracts. Fewer compliance deadlines are missed while machine intelligence can identify errors or gaps in contracts that would create liability issues for the organization.
Engineering, Research and Development
Having instant access to existing information, prior research and field notes saves developers time and prevents duplication of effort. Automated version control ensures that information is up to date. Image recognition unlocks value in photos and videos. Collaboration platforms enable teams to join efforts on projects with a shared view of common documents and built-in annotation and version control. Smart cameras can identify physical assets that are in need of repair, which can reduce the risk of audits and legal action.
The profusion of media channels challenges marketers to understand how their messages are delivered and received by the target audience. Duplication of effort is eliminated when marketers can see a single view of all their assets. Messages can be updated simultaneously across multiple channels, and the company can respond to changes in the market more quickly to gain a competitive edge.
Perhaps the most important benefit of intelligent content services is its ability to create a unified view of an organization’s operations. Executives can quickly spot problems as they develop and zoom in on their source. They can identify opportunities for process improvement, amplify best practices and pinpoint potential growth areas. Data silos are eliminated, collaboration improves and the entire organization becomes more nimble.
The technology to enable this transformation is available today in the cloud. This allows organizations of any size to realize the benefits of creating value with artificial intelligence.