Connecting documents with insights crucial for modern enterprises

Monique Williams, South Africa country manager, Hyland Software.

Digital transformation needs to go beyond simply digitising documents; it also needs to connect the data in the documents to business systems and workflows, and support automation and analytics. This is according to speakers at a webinar on Evolving and Modernising Data Strategies, hosted by Hyland Sofas part of the ITWeb Data & Analytics series of webinars this week.

South Africa’s country manager for Hyland, Monique Williams, noted that for a digital transformation initiative to be a success, it must be entrenched in a solid modern data strategy. However, many organisations were challenged in managing their data, she said.

“There’s been a massive data explosion – it’s the new gold or the new oil, and the very thing clients are trying to protect, making controlling and storage of data so much more important. In 2010, there was 7ZB of data in the world, but by 2025, there will be 175ZB. This data explosion is massive, and growing rapidly each year. If enterprises don’t have the right data strategies in place, they can’t keep up.”

Williams said a study commissioned by Hyland with Forrester Consulting in 2020 had found that a shrinking minority were able to consistently deliver content across the customer lifecycle; share content and collaborate; create, secure and store content in line with laws and regulations; and search for content across multiple locations and repositories.

“Employees spend too much time looking for the information they need, and large amounts of critical content hide in information silos across the enterprise,” she said.

In terms of governance, the research found that 32% of respondents lacked coordinated governance, and found it difficult to integrate with other repositories; 30%, meanwhile, had difficulty migrating content from old systems or storage locations. 

Employees spend too much time looking for the information they need.
Michelle Williams, Hyland.

During the pandemic, many organisations had also found that highly manual paper-based processes tended to fail, and a lack of budget and available expertise had made it difficult for them to automate paper-based processes. Growing primary drivers of content management strategies among respondents included improving employee and customer experience, improving productivity, reducing paper-based processes and supporting content sharing.

“The consequences of not continuously evolving the organisation’s content strategy could include fines, losing information crucial to processes, losing efficiency and customers and more importantly, losing to the competition. If you don’t have the right tools and processes in the background, you will lose customers and money,” she said.

Theo van Heerden, MD, of Hyland partner Pangolin Software Solutions, said: “We work daily with customers needing to find better content management solutions. Some still think digital documents are just digital versions of paper documents, like PDFs, and they don’t see the value of the data in the documents. But a document is a rich source of data, which needs to be accessible throughout the organisation. 

"By integrating that data with systems and applications, organisations improve productivity and reduce errors that impact data security and compliance. To modernise data management, organisations need intelligent data extraction, validation and document classification across capture, read, classify, extract and validate, verify and export functions.”

In a poll of participants, Hyland asked: ‘How would you rate the execution of your organisation’s digital transformation thus far?’ Only 28% rated theirs as successful, while 59% said it was challenging and 12% said it was poor. 

Said Williams: “It is not surprising that a high percentage of people are finding the journey challenging. Solutions like ours simplify the process, and we also walk a journey with customers together with business partners like Pangolin, starting where the pain is biggest and where we can get the most impact.”

Read more