CSPs play critical role in digital transformation

Content services platforms help companies to drive and succeed in their journey to achieve true digital transformation.
Read time 5min 20sec

True digital transformation remains the holy grail of many enterprise organisations.

The pandemic has added to the urgency of this transition by putting significant pressure on the need to prioritise digital transformation during a time of altered transactional models, reduced staffing, smaller budgets, etc.

Added to the forgoing is the ever-growing demand for increased service delivery − regardless of industry sector – which is challenging at the best of times but more so when monetary and staff resources are depleted.

Gartner describes content services platforms (CSPs) as integrated platforms that provide content-focused services, repositories, APIs, solutions and business processing tools to support digital business and transformation. It notes that typical CSP use cases include document management, back-office processes, business process applications, records management and team productivity.

A CSP has its own repository. CSP services and data may also integrate with external, non-native repositories and applications through prebuilt connectors, API development or pre-packaged integrations.

CSPs have Web, desktop and mobile app interfaces that let users navigate through and work with the different content services. The platforms may also offer prebuilt solutions for vertical and horizontal content processes, such as case management, legal matter management and contract management.

CSPs are available on-premises, as hosted services, in the cloud (SaaS and/or PaaS), or in hybrid architectures that combine cloud and on-premises storage and/or services.

This definition endorses the critical role of CSPs in digital transformation. In essence, it is said to encompass a vision for the creation of an organisational environment in which information and processes flow smoothly and with the ability to meet the unique needs of each recipient, plus a requirement for interactions to be as automated as possible so humans can focus on business tasks that require creativity.

That’s quite a tall order but is entirely achievable in today’s digitised world.

Digital transformation represents a cultural and organisational change as well as an operational one. It should reflect a different way of doing things that goes beyond the technologies that may be employed to effect these changes.

With mobile deployment flexibility, the organisation can enhance agility for both field staff and IT projects as it goes digital.

Think about that statement and now visualise doing that manually. If the word ‘impossible’ comes to mind, you are correct. The use of manual paper-based processes takes the difficult task of maintaining service with reduced staff and budgets and turns it into a nightmare. Companies would be wise, if trying to function in this risk-adverse climate, to have affordable, proven software solutions that leverage existing IT investments.

Digital transformation initiatives need to be capable of being deployed rapidly with speedy return on investments while enhancing efficiencies, transparency and secure collaboration across the enterprise.

With a digital transformation road map, private and public sector organisations continue to explore new technologies that support efforts to speed processes, create efficient and seamless solutions, and make critical information available to both internal and external users.

Automation removes costly delays associated with paper-based processes.

CSP is unquestionably positioned front and centre of any digital transformation journey. However, one of the challenges is acquiring the right platform to achieve the goals that have been set. A proven platform is crucial to attain cost-effective service delivery and tangible improvement to processes.

The chosen platform must permit the company to leverage Web tools for easy forms creation and configuration, process automation, digital content, records storage and security. Above all, it must improve service delivery, internally and externally, in a cost-effective manner.

It’s important to understand the digital road map must include the ability to retrieve critical information instantly on any device and eliminate low-value tasks like filing and copying. These manual chores are right up there with fax machines in that they should have no place in a modern enterprise.

Client/customer self-service options also need to be available so that paper forms become a thing of the past and are replaced by the ability to connect to existing Web sites and portals and access all services available.

Tracking is the next order of the day

This must be an automated electronic process. It is neither practical nor cost-effective to have staff wasting time answering telephone calls from customers seeking status updates on their purchases, orders, or public sector form submissions, such as passport applications, etc.

The digital transformation platform should be capable of shortening processes through the automation of intelligent rules-driven document routing, electronic form generation and e-mailed notifications.

What you are seeking to do is to shorten process timelines, acquire visibility of bottlenecks in the process and address potential delays before they occur. This is what digitally transforming the organisation is supposed to mean.

CSP transforms workflows across all business units or public sector departments through automated processes and Web-based services, providing greater transparency and integrated data and documents. It also improves efficiencies so that the organisation can do more with less. It eliminates the paper trail and replaces it with an automated digital one.

COVID-19 has shifted the focus from just digitising the customer experience, to the management and functionality of staff remotely deployed. CSP correctly implemented and rolled out as part of the digital transformation programme supports field staff, providing critical information when and where they need it, on mobile devices.

Mobile and Web portal options enable users to retrieve content and complete forms on tablets and smartphones, replacing paper. This empowers field staff to work more efficiently, with access to automated processes to keep transactions moving, regardless of where the staff are located.

With mobile deployment flexibility, the organisation can enhance agility for both field staff and IT projects as it goes digital. Staff today need to have extensive tools at their disposal that facilitate quick and easy connection with documents and required content.

In my next article in this series of three, I will reveal a business short cut to digital transformation.

Monique Williams

Southern Africa regional sales manager for Hyland Software.

Monique Williams is the South Africa Country Manager for Hyland Software, where she is responsible for sales on Hyland's Content Services platform.

She has in excess of 20 years' experience in the information technology sector and holds an Honours Degree in Marketing Management and a Bachelor of Social Science in General Psychology, Industrial and Organisational Psychology, from the University of Cape Town.

Williams has worked for Hyland Software for over a decade and in that time, has been partner manager for UK and Scandinavia, and business development manager in South Africa. Her duties in her current role include generating revenue for Hyland Software by establishing and leading the execution of a plan to market, as well as managing existing and newly recruited partners in Southern Africa. Since being appointed to this role, she has increased sales revenue and has achieved year-on-year growth of a minimum of 30%.

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