#AIIM17: Digital Transformation – your content in disguise


We are transformers. As technology professionals, it is all of our responsibilities to continue to push business forward and transform to stay relevant.

During his presentation at the AIIM 2017 conference, Glenn Gibson, director of Product Marketing at Hyland, drew parallels between the requirements of true digital transformation and the story of the Transformers – the powerful characters who can convert from mundane objects into powerful robots.

Like Bumblebee – the dusty old Transformer Camaro – a content strategy that includes using document management tools, file shares and email – things that were revolutionary 20 years ago – might still be functional. However, a strategy based on those tools alone may no longer offer a competitive advantage because they are no longer the powerful, efficiency-increasing tools they once were.

So, we must transform again. Because digital information does not equal digital transformation.

Gibson spoke to the current state of many digital content and information management strategies. They likely include silos of individual enterprise content management (ECM) system deployments, SharePoint sites, unmanaged cloud-based sharing apps, file shares and email inboxes.

The transformative power of 1

Gibson presented attendees with one simple idea – creating an enterprise vision for managing related digital content, where storing content for the sake of storing content is no longer a valid concept. Instead, you deliberately and intelligently connect and present content in a single, complete view.

In the Transformers’ story, there are three signs for the young protagonist, Sam, that the dusty old Camaro could transform into an intelligent, world-saving robot. First, the car began to drive itself; second, it could intelligently speak or play music to express its mood; and third, it finally transformed its entire appearance.

3 signs you’ve transformed

Gibson concludes that IT professionals should look for the same signs when interacting with their content to indicate they have completed a true digital transformation. Here’s what you should look for:

1. Content that drives itself

When you have fully transformed your content and information management strategy, content will start to drive itself throughout the enterprise. Once captured into a central repository, it will find its way to the appropriate personnel, with specific business criteria automatically pushing it through its journey.

Gibson commented that at this stage, any “human questions” should be answered digitally, by technology. Questions like “Who should this document go to for approval?” Or “Is there a related document already in our systems?”

2. Content that speaks to those who need it

When an organization is digitally transformed, systems should send notifications to the appropriate staff or audience when something has changed, such as someone submitting a form. Moreover, as someone needs to review or act on a piece of content, that content should find its way to that user – through email notifications that give them all they need to complete the task at hand, including all related content.

3. The content transforms in appearance

Digital information is not digital transformation. That transformation is only complete when the experience of users interacting with that information has completely changed. It might seem like a small difference when you look at the words, but as our customers know, the rubber hits the digital transformation road when users have instant access to the digital information they need, when and where they need it.

Just as important, the technology you utilize should provide views of information that help put context around content – through visuals like dashboards and maps. Users should have a clear picture of information that helps them immediately make decisions instead of needing to analyze individual pieces of content.

Realizing this evolution could involve multiple technology solutions, Gibson related the army of Transformers to your army of solutions. Just like the army of Transformers, it is critical that as you digitally transform, you make sure all your systems are integrated, ensuring you have truly connected your business-critical content and information.

It is time for you to formulate your enterprise vision for managing related digital content. What are your thoughts on digital transformation? Make sure to leave your comments below!

Jaclyn Inglis Clark

Jaclyn Inglis Clark

Over the last few years working at Hyland, creator of OnBase, Jaclyn has definitely started to drink the Kool Aid – day and night enthusiastically discussing the wonderful benefits of... read more about: Jaclyn Inglis Clark

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