Digital transformation is about increasing value. In the content services, digital transformation of documents is often related to auto-categorizing and to making the documents easier to find. Of course it is important to categorize and find the information after the fact, but these are «dead» documents. What I mean by «dead» documents is that they are already published. And I would argue that the value of the document is highest at the point of being published or finalized.
Focus on your content
Now, more than ever, it is important to ensure that the content available to you contains the most trusted information. When knowledge workers collaborate and co-author documents, it should not matter where they are located – the data or metadata from other sources should always be the latest and most trusted information. This is difficult to achieve using a file-based content management solution.
The core of the digital transformation journey for documents should then really be focused on the content. How can you ensure that the content enables the business to make better decisions? Or win more business, for that matter.
As mentioned, the aim of the digital transformation journey is to create increased value. The ability to ensure that live documents and content contain the correct data is vital to most organizations. Business-critical documents are used to make high-value decisions. The data in these documents and this content thereby really needs to be the most trusted data available.
Is your team working in silos?
The ability to use and access the same information from discovery to development through production can have a huge impact on the decisions made. Many organizations work siloed when producing documents that have impact on multiple departments and disciplines. In addition, the documents are often produced using a solution that may enable sharing, but not working on the same document simultaneously. With a file-driven solution, a siloed approach to document production is almost inevitable. And, it makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to ensure that data such as production numbers, schematics, graphics and so forth is continuously updated.
When starting the digital transformation journey there are many potential pitfalls to watch out for. In order to avoid silos between departments, and ensure a seamless transition from one department to another, you require an open solution. However, openness in documents is often viewed as ‘open for everyone’ and potentially lack of control of confidential or privileged information.
As part of your digital transformation journey, you need to ensure that you can also trust the integrity of the data in these documents; that should be the same as in any other application in the enterprise. Co-authoring these documents could involve a large, multi-disciplinary, cross-site team working together for a long period of time to produce a comprehensive document. Openness and control are key to making this possible.
When looking at the architecture of your document production solutions, you need to consider the ability to have an open solution with an API that allows you to make sure the information in your live content is the most trusted information. If the information provided in your documents no longer is valid, this does not help increase value and make better decisions.
While openness brings many new opportunities, it must be done in a way that enables clients to retain complete control over how their data is accessed, exchanged, analyzed, managed and consumed.
Your single source of truth solution
With an open architecture that also enables control of sensitive information, you ensure a single version of the truth. In a document that is built on a file-driven solution, this would be difficult. With a database-driven solution, you can embrace the digital transformation with openness and control, while providing your team with a ‘single source of truth’ solution.
According to a joint study between the Institute for Corporate Productivity and Babson College, companies that actively work to leverage collaboration as an organizational skill are five times more likely to be high performing. Considering also the content creation in documents in your digital transformation journey could give you a considerable competitive advantage.
Perhaps it is time to revisit your digital transformation journey for your content creation?
Kris Sæther is Chief Commercial Officer of Xait. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Media Studies, and has worked in financial communication in London and Frankfurt prior to joining Xait. He has 20+ years experience from the information management industry. Kris is an avid runner and skier, and a passionate fan of the world’s coolest soccer team, Tottenham. If he is not working or running you will find him cheering for his two daughters on the handball court.
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