John Mancini

John Mancini, president and CEO of AIIM, is an author, speaker, and respected leader of the AIIM global community of information professionals. He is a catalyst in social, mobile, cloud, and big data technology adoption and an advocate for the new generation of experts who are driving the future of information management. John predicts that the next three years will generate more change in the way we deploy enterprise technologies and whom we trust with this task than in the previous two decades. His passion about the evolution of information workers into information analysts spurred John to establish the Certified Information Professional (CIP) program to enable anyone, anywhere to benchmark and develop new and strategic skills. His commitment to education includes the continual development of leading-edge training and publishing of ongoing industry research to help guide new thinking. As a frequent keynote speaker, John offers his expertise on the transformational challenges and opportunities facing information professionals and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually to his blog Digital Landfill. He has published six e-book titles including “#OccupyIT — A Technology Manifesto for Cloud, Mobile and Social Era” and the popular “8 Things You Need to Know About” e-book series. He has a Klout score in the high 60s, is ranked #5 in online SharePoint influence by harmon.ie and #42 in the KnowledgeLake SharePoint Influencer50. John can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77.
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Recent Posts

8 Things You Must Know to Automate Human Resource Processes

Aug 23, 2016 12:10:58 PM by John Mancini

It is the best of times and the worst of times for HR professionals.

Many organizations have reaped enormous benefits from more effectively managing the unstructured information association with core Human Resources processes.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that MOST organizations have not yet moved down the path of HR automation, creating huge inefficiencies and risks in their hiring, retaining, employee servicing and firing practices.

Consider for a moment the huge variety and volume of documents associated with these HR processes, each of which carries with it different regulatory and legal requirements.

  • Job requisitions
  • Job applications
  • Resumes
  • New hire pre-boarding and onboarding
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave tracking
  • Employee status change notifications
  • Employee referrals
  • Timesheet processing and leave/vacation tracking
  • Travel requests
  • Expense reimbursement
  • Exit interviews

HR executives responsible for these policies must make a choice:

  1. Continue processes that are largely manual and adhoc;
  2. Buy point and process-specific SaaS solutions that will make life easier in the short-term, but more problematic in the long-term; or
  3. Think about how to strategically manage all of the unstructured information associated with these processes in a way that allows you to leverage the information within each specific process.

AIIM’s own unpublished research indicates that many HR organizations are still mired in paper-based processes.  Most organizations have not applied the lessons from the digital mailroom to their core financial processes.  According to an AIIM unreleased survey of 173 HR executives, there are still many green field transformation opportunities in your core HR processes.

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Now some would argue that most organizations automated their HR processes long ago.  Perhaps on the data side, but not on the content and unstructured information side. When we asked, “What is paper usage in the following processes?” here are the percentages answering, “% answering “A lot of documents are processed as paper documents”:

  • Recruiting and selection = 35%
  • Employee onboarding = 48%
  • Employee file management = 53%
  • Policies and procedures administration = 32%
  • Employee separation = 48%

Which brings us to the second option, single process SaaS-based solutions.  I am a big advocate for SaaS-based process solutions.  Beginning with Salesforce, they have revolutionized how we buy and implement enterprise technology.  Many monolithic HR solutions that were previously thought of as on-premise solutions requiring long purchase and implementation cycles, with all the money paid up front, can now be bought in the cloud, implemented quickly, and paid for as an annuity.  There is a but, though.  Which is that unless you think carefully about how the unstructured information associated with each of the above SaaS processes is managed across these processes, you will have created a set of irreconcilable silos – a genie that will be hard to put back in the bottle.

In addition, HR processes are surrounded by a lot of legal risk, more than many other business processes.  And the records management capabilities of many single-process SaaS solutions leave much to be desired.

Free ebook -- How to Go Paperless in 90 Days

The desired third option above – managing HR content and information in such a way that you avoid the creation of silos – is not without its challenges.  Many document management suppliers are not known for their ease of integration with SaaS-based process engines or for the speed (and cost!) of custom solutions built upon their content platform.  Which means careful review is needed.  For those organizations that already have a large on-premise solution, it means your content platform must seamlessly integrate with Lawson, SAP, PeopleSoft, or whatever other human capital management system you use.

The kinds of information challenges typical of HR processes are amplified by the business challenges now facing HR professionals.  HR professionals are assuming a different – and more strategic role – within their organizations.  A role that requires create information management competency and knowledge than ever before.

According to Amit Jain, Division Vice President of Strategy & Business Development for Major Account Services at ADP, there are 5 major trends that are on the “keep me up at night” list for every HR professional.  These 5 trends each carry with them a host of document and content management challenges.  Here’s his list (original in Forbes, some paraphrasing):

  1. Changes to overtime rules raising the minimum salary level for white collar exemptions could result in 4.6 million currently exempt employees losing their exemption right away. Another 500,000 to one million currently exempt employees could lose their exempt status over the next 10 years as a result of automatic increases to the salary threshold.
  2. The ability to collect, process and analyze "big data" is becoming a crucial factor in identifying and managing the challenges of business lifecycles. Companies that want to gain a competitive edge increasingly need to use analytics to gain data-driven insights into workforce trends and take action to refine recruitment, compensation and other performance incentives to meet employees' evolving goals and interests.
  3. For employers with 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees, the Affordable Care Act has transformed what was once an annual enrollment event into a monthly process of tracking and reporting extensive data. To comply with the law, various personnel in Tax, Finance, IT, Legal and HR who never had to share data may now need to partner to help avoid costly penalties. Gathering the required data from multiple systems can present a challenge so it will be become even more important for businesses to consider an integrated human capital management solution.
  4. Increasingly, organizations are focusing on improving employee engagement to drive better performance. According to Gallup research, employee engagement is strongly connected to business outcomes essential to an organization's financial success, such as productivity, profitability and customer engagement. Engaged employees drive the innovation, growth and revenue that growing midsized companies need to thrive.
  5. While much has been made of the silver tsunami of retiring Baby Boomers, on the other end of the spectrum is the growth of the Millennial workforce. According to PwC research, Millennials will account for nearly half the global workforce by 2020. In some companies, they already constitute a majority. Organizations that want to attract and retain fresh talent will need to recruit this cohort of digital natives and ensure that their journey through hiring and onboarding is supported through mobile and social platforms.

Addressing each of these trends requires: a) an end to manual approaches; and b) once the commitment to automation is made, a simultaneous commitment to a strategy to manage process information in an integrated fashion and bring all employee information together into one place.

So as you think through these trends, and the challenges of managing all the information required to run a modern HR operation, here are 8 “must haves” as you consider your content platform: 

  1. Ease of integration with on-premise or SaaS process solutions.
  2. Effective management of employee information throughout the lifecycle of the relationship, including disposition of the information once it is no longer required.
  3. Ease of use, including access on mobile devices.
  4. Ease and speed of implementation.
  5. Automated digital signatures and workflows. HR processes are loaded with signature requirements, and this is not the place to assume that a copied/pasted TIFF signature image is a “digital” signature.
  6. Secure and comprehensive audit trails.
  7. Secure protection of private information.
  8. Built-in compliance and regulatory workflows. Keeping track of HIPAA, COBRA, and specialized regulations such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right Act (UNERRA), and demonstrating compliance with these and other regulations on request can be overwhelming.

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Successful businesses depend on good people. HR plays an increasingly strategic role in hiring and retaining good people – and mitigating the risks associated half-baked documentation of poor performance.  All of these processes need to operate in a smooth, effective and modern way – or risk alienating the Millennials who are critical to maintaining competitive advantage.

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What is Business Process Management in the context of automating HR processes?  Are you in the Research Triangle, Toronto, NY or DC metro areas?  We've got a process improvement seminar coming up in your neighborhood!  They're FREE.

Raleigh NC Information@Work event -- September 21 at The Capital Grille

Washington DC event -- October 4 at the National Press Club

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New York event-- October 6 at the Manhattan Penthouse

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Toronto event -- October 13 at the Allstream Centre

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Topics: document management, business process, bpm, human resources

Information Chaos Summer Catchup - 6 Tip Sheets and 28 "Must Knows"

Aug 19, 2016 10:23:32 AM by John Mancini

Digital Transformation Roundup -- 6 Information Management Tip Sheets and 28 "Must Knows" You Don't Want to Miss

In case you missed them while taking a few days off this summer, here are a few of my most popular tip sheets and posts from the summer. Check 'em out.

7 Tips to Create MORE Information Chaos

There are lots of ways to being to attack the challenge of information chaos.  But how might you inadvertently make things worse

Download Your Tipsheet!

6 Things You Need to Know About Emerging Markets and Information Management

Among both information management users and information management solution-providers, the digital disruption that is coming drives a number of opportunities and challenges.  On the user side, organizations must extend their content and information management capabilities into new markets, and understand how those markets are different from the traditional markets they serve, and think through how those different needs translate into different content management infrastructure requirements.  Similarly, content management solution providers have focused on established markets and economies. They will now face two pressures: 1) new “home-grown” content management competitors who really understand the unique issues of their home markets; and 2) pressures from their customer base to provide the tools they need to penetrate emerging market. 

Download Your Tipsheet!

3 Reasons Why Document Processing Should Matter to the C-Suite

Here’s the fundamental question for many organizations – When it comes to streamlined document processing, why bother? What business results can you expect if you go down this path?  Let’s take a look at intelligent document recognition and streamlined document processing through the prism of the 3 things that keep C-level executives up at night:  Cost, Compliance, and Customers.

Download Your Tipsheet!

4 Steps to Leverage What You Already Have and Know to Improve Customer Experiences

Digital Disruption. Digital Experiences. They are on the wish list for just about every C-level executive. But where do you start? How do you move from the hype to value? A good place to start is by leveraging the capabilities you likely already have – scanning, capture, and the digital mailroom – and extending them into the core processes that you use to run your business.

Download Your Tipsheet!

5 Faces of Information Chaos

For many years, I’ve watched people in organizations that I KNOW could benefit from content technologies politely listen to sales presentations, nod their heads and then back away from a decision.  I find this “reluctance to commit” mysterious, because most of the people that I’ve spoken with who have automated a previously paper-driven process swear by the results and wouldn’t return to life pre-content management for anything.  I’m convinced that this “reluctance to commit” is due to the fact that many on the sell-side of our industry (including AIIM at times, I’ll confess!) can’t resist talking about technology.  ECM! BPM! Taxonomies! Metadata! Capture!

Download Your Tipsheet!

3 Questions to Ask About Content Creation

Content is a valuable corporate asset, driven by value, created by many authors, and generated from many sources. Yet content creation is often taken for granted by business organizations as something that just happens as part of the daily business routine.

Download Your Tipsheet!

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You might also be interested in these 6 blog posts...

8 Reminders About Why World Paper Free Day Matters

Digital Disruption and the Structure of Emerging Markets

7 Tips to Unstick Your SharePoint Implementation

Big Data, Content Analytics, Information Capture and the Hype Curve

Preparing for the Era of Intelligent Machines

What Part of Being Blockbustered Don't You Understand?  Digital Transformation In Action

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In the Toronto, NY or DC metro areas?  We've got a process improvement seminar coming up in your neighborhood!  They're FREE.

Washington DC event -- October 4 at the National Press Club

RSVP Now

New York event-- October 6 at the Manhattan Penthouse

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Toronto event -- October 13 at the Allstream Centre

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Topics: process management, capture, information chaos, digital transformation,

6 Things You Need to Know About Emerging Markets and Information Management

Aug 18, 2016 1:11:04 PM by John Mancini

 

Digital disruption is moving quickly past the surface level of disruption as technology innovation in the consumer realm gets incorporated into the very fabric of how business is done, creating radical disruption along the way.  All of this ultimately manifests itself in international trade, financial, and data flows and the impact these on the individual knowledge skills that workers need to have to survive and the organizational competencies in information management that companies and governments require to continue to be relevant and competitive.

I came across a great McKinsey study on this, Digital globalization: The new era of global flows which got me thinking about the six points below. 

6 Things You Need to Know About Emerging Markets and Information Management

  1. The global trade, services, and financials flows that have traditionally driven the world’s economy have stalled. 
  2. We are now in an era in which global data and information flows are the primary determinant of economic benefit.
  3. Digital disruption will be accelerated by the growing gaps between the world as it was and the world it is becoming.
  4. Emerging markets are where much of the growth in information management will occur in the next decade.
  5. Radical disruption and its impact on emerging markets is opening up a host of opportunities for new players.
  6. In order to capitalize on the opportunities arising in emerging markets, organization must look hard at their organizational structures and the information systems that support them – and that means content management

Download the full Tip Sheet for more information!

Download the Tipsheet!

 You might also be interested in this post:

Brexit, Presidential Campaign Follies, the Olympics and Disruption Déjà vu

 

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Topics: data, content management, analytics, emerging markets

7 Tips to Make Information Chaos Worse in Your Organization

Aug 16, 2016 8:42:29 AM by John Mancini

The possibilities for more information chaos surround us.  Content is proliferating at geometric rates, and organizations and the people who work in them are struggling with massive amounts of information overload.  The sheer volume of content and data entering our organizations is growing in complexity, volume, and variety.

That would all be complicated enough on its own.  But what are organizations doing – often with the best of intentions – to actually make things WORSE? 

Here are my top 7 tips to make things WORSE!  I've put together a free tip sheet with the details -- check it out, and feel free to spread it around if you choose -- just click the button.

How might you be creating MORE information chaos?  7 ways.

  1. Assume that your existing process platforms – like your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), Human Resource Information Systems or Accounts Payable system – can just handle everything.
  2. Assume your nephew can probably create the online forms you need because he is pretty good at technology.
  3. “Go paperless” by just using your copier to scan to a folder on a shared drive.
  4. Go cheap when it comes to getting outside expert help.
  5. Tackle ALL content and processes at once.
  6. Let IT handle this; business people don’t have time.
  7. Allow “the business” to buy lots and lots of unconnected single application SaaS solutions.

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In the Toronto, NY or DC metro areas?  We've got a process improvement seminar coming up in your neighborhood!  They're FREE.

Washington DC event -- October 4 at the National Press Club

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

New York event-- October 6 at the Manhattan Penthouse

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Toronto event -- October 13 at the Allstream Centre

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Topics: content management, document management, information chaos

Digital Disruption and the Structure of Emerging Markets

Aug 15, 2016 9:38:39 PM by John Mancini

Brexit, Presidential Campaign Follies, the Olympics and Disruption Déjà vu

I was in London during the Brexit debates and heard a lot of "interesting" things about trade during those debates.  Coming home, I and the rest of the world have obviously witnessed a lot of irrational pontifications in the context of our own presidential election about trade and jobs and disruption. 

Watching the Olympics opening ceremonies and the parade of nations got me thinking in particular about how all of this plays out in emerging markets. And in particular, it got me thinking about the critical role that information management and disruption plays in emerging markets in changing the game and bringing new customers and new competitors into the game.

Image source = http://www.indiaexpress.com

That led me back to James McQuivey’s Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation.  I’ve been a big fan of the book, and find myself coming back to the book again and again in the context of thinking about the future of information and content management.

For those unfamiliar with his core premise, McQuivey starts the book with a description of a 12-year old entrepreneurial mobile app developer named Thomas.  As he thinks about the kinds of technology resources available to Thomas versus those available during his own youth, he offers this conclusion:

“What tools does Thomas need to pursue his digitally disruptive goals? A computer? Check. An internet connection? Check. A programming language and SDK? Check. A friction-free digital platform for distributing and making money from his innovations? Check.”

As he thinks about this disruptive stew, he reaches two conclusions about “old” disruption (the kind that Clayton Christensen talks about so eloquently) and what is going on now.

“Under old disruption, only a very small number of innovative companies can amass the tremendous amount of capital necessary to develop and bring a small number of possible ideas to market. Capital is the first constraint. You can raise capital through bank loans or IPOs or private investment, but as long as you have to spend money to make money, the market can only fund so many innovations. The second constraint is information. Because only a few ideas will make it to capitalization, people keep ideas secret, floating only those ideas that have immediately obvious economic merit. And the only innovators who get funded are those who have access to holders of capital and are willing to jump through whatever hoops investors deem necessary to prove their ideas have merit.”

And he offers this prediction, which I think hits the nail squarely on the head in terms of the disruptive challenges facing companies, and the critical importance of information management in the disruptive times ahead:

“When companies adopt technology, they do old things in new ways. When companies internalize technology, the find entirely new— disruptive— things to do.”

That's exactly where we are right now, moving quickly past the surface level disruption of technologies as they play out in the consumer realm and get incorporatied into the very fabric of how business is done, creating radical disruption along the way.

All of this ultimately manifests itself in international trade, financial, and data flows and the impact these on the individual knowledge skills that workers need to have to survive and the organizational competencies in information management that companies and governments require to continue to be relevant and competitive. 

I came across a great McKinsey study on this, Digital globalization: The new era of global flows, and that led to this tip sheet, 6 Things You Need to Know About Emerging Markets and Information Management.

Check it out.

Download Your Free Tip Sheet!

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Topics: content management, enterprise content management, digital transformation,, digital disruption

8 Reminders About Why World Paper Free Day Matters

Aug 10, 2016 11:39:13 AM by John Mancini

Just a reminder, World Paper Free Day is November 4!  Just around the corner!  

Bookmark THIS LINK to stay informed about the latest plans.  There are a lot of exciting new things coming.

In the meantime, here's 8 paperfree nuggets to get the juices flowing.  You can get the full Executive Summary of last year's Paper-Free Industry Study HERE.

  1. Paper in the Office-only 17% of respondents work in what could be described as a paper-free office. 31% admit their office is piled high with paper documents and paper processes. 40% still use paper for filing “important stuff," and 56% are wed to signatures on paper for contracts and order forms.
  2. 20% report that their consumption of paper is increasing; but for 49% it is decreasing, including 11% where it is decreasing rapidly. This 2015 net of 29% compares with 23% net in 2014 and 3% net in 2011.
  3. 55% report that paper flowing through their processes is decreasing including 12% rapidly decreasing. With 20% increasing, this net of 35% compares with 21% in 2014 and 21% in 2011.
  4. The number of organizations actively looking at every process for paper elimination has grown from 9% in 2014 to 16% in 2015, including just 3% who feel they have reached the limit. 36% feel they are making good progress, with just 7% sticking with paper processes – down from 11% in 2014.
  5. Lack of management initiatives is given equal weight to staff preferences (49%) as the reason there is still so much paper around. 39% feel there is a general lack of understanding of paper-free options.
  6. 41% are using OCR in some form. 23% are capturing process data including 9% using intelligent/adaptive workflows. 16% are not using OCR, but workflow flat images, and 18% scan primarily for archive.
  7. The biggest driver for scanning and data capture is improved searchability and sharability (53%). Higher productivity, reduced storage space and faster response are all key drivers. 27% have an environmental policy to reduce paper usage.
  8. 40% of organizations report that more than half of their invoices are now delivered electronically - but 35% agree that most get printed anyway. 31% agree that most of the paper documents they retain are only there for the signatures, and that most of the documents they scan are unchanged from printer to scanner.

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I rather like this ebook -  "Going Paperless in 90 Days."  Check it out.

Download Your eBook

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In the Toronto, NY or DC metro areas?  We've got a process improvement seminar coming up in your neighborhood!  They're FREE.

Washington DC event -- October 4 at the National Press Club

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

New York event-- October 6 at the Manhattan Penthouse

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Toronto event -- October 13 at the Allstream Centre

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Topics: world paper free day, paperfree office, paperless processes, wpfd

Why Can't We Stop Talking About Technology?

Aug 9, 2016 8:56:36 AM by John Mancini

For many years, I’ve watched people in organizations that I KNOW could benefit from content technologies politely listen to sales presentations, nod their heads and then back away from a decision.

I find this “reluctance to commit” mysterious, because most of the people that I’ve spoken with who have automated a previously paper-driven process swear by the results and wouldn’t return to life pre-content management for anything.

I’m convinced that this “reluctance to commit” is due to the fact that many on the sell-side of our industry (including AIIM at times, I’ll confess!) can’t resist talking about technology. ECM! BPM! Taxonomies! Metadata! Capture!

So let’s forget about this “content management thing” for a moment and think about how bad, manual, and paper-clogged processes impact a few real people. I've put together a short tip sheet on the 5 Faces of Information Chaos.  It's just designed to spark some conversations among people who have never considered the potential impact of content technologies -- feel free to use however helpful.

Download the free Tip Sheet

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In the Toronto, NY or DC metro areas?  We've got a process improvement seminar coming up in your neighborhood!  They're FREE.

Washington DC event -- October 4 at the National Press Club

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

New York event-- October 6 at the Manhattan Penthouse

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Toronto event -- October 13 at the Allstream Centre

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Topics: content management, information chaos, infochaos

Big Data, Content Analytics, Information Capture and the Hype Curve

Aug 3, 2016 2:57:56 PM by John Mancini

Last year, Gartner created quite a stir by retiring the “Big Data” Hype Cycle from its popular “Hype” curve series (see Why Gartner Moved Big Data Off the Hype Curve).

Big Data, Content Analytics, Information Capture and the Hype Curve

According to Betsy Burton at Gartner, “We’ve retired the big data hype cycle. I know some clients may be really surprised by that because the big data hype cycle was a really important one for many years.  But what’s happening is that big data has quickly moved over the Peak of Inflated Expectations and has become prevalent in our lives across many hype cycles. So big data has become a part of many hype cycles.”  (See video from last year’s Gartner Hype Cycle announcement.)

This “mainstreaming”  is a precursor to a broader trend I’m seeing, which is the movement to Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence (see my post, Preparing for the Era of Intelligent Machines). Some of the research for that post got me thinking about other areas within the content space in which Analytics is increasingly an integral part of the value equation.  And how some of our old labels and terms in the content space, while still describing a totally valid value equation, are no longer sufficient to describe the new ways in which these technologies can be pushed into the future.

[Note:  In researching this post, I came across a 7 minute video from Tim Dubes from Ephesoft that raises some similar points -- you might like it.]

View the 7 minute video!

Take “capture” for example, a term that has been with us since before I came to AIIM (and that’s a hell of a long time). 

At first, we thought of “capture” as something we did exclusively to paper and with a scanner and with the end objective of creating digital images of the paper that existed in the physical world.

We moved from there to thinking about "information capture" – not just paper, and not just creating images, but automatically extracting information off images as data, and injecting this information as fuel for a business process.  We’ve replaced paper forms that we used to spend countless cycles digitizing with forms that are natively digital. And we’ve spent the past few years extending these information capture capabilities to mobile devices and pushing them closer and closer to the customer and to the point where information is created.

There is no shortage of business still in this business of “information” capture and process automation.  I am constantly amazed at how many green fields there are out there for this set of extended technologies.  Though it seems like we’ve been at this for years, many organizations have truly only begun this journey.  I get more questions that I would call “Capture 101” than ever before.  Even for those who have been in the process automation business for a long time, it’s a new game.  The entry of mobile and the cloud changes the fundamentals of “how” and “how expensive” for capture and opens up all sorts of new avenues for customer experience.

But there’s another huge opportunity for organizations out there, and what we’ve learned in the capture space is incredibly relevant for this opportunity.  And that is applying what we’ve learned to the task of understanding exactly what is in all of that dark (as well as big) data and content in our organization, extracting insight from that it, and putting those insights to work.  "Content analytics" is an example of Gartner’s “mainstreaming” of “big data.”

So I think there’s a “walk and chew gum” opportunity out there for both users and solution providers out there. 

On the one hand, we need to continue to search relentlessly for opportunities to automate and improve our business processes and customer interactions and make unstructured information truly useful by pushing the limits of information capture.

At the same time, we need to use what we’ve learned along the way to push our organizations to the next opportunity.  And that opportunity is to make unstructured information insightful through content analytics as well as useful. And thereby set the stage for the machine intelligence revolution that is coming.

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FYI, as I mentioned earlier, I liked the way Tim Dubes from Ephesoft talked about this topic at the Finovate Conference

Click on the image to view the 7 minute video.

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In the Toronto, NY or DC metro areas?  We've got a process improvement seminar coming up in your neighborhood!  They're FREE.

Washington DC event -- October 4 at the National Press Club

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

New York event-- October 6 at the Manhattan Penthouse

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Toronto event -- October 13 at the Allstream Centre

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

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Topics: content analytics, mobile capture, big content, big data, capture

This Just In -- Charles Dickens (Really?) and 7 Key Data Points About SharePoint

Aug 2, 2016 9:50:32 AM by John Mancini

 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”  (A Tale of Two Cities)

As I read through the results of our latest SharePoint survey, a kind of Dickensian déjà vu washes over me relative to surveys of past years.

Yes, SharePoint is ubiquitous in most large scale enterprises.  Yes, those pesky users, frustrated by usability and mobility issues, are still end-running the IT uber-lords and using consumer technologies to get their jobs done.  Yes, SharePoint sophistication varies widely, ranging from those still using it only for basic project file sharing (really? why would you do this?) to those running complicated and mission critical workflows upon it. Yes, folks are far too often still faking it when it comes to actually operationalizing those elegant governance policies in their SharePoint environment. And yes, enterprises at scale typically lag at least one – and often more than one – version behind the latest version.

It seems like I’ve written this post before.  I can anticipate the comments.

"AIIM, you aren’t critical enough about SharePoint!"

"AIIM, you are too critical about SharePoint!"

"We can’t wait to port everything to the cloud!"

"We can’t let anything go to cloud!"

"We love SharePoint!"

"We hate SharePoint!"

Oh, and BTW the comment from most organizations at scale, "We’re still committed to it."

I think this kind of bipolarity is what one should expect when you ask questions about a platform.  As I’ve said many times before, SharePoint has said from the start that it was a platform, not an application.  But far too often, when IT folks over the years said “platform, platform, platform” with regards to SharePoint, many of us on the business side heard “application, application, application.”

A couple of points to consider about platforms.

  1. Satisfaction with platforms depend a lot on what and how people build upon the platform. 
  2. Platforms are only optimized when organizations have the internal resources to support the platform and understand how to do so. 
  3. Platforms are optimized when the business realizes that purchasing the platform is just the beginning.  Third-party add-ons and expertise are critical to maximizing value.
  4. There is a significant knowledge gap at the enterprise level between usage of SharePoint (see below -- for 28%, it's their only or main ECM system) and understanding of where the platform is going (only 23% understand what SharePoint 2016 offers). This gap is a recipe for an unsatisfying project experience.

So check out all of the details in our new Industry Watch survey.  There’s some great stuff it in. 

Here are just 7 of my favorite data points:

  1. SharePoint is the only or main ECM/DM system for 28% of organizations. Thirteen percent see SharePoint as important for their overall ECM/DM environment.
  2. Eleven percent of organizations have reached a plateau in terms of SharePoint adoption. 22% say their SharePoint adoption is facing challenges from the user community.
  3. More than a quarter of respondents say they are still using SharePoint 2010 with 41% citing they are using SharePoint 2013 as their live primary version. At this time, only 2% say they are live with SharePoint 2016 and 19% with SharePoint Office 365.
  4. When it comes to the enhancements found in SharePoint 2016, 43% say they are somewhat aware of what SharePoint 2016 offers, while 29% indicate they have no awareness at all.
  5. Only 23% of respondents indicate they understand what SharePoint 2016 offers.
  6. Forty percent of organizations say their SharePoint implementation was not a success.  Inadequate user training (67%), hard to use (65%), and lack of senior management support (64%) are cited as reasons for SharePoint projects stalling or failing. 
  7. When looking at SharePoint as an ECM/DM solution, 43% prefer using their file-share application for everyday content. Looking at SharePoint from a process and enterprise connectivity perspective, 72% of organizations show no support for mobile device use.

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Topics: content management, ecm, sharepoint, business process

Preparing for the Era of Intelligent Machines

Jul 25, 2016 4:46:11 PM by John Mancini

Preparing for the Era of Intelligent Machines

As many of you know, I’ve been spending time thinking about the evolution of the “content” space, and its roots in the intersection of the triad of people, processes, and technology.  I’m starting to think that there maybe is a 4th player in this intersection – Machines – but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.  More about that later.

As I think back to my early years at AIIM, I entered the organization during the era of Document Management and Workflow, with the following “people, process and technology” characteristics.

Somewhere around the turn of the century, the industry pivoted into the Enterprise Content Management era, changing our “people, process, and technology” triad:

And most recently, we’ve moved into the Mobile and Cloud era, once again changing our triad.

 So before moving on to what comes next, a couple of observations about these three eras:

  1. Technologies exist in beta long before large companies put them into practice. This means that even though it seems we have no idea what will come next, we really do given the lag between consumer technologies and large-scale enterprise adoption.  That’s a good thing, because if we want to understand what’s coming, all we really need to do is look around.

Future of an Information Professional

  1. Successive eras don’t replace what came before – they are stacked on top of what came previously. This is not such a good thing, although it is a pretty good rationale for having some Information Professionals in your organization.  Check out our new white paper (free), Information Professionals: Where We Came From and Where We’re Going.
  1. These – and successive eras – are coming at organizations faster and faster. This is a recipe for information chaos in most organizations as they struggle with not only keeping the lights on, but anticipating and preparing for what comes next.

Combining the three layers of content capabilities – 1) Document Management and Workflow; 2) Enterprise Content Management; and 3) Mobile and Cloud – to create new and rich customer experiences that allow you to get ahead of the Digital Transformation curve is the current strategic imperative for the C-suite.  And this is no mean feat.

But looking a bit ahead, I find myself thinking about another huge coming change. Going back to my point 1 above -- Technologies exist in beta long before large companies put them into practice – maybe if we look around a bit in the broader technology space, maybe we can get a glimpse into the next wave.  And in thinking about this, I’m pretty convinced that in the next wave, we’re going to need to add a fourth party to our triad – Machines.

Ever since I read some of the work of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee about the impact of Moore’s Law in the second half of the technology chessboard (check out Race Against the Machine if you don’t know what I’m talking about), I’ve been fascinated with the question of what happens when tasks that were previously beyond the reach of computers suddenly become feasible. What happens when we get to the second half of the chessboard?

In preparing for some recent meetings with the folks at Adlib Software and Precision Content, I came across this presentation by Frank Chen from Andreessen Horowitz on AI, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning: A PrimerIt’s well worth a look; the 45 minutes goes by quickly.  He talks about radical advances in machine intelligence like a computer that can play a 19 x 19 version of the game of GO, a game with a google times more potential moves than chess.  And a fellow who invented a working driverless car in his garage

Frank talks about six dimensions of machine intelligence that are in the process of radical innovation and disruption, the likes of which we've never seen before.

  • Reasoning
  • Planning and navigation
  • Natural language processing
  • Knowledge representation
  • Perception
  • Generalized intelligence

Which gets me back to content and information management.  As I said, combining the three layers of content capabilities – 1) Document Management and Workflow; 2) Enterprise Content Management; and 3) Mobile and Cloud – to create new and rich customer experiences that allow you to get ahead of the Digital Transformation curve is the current strategic imperative for the C-suite. 

Organizations have a critical and immediate need to organize all the “stuff” from the document, web, and mobile/cloud era, automate as much of this task as possible, extract as much value from it as possible, and utilize this “stuff” to create customer experiences.

But just beyond this immediate challenge lies another one – and an enormous opportunity.  And one that I think takes a lot of the generic and hype-driven conversation about "big data" and "analytics" -- which frankly always seems like a bit of a stretch for content-y people -- and brings information, how it is managed and organization, and the people who know how to do this -- squarely into the central challenge that lies ahead.

In the era of machine processing that is coming, what would it mean to be able to express your business value in ones and zeros?  

It means content and information, a lot of it, organized in ways we have never done before.

It means how content is created NOW will have a direct bearing on how “machine processable” it ultimately will be in the future. 

Is anyone in your organization thinking about how you will approach this task?

More to come on this...What are your thoughts?

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If this conversation piques your interest, you might be interested in two content resources:

A tip sheet by me -- 3 questions to ask about content creation

Get your free tipsheet!

A white paper underwritten by Precision Content -- Innovating Content Creation and Reuse

Download Now

 

 
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