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Digital Landfill, blog by AIIM President John Mancini

Paperless Dilemma No. 5 -- Perplexing Processes

Posted by John Mancini

Nov 17, 2014 10:53:00 AM

The fifth in my series of six issues relative to getting rid of paper focuses on what I call Perplexing Processes. See also…

  1. Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence
  2. Paperless Dilemma No. 2 – Legal Limbo
  3. Paperless Dilemma No. 3 – Input Irregularity
  4. Paperless Dilemma No. 4 – Cloud Craziness

Someone once told me there are 2 things a person should never see made – 1) sausage; and 2) legislation. I would add a third – changing processes.

[We're doing a webinar on all of this on December 10 -- Free -- details HERE.]

AIIM data suggests there is still a lot paper related challenge out there -- and lots of untapped process improvement opportunity. When asked, “Would you say that the amount of paper flowing through your business processes is increasing or decreasing?” there is an upside that 46% saying the amount of paper is decreasing. But for over 50% of organizations there is a lot of work to do – 28% say the amount of paper in processes is “stable,” despite all of the technology we have deployed and another 25% the amount of paper is “increasing” or “increasing rapidly.”

So what should we do about all of this?  What lessons can we learn from those who have “been there, done that?” The data from our recent Paper Wars survey suggests some basics:  1) capture as early as possible; 2) make sure you get senior staff buy-in and like any project, do not neglect the change management implications; and 3) don’t repave the cow path – use this as an opportunity to rethink processes from scratch.

Download new AIIM Research

A recent keynote that I did on the “Six Paperless Dilemmas” can be found HERE.  

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Paperless Dilemma No. 4 -- Cloud Craziness

Posted by John Mancini

Nov 13, 2014 11:12:00 AM

The fourth in my series of six issues relative to getting rid of paper focuses on what I call Cloud Craziness. See also…

  1. Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence
  2. Paperless Dilemma No. 2 – Legal Limbo
  3. Paperless Dilemma No. 3 – Input Irregularity

As many readers know, I usually view cloud and mobile as the twin steroids of business disruption, so let me start with mobile and then shift to the cloud.

[We're doing a webinar on all of this on December 10 -- Free -- details HERE.]

I believe one key thing in understand the impact of mobile is to think of mobile not as just a phone, but rather as mobility, and to think about the long term shift from centralized to decentralized computing.  I really like this chart from my friend George Parapadakis from IBM. I think it places mobility to the broader context of enterprise computing, views mobility through the prism of device, connectivity, the user, and the interface, and concisely tells the story of where we are.

mobile and cloud

So given that base, where are we currently with the other steroid, cloud?  The data from our recent Paper Wars survey reaches the conclusion that for 2/3 of organizations, cloud capture is still a pretty hazy thing – they are either still setting cloud strategies or have reached the conclusion that they will not be pursuing them. 

cloud capture strategies

 

A recent keynote that I did on the “Six Paperless Dilemmas” can be found HERE.  

 

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Paperless Dilemma No. 3 -- Input Irregularity

Posted by John Mancini

Nov 11, 2014 12:40:00 PM

The third in my series of six issues relative to getting rid of paper focuses on what I call Input Irregularity. See also…

  1. Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence
  2. Paperless Dilemma No. 2 – Legal Limbo

The issue of “Input Irregularity” has plagued organizations for years – How do I make sense of all the different forms of customer communication bombarding my organization?

However, in the era of Information Chaos, it’s getting a lot worse.  This is no longer a question of paper and phone and email, but also tweets and Facebook posts and LinkedIn comments and Yelp comments and on and on and on.

[We're doing a webinar on all of this on December 10 -- Free -- details HERE.]

Whenever I go on what my wife calls one of my “Angry Old Man with Social Clout” tirades (the latest centers are a godawful customer service experience with http://www.cheapestgmparts.com - I know, what did I expect from the name?), I usually get the same experience – and that’s from the companies that are GOOD at social listening. Usually, someone responds fairly quickly to a negative tweet; that’s good.  But then, it is almost comical how you need to totally recreate the experience you have had, in all of its Input Irregularity madness, because the backend systems simply do not manage all of the various points of customer communication in a coherent way.

A lot of the problem centers around a failure to put coherent capture strategies in place.  In most places, input adhocracy reigns supreme.  It all starts at the earliest stage where information touches the organization.  Almost two-thirds of organizations (64%) that do scanning and capture have only the most rudimentary of implementations – they do either ad hoc scanning or only after a process is completed.  This is ironic because the true ROI of capture comes in direct proportion to how hard you push the technology.

A look at the inputs associated with a process with a long history of automation and extremely high ROI – invoice processing – reveals the Input Irregularity mess that is characteristic of most organizations. For 49% or organizations, half or more of their invoices arrive electronically – for 30%, it’s three-quarters. So what do organizations do with these electronic inputs?  Yes, you guessed it.  59% percent of organizations wind up printing out the invoice at some stage of the process; only 8% or organizations pass the electronic invoice directly along to a capture system.

Input Irregularity – Paper Dilemma No. 3. What are you doing about it?

A recent keynote that I did on the “Six Paperless Dilemmas” can be found HERE.  

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Paperless Dilemma No. 2 -- Legal Limbo

Posted by John Mancini

Nov 10, 2014 9:12:00 AM

The second in my series of six issues relative to getting rid of paper focuses on what I call Legal Limbo. See also…

  1. Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence

One of the things that surprises me a good deal in doing seminars around the country on content management is that many people still do not quite understand that in most instances, scanned documents are legal replacements for paper.  We have had the E-Signature Act for probably 10 years now and yet printing paper in order to assign signatures is still a very common practice.

[We're doing a webinar on all of this on December 10 -- Free -- details HERE.]

I think we need to do a better job of convincing the skeptics -- especially in finance and administration -- that getting rid of paper need not oppose legal challenges.  When we ask the question “Which departments in your organization would you say are the most resistant to the introduction of paper free working?” The results are pretty predictable. Legal is at the top of the list among 37% of the organizations surveyed, followed by finance with 33%, and HR with 21%.

 Another data point in the “Legal Limbo Sweepstakes” relates to what happens to documents after they are scanned. In our recent paper wars survey, for 61% of organizations, half or more of scanned documents are not destroyed after scanning.  Pretty astounding considering that we have been doing this for twenty plus years

I am reminded of a visit recently to a service company that was scanning hundreds of thousands of documents for customer. All of the paper files were coming in on pallets through the back door, being scanned, and then loaded back on the pallets and shipped right back to off-site storage. Clearly there is some education needed in this process.

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A recent keynote that I did on the “Six Paperless Dilemmas” can be found HERE.  

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Paperless Dilemma No. 1 – Paper Persistence

Posted by John Mancini

Nov 7, 2014 5:00:00 AM

Note:  Don’t forget to get a copy of our new Industry Research report (free) -- Paper Wars: An Update from the Battlefield.

One would think after 20 years of talking about paperless offices that we would have made more progress than we have. The truth of the matter is that while paper consumption -- and paper infused processes -- are decreasing, the rate of decline is still somewhat slow. Here is a rather telling question that we asked in our most recent paper wars survey.

Would you say that the consumption of paper and/or number of photocopies in your organisation is….

For 56%, it's increasing or staying the same, and it's only decreasing for 44%.

 

So why is that? Why haven’t we been able to move more quickly the looking to the limit eating the presence of paper in our business process?

I think the answer wise first and foremost with management commitment.   When we asked organizations whether they had a specific policy or maxim to drive paper out of the business, only 35% indicated the presence of such a management directive. I think we can add to this a number of additional reasons. Many people still think that they need physical signatures on paper, and this is a major driver to print things out of digital systems and into analog  form. There is also the change management issue – for longer documents many staff still prefer paper as a means to read or handle longer documents.  And lastly, and this perhaps is where AIIM should do more basic education, there is simply a lack of understanding of what the options are.

For more information on this, don’t forget to get a copy of our new Industry Research report (free) -- Paper Wars:  An Update from the Battlefield.

We'll be doing a webinar on this research next month -- Register today to save a seat...

 

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How can I get paper out of my business processes?

Posted by John Mancini

Nov 6, 2014 8:21:16 PM

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Zombie Paper -- The Walking Dead

Posted by John Mancini

Nov 6, 2014 12:30:00 AM

I was looking through the initial results of our new Paper Wars:  An Update from the Battlefield report, and the following data point caught my eye:

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Just a few more days until World Paper Free Day

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 29, 2014 2:33:00 PM

Have you gotten your "Paper Free" badge yet?  What are you waiting for?  World Paper Free Day is next week -- TAKE THE PLEDGE.

Or if you’re not quite ready to take the pledge, do one of the following…

Just “like” the World Paper Free Day page on Facebook and show your support.

Or follow World Paper Free Day on Twitter.

Or check out our cool YouTube videos on the World Paper Free Day You Tube channel.

Check these videos out...

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Watson and Professional Associations

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 29, 2014 1:28:00 PM

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently out at IBM Insight, and thought I would share some impressions of the event (see ECM – Rodney Dangerfield or “Intel Inside”?).

As an association guy, the Cognitive Computing/Watson keynote session caught my attention.  Watson is now focusing on professions with a deep technical knowledge base and terminologies and technologies particular to that profession – a use case of particular interest to associations.  Watson “has been learning the language of professions with the objective of democratizing information discovery and putting information in the hands of anyone who wants to use it.”

For those unfamiliar with Watson, it achieved its greatest fame during the competition with Ken Jennings and other human opponents on Jeopardy.  What makes Watson cognitive? Three things: 1) it operates in natural language; 2) it makes evidence based recommendations; 3) it is not bound by volume, memory or format.

One profession-focused use case discussed focused on oncology. “Watson Oncology is a cognitive computing system designed to support the broader oncology community of physicians as they consider treatment options with their patients. Memorial Sloan Kettering clinicians and analysts are partnering with IBM to train Watson Oncology to interpret cancer patients’ clinical information and identify individualized, evidence-based treatment options that leverage our specialists’ decades of experience and research.”

This whole concept is a revolutionary one for professional associations to think about.  Those of us in the association space have built our business models around being the trusted curator and validator of a body of knowledge linked to our particular profession. We continue to build much of this body of knowledge around manual processes and "association-ish" approaches that often haven't changed in decades. 

This whole model is about to be disrupted. What does it mean to be the curator of rich technical expertise in an era of exploding volumes of information? What does it mean to be the information gatekeeper in a profession when so much new information is being developed beyond our control or beyond our traditional geographic reach or even beyond our awareness?

What is the role of cognitive computing for associations and professions in helping sustain our competency in an era of information abundance and chaos?

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#ECM – Rodney Dangerfield or "Intel Inside"?

Posted by John Mancini

Oct 28, 2014 6:11:00 PM

I am currently out at IBM Insight, and over the next few days I thought I would share some impressions of the event. From Day 1, and in no particular order…

As always, this event is an awesome display of the power of branding.  IBM just gets this and does a really good job of it.

It might come as a surprise to many of my generation who remember IBM execs as the ones who could wear any shirt they wanted to work as long as it was white, but IBM does an exceptional job at the social media side of event management. This is definitely a “connected” event and the volume and speed of new tweets (hashtag for the event is #ibminsight) during any of the keynote events is pretty overwhelming. They also have some fun with running their analytics platform against the social engagement of attendees.

I will admit that the overall theming of the event – “The Conference for Big Data and Analytics” – had me wishing for at least a mention of “information” or “content” in the title.  In some ways, our industry is like the Rodney Dangerfield of the IT space.  I suppose it is the curse of ECM to ultimately be critical to everything, yet simultaneously somewhat invisible if actually done properly. Perhaps we need a campaign like the “Intel Inside” or that BASF “We Make Everything Better” campaign for ECM.

This event is structured around hundreds of smaller educational sessions (120 for ECM alone) sandwiched around morning General Sessions and technology specific keynotes during the day (Business Leadership and Industry, Information Management, Enterprise Content Management, Business Analytics, Watson and Cognitive Computing, Security, Infrastructure Matters, and Mobile/Social Engagement).  Per my comment about “Intel Inside,” ECM is “inside” just about all of them.

I give props to the IBM ECM crew for their keynote and telling the ECM story in a way that connected together, was compelling, and even funny at times.  The bumper on ECM at the beginning (this won’t do it justice, the visuals were very good and actually got you excited about ECM) went like this…

“Enterprise content management puts content to work. Beyond capturing and sharing, it's responsive, immediate, and actionable. A unified customer experience delivering the right content to the right people where and when they need it. Putting context around content, empowering every employee so organizations can make smarter decisions, realize new value, and deliver better customer service. Smarter content is transforming business around the world, right now.”

 

Now I know some will say, what’s so great about that? But for the ECM industry -- our elevator speeches seem to usually require a 400-story elevator – I thought it very succinct and punchy.

They also had a bit of fun with my Information Chaos theme under the phrase “Age of Distraction.”  Take a look at part of Doug Hunt’s keynote that I captured - I hope the IBM folks don't mind...

http://www.screencast.com/t/ig0FHsTZcc9i

IBM sees three major sources of disruption in which how you manage content can be either constructive or disabling: 1) data; 2) cloud; and 3) engagement.

The key concept relative to data is to adopt tools that allow you to view it with discernment – the ability to determine what is important and what is not and the ability to draw conclusions from data. Cloud technologies are enabling, but “without structure it is just another shared drive.”  The take here, differentiating from consumer sync and share, is that “this is business content, and with 62% more security breaches this year than last year, you just can’t take it lightly.”  Lastly, you position your organization to win when you engage with content in a way that allows for “inner focus” (relevance to the business), “other focus” (relevance to the customer) and “outer focus” (leading to an understanding of the market).

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Note:  Kevin Spacey and Captain Phillips are keynotes on Wednesday.  I remember one evening at the beach with my sons last fall in which we drove my wife nuts by spending the entire evening speaking in a Francis Underwood voice (“Claire! Claire!”). I am hoping to reenact if I get to meet Kevin Spacey. 

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About Digital Landfill

#InformationChaos -- The game has changed.  

Information is the world’s new currency.

Read just about any business publication and you will quickly conclude that how an organization manages its information assets is now just as fundamental a source of competitive differentiation as how it manages its physical assets, its human assets, and its financial assets. Amidst all of this opportunity, organizations are drowning in a sea of content and information. #InformationChaos reigns supreme.

That's the focus of this blog -- and for that matter, of AIIM.  As the President of AIIM, my goal is to help you and your organization survive and thrive in the era of #InformationChaos.  If I can help, contact me at johnmancini@aiim.org.

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