How I Learned to Love the Robot: Getting Started with Document Automation
Thomas LaMonte

By: Thomas LaMonte on June 2nd, 2017

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How I Learned to Love the Robot: Getting Started with Document Automation


Management had a chat and the robots start next week: Do you…

  1. Fortify the office to defend against the Robot Uprising–You won’t go down without a fight, right?
  2. Repress your inner cave-dweller, and find a way to leverage this new tool to more effectively manage digital documents throughout their lifecycle and delegate manual tasks?

If you chose A: Best of luck!

If you chose B: You are lightyears ahead of the people choosing A— feel good about that. You are also absolutely right:

The future is robots, artificial intelligence, and automation, namely critical enterprise documents and document fueled processes. Document automation is a very effective tool to streamline document production, establish efficient workflows, and gain visibility into document output to ensure the right information is surfaced intelligently to when and where it is needed.

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Despite the clear benefits of document automation technologies, uptake is slow, and as reported in recent AIIM research, though 61% of polled organizations plan to buy an automation solution in the next 5+ years, only 10% plan to buy within the next 6-12 months. The reality is that document automation sits firmly on the horizon of company agendas, and in some cases, remains in the realm of science fiction for a number of organizations reliant on paper-based, manual document authoring and output. Adding to this, strained IT budgets and bandwidth restrict possibilities, but the biggest deterrent is uncertainty. Uncertainties in cost, an unknown learning curve, and untested ROI prevent organizations from moving forward with their document automation projects. And yet, we all need to stop worrying and learn to love the robot.

We Need Documents that Move

Documents aren’t slowing down. The volume of content is exploding, and documents bombard us from many sources such as data silos or customer systems that lack integration. There is a competitive need to go beyond information management at the speed of paper to automate document capture, creation, collaboration, and communication.

Document Automation is Not a Language of 1s and 0s

As the world continues to grow smarter and become more automated many organizations shy away from the perceived complexity and fall behind—but it’s only a matter of knowing where to begin. AIIM recently hosted a webinar where we discussed the low hanging fruit of document automation and places to get started. You can view it here:

In this webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Obtain greater visibility and control over your critical documents
  • Grant anywhere, anytime document access to support professionals to work how they live
  • Uncover data trends to help drive decisions and actions
  • Integrate data silos—what to do when digital documents can’t be interpreted across systems without manual re-entry


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About Thomas LaMonte

Thomas LaMonte is an AIIM Market Intelligence Analyst well versed and credentialed in the fields of ECM, ERM, and BPM with a heightened focus on solving the operational problems of today’s businesses.