Document Management Technology: The Latest Advancements and Trends

Bill Dermody
Author: Bill Dermody Date: 11/27/2018

We get it. Document Management software is not sexy. Hyping the latest innovations in document management technology is like getting excited about the Dewey Decimal system.

The fact is that document management software is an important tool, but one that many organizations treat like a place to dump all their document data that isn’t needed immediately. Unfortunately, once you do need to find an essential piece of information or want to make your old data into a useful, actionable report, many document management systems fail to deliver because they’ve been neglected or ignored.

We want more companies to get excited about their document management system. A modern document management tool (also called Electronic Content Management system or ECM) can automate your business, organize your data, uncover new insights and save your organization a lot of money. And, despite the boring reputation, your document management system can deliver some incredible innovations, including artificial intelligence and robotic automation.   

Don’t believe us? Read on.

Smarter Automation 

One of the hottest new buzzwords in document management is robotic process automation. Often shortened to RPA, this is the use of specialized computer programs known as software robots which automate and standardize repeatable business processes.  

This sounds impossibly futuristic, but all it means is that the application tracks and learns how to perform tasks by watching how humans work. The system tracks the keystrokes a person makes and the robots mimic human activities. The system intelligently learns and can gradually take over the repetitive and boring tasks humans don’t need to do.

AI in ECM is A-OK

Many large corporations employ data scientists, data miners and business intelligence architects to design more intelligent ways to mine data for information. Thanks to new artificial intelligence (AI) tools being built into document management systems, smaller businesses can get the same kind of business intelligence support, without paying the salaries of highly educated professionals.

For example, the Gordon Flesch Company has partnered with IBM to apply cognitive analytics and natural language understanding to document stores. Most ECM systems are limited to basic search functions with neither cognitive or predictive capabilities. By using the power of Watson Discovery, our AskGordy app empowers the user to apply cognitive insights that will deliver the most relevant, useful and powerful information.

Natural language and intention-based queries can unleash the dark and otherwise inaccessible information within the document management system. Now you can improve your decision-making abilities and optimize all your business processes by applying techniques such as Machine learning (ML), Predictive Analysis (PA) and Data Visualization.

Go Live on a Cloud

One of the challenges of many document management systems is that, if left unchecked, the volumes of data stored in them can become expensive and unmanageable. Fortunately, most vendors today offer a low-cost cloud infrastructure, and many organizations are realizing the benefits of moving to the cloud. 

When you combine the cloud with a browser-based interface, you get document management software that consistently offers not only tremendous cost advantages, but virtually unlimited processing power to crunch numbers and turn that data into useful business intelligence. Some providers offer both cloud and in-house systems, which may be helpful for organizations that require a hybrid solution due to compliance and confidentiality requirements.

Indexing it All in Record Time

When you capture documents and bring them into your document management solution, the database must be able to ingest and digest all kinds of different document types into a central repository — scanned paper documents, emails and electronic files. To access and retrieve this content, it must be indexed.

In the old world, data entry teams had to manually index information by keying in data for different fields when uploading a document. The good news is that modern automatic indexing makes it easy to store and archive documents as they’re captured, and intelligent indexing technology uses machine learning to identify the most relevant index entries based on a user’s previous actions. Such a system learns as it goes and become increasingly accurate with each new document added, constantly improving system performance.

Document Management is Getting Exciting

I hope it is obvious that document management systems are not dull. In fact, because they can capture data faster, learn how to automate tasks and even turn your document stores into usable information, they make your life easier and more exciting. And if you can adopt a cloud solution or use AI to make your document stores more useful, it can make you more cost effective, efficient and profitable.

The fact is that Document Management and Electronic Content Management is increasingly vital for organizations of all sizes. Investment is growing exponentially, with total investment of $66.27 Billion USD by 2021. (That does not count the costs sunk into existing older document storage and management systems.) 

Gartner released its Magic Quadrant report on the state of the Content Management industry. In it they determined that in 2018:

  • 50% of enterprises will manage their content using a hybrid content architecture.
  • More than 20% of ECM solution sales will address multi-organization "ecosystem" content.
  • Enterprise file synchronization and sharing will be a standard capability of ECM and collaboration offerings.
  • At least 50% of the leading ECM vendors will re-architect their offerings into cloud-based platforms.

In other words, if you’re not investing in document management or ECM, you are missing out. To learn more about the functionality of today’s ECM tool, check out our infographic below. Then, find out more about how these technologies can help your business. Reach out to our ECM team at the Gordon Flesch Company today.

The benefits of ECM for business infographic

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Written by Bill Dermody

Bill joined the Gordon Flesch Company in 2016 as an Enterprise Content Management Consultant. Along with a strong sales and marketing background, Bill has over 20 years experience in the technology industry.

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