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Infographic: Smash Silos by Integrating Process and Content

Date: August 6, 2018
Author: Anthony Jones
Category:Digital Transformation

What if we told you there’s a way to make your content more useful? What if that approach could make your business run more efficiently? What if it could improve everything from staff on-boarding to customer experience?

Merging process and content can transform your organization. We’ve put together a simple infographic to show you how it works. You can download the process and content infographic here or visit the IT Strategist's Guide to Transforming ECM for more advice on effectively integrating process and content.

process and content infographic

Process and content work together

content and process infographic

Imagine a typical document in your business. Let’s say you’re an insurance company and the document is a claim form filled in by a customer. That form doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It has to be shared with everyone from loss adjusters to external contractors. It has to be managed to protect confidential customer data. Basically, that piece of content is part of a process.

But just being a part of a process isn’t enough. If you can truly integrate that content into your processes, there are a huge range of benefits, from compliance to customer experience. You can learn more about these benefits by pursuing a platform approach.

Advantages of digitization

process and content infographic

In most companies, there are business processes that could be improved by digitization and automation. Case management is one area that could see some obvious benefits.

Process and content in case management

process and content infographic

Better integration of process and content can help any case management scenario move along more efficiently.

“Case management is a natural transition from a lot of the traditional, manual processes that have always been done in sectors like financial services. Now we’re trying to automate it.” -John Newton

Take employee onboarding for example. Here are just a few of the things you’ll need to set up when someone joins the company:

  • Access to key documents and training materials
  • Restriction from confidential information
  • Ability to create and share necessary content like introductory forms
  • A system for line managers to review progress

Any one of these steps would benefit from tight integration between business process and content services.

But what if the process is too complicated, or isn’t part of people’s normal workflow?

process and content infographic

Let’s continue with the employee on-boarding example. Your new team member finishes watching a training video. What happens next? It could go one of two ways:

  1. The ideal situation is an automated suggestion of the next step, say another training asset they need to complete.
  2. But the more likely situation is that they’ll need to trawl through an unfamiliar system to find that asset themselves.

If your business runs on manual processes or hidden content, users will give up. They’ll find a workaround for their content – probably one that gives you a massive headache.

“[Lack of integration] often has to do with organizational structure. One person is responsible for the process and another person in a completely different department is responsible for the content. They should be talking to each other.” -John Newton

Information silos are common in most businesses. Systems get purchased at different times by different people. Departments get reshuffled. That last person in your job didn’t know what they were doing… whatever the cause, there’s probably at least one major hurdle in your business processes that’s stopping a more seamless flow of content.

Achieving your digital transformation goals

Process&Content__Section6

A seamless flow of content is the means to your digital transformation goals. Integrated process and content helps your staff, partners, and customers interact better than ever.

“…but there’s more than that. By integrating process and content, we can also gain improved insights into our business and even create new business models that were just not possible before.” - Sandy Kemsley

So finally, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to reach process and content nirvana.

Initial steps in your process and content integration journey

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  1. Content can nearly always work harder and smarter. Metadata and artificial intelligence (AI) can help you get that content to the right person at the right time. Smart context can drive your business processes much more efficiently than more traditional systems could manage.
  2. But no matter how smart your content is, there’s always a human element to streamlining. Perhaps the most important task ahead is getting enterprise content management (ECM) and business process management (BPM) teams working together more. Taking a platform centric approach to combine these two elements is recommended so process and content are always interlinked.
  3. Building your business process and content solutions on a modern architecture that puts the user first is also important. Choosing the right environment such as the Alfresco Development Framework will allow you to take advantage of features that easily integrate with your existing applications, are built-to-fit for your business, and allow you to leverage the latest cloud innovations.
  4. And last, but not least, respect your content. Sure, your line of business app might be the most talked about thing since YouTube, but most of your business processes still depend on content. Treat it right!

Looking ahead

You may still be in the early stages of your business process and content integration journey, but you’ve started at a great time for the industry.

Intelligent systems are driving BPM. Blockchain might be an overused buzzword but it could be really useful for things like verifying changes to external documents like contracts. And machine learning and AI are already helping applications automatically classify content.

“When talking about process and content integration, I think that AI will make a bigger impact than blockchain.” -John Newton

So now’s the time to get going with your project. As a first step, we encourage you to explore our IT Strategist’s Guide to Transforming ECM as well as to download the full process and content infographic.

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