Capture and recognition technologies are becoming all pervasive and ubiquitous as private and governmental organizations worldwide move gradually towards a paperless workplace. This progression began with optical character recognition, or OCR, which is a technology that enables you to convert scanned images of text to electronic text so that the digitized data can be stored, searched, indexed and retrieved. Today, digital transformation is not just about the digitization of analog, often paper-based processes. It has evolved as a novel approach to business, of working with customers and the provision of completely new types of services.
In the beginning was the Word
Digitizing physical documents greatly improves access to their content and help individuals and organizations to preserve, protect, or share crucial information internally and externally. Another key advantage of converting paper-based content into digital is that it makes information searchable. Whether digitization is done using old flatbed scanners, mobile phone cameras or the more sophisticated technology like FlexiCapture, the ultimate goal of these technologies is to enable organizations to deliver relevant content to users where and when they need it. IDC data shows that “the knowledge worker spends about 2.5 hours per day, or roughly 30% of the workday, searching for information.
In general, these technologies help to solve many time-consuming tasks related to documents and work with various data sources. Company executives agree that good access to information is the basis for improved decision-making, saves time and frustration, and leads to less duplication of effort within the enterprise. They have time to attract more customers, increase revenue and reduce costs – in short, with the help of these technologies, they can gain a competitive advantage over their competitors.
What to keep in mind on your digital transformation journey
- Proactive agility among employees: In large organizations, digital disruption is often seen as a threat by employees long used to calm, stable working environment. When you have a huge company with established business processes, it is very difficult to turn this flywheel since not many employees are ready for constant changes. This becomes more complicated when there are thousands of workers to motivate to accept change.
- Slow decision making in large companies: Cutting through the clutter is particularly challenging in large companies. A multi-tiered management structure means more approval layers and slower response time. Changing the business processes in a structure with multiple levels of management will inevitably trigger a broken telephone effect, with dire consequences for the digital transformation process.
- Digital transformation is a process not an event. It is not enough to simply implement a new IT-system and sit back and relax. Once you decide to digitally transform your business, you must have a strategy of continuous improvement. You will need to learn what tools, processes, platforms and approaches you can take to engage your existing customers and onboard new ones.
As technology progresses, new applications are developed that take document capture to new levels that were once unfeasible. The need for high-speed information processing have led to the development of intelligent character recognition (ICR) solutions like FlexiCapture. Big data engendered the need for AI-powered solutions like robotic process automation (RPA) and content intelligence (CI). While these technologies will not necessarily make papers disappear completely from our offices, they do promise to remove many mundane, routine tasks from our workplace forever.
By Dmitry Shushkin, CEO ABBYY Russia