Digital transformation initiatives are top of mind as organizations around the world are turning to unlock their trapped data with smart content capture solutions to leverage their value. We’ll begin by diving into what is digital transformation, how we derive value from data and why this is a necessity for companies to improve efficiency, build customer value, manage risk and uncover new opportunities.

Digital transformation is the organizational topic of the day with serious buzz about the term and its implications for companies today. But when it comes to an overall strategy and defining goals there is major confusion abound. Why?

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is one of the most overused terms in the tech industry today. Just do a search for “digital transformation” on Google, you get about 481,000,000 results, many of them with varying definitions, scopes and opinions. The chatter that revolves around this terminology can be confusing and so pervasive, that it is hard for IT and business leaders to come to a broad understanding of what it means. Without understanding it at a high-level with agreed-upon goals, organizations are not all marching to the same cadence.

CIO Magazine’s definition states: “Digital Transformation is the application of digital capabilities to processes, products, and assets to improve efficiency, enhance customer value, manage risk, and uncover new monetization opportunities.” 

Clean and simple. If you examine the four defined areas of focus, they could be natural header topics for strategic initiatives across an organization. Once these broad, overarching themes are in place, tacticians can hunt for areas where intelligent process automation can drive results. 

Let’s Look at the Landscape

A McKinsey survey “Unlocking Success in Digital Transformations” reports: 

  • 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail
  • Organizations with fewer than 100 employees are 2.7 times more likely to succeed than those with 50,000 employees
  • Self-serve technology for partners and employees is one of the key factors to success.
  • Only 16% of initiatives improve performance
  • Organizations with a Chief Digital Officer are almost 2 times more successful

This tells us that large organizations struggle from the sheer scale and planning required to execute.

4 Core Themes

Returning to our definition, these are the four capabilities that will guide how organizations should approach digital transformation initiatives and how smart content capture solutions can be used to benefit processes and mitigate risks. 

These themes can also be used to identify and target quick wins for digital transformation projects and Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). By recognizing projects with low hanging fruit, enterprises can gain momentum with quick wins. Organizational change won’t happen overnight, so preparation and planning for success are key. These projects must look beyond technology, people and processes to be part of that 16% who see performance improvements.

Looking Beyond: Content 

Content, and more specifically documents, are everywhere in our business life. Physical and digital content is part of just about every business process, whether it is a contract sent from a customer as an email attachment, a paper invoice mailed to an accounting department, or a large volume of sales orders in a folder. Manual content processing slows down not only the process but has a chain reaction impact on all downstream activities. Without automation technology to eliminate the manual classification of content and extraction of data, it is an absolute killer of efficiency. Yet intelligent document processing as a focus area is missing from most digital transformation strategies.

Think about how many of how many times per day you reference, open, forward, construct or extract data from document content. There is a constant flow in and out of every organization, with complexity and manual actions everywhere.

Do you really know what defines the value of your content? Most organizations cannot answer this question. Why? This type of content typically exists in an unstructured state and typically requires a technical catalyst to expose elements of value. They may have bits and pieces of what their documents hold, but most companies lack the distinct elements that make content truly valuable: Searchability, Classification, Metadata, Correlation and Context. 

These five elements make up the value of content. As you go up the stack, the value of the element to the organization increases greatly. To improve the value as you move up through the stack, you must first unlock the levels below, increasing value with each additional element and having an exponential effect on productivity. It is imperative that you use a single technology to expose these elements or value will be lost. 

Understanding and having accessibility to documents is important because the information can hold insights into customers, service, trends, risks and opportunities. In any digital transformation effort, accessing previously inaccessible data, and using it to fuel downstream processes can turbocharge transformation efforts. That content data can also be a stepping stone to the extended content story. To glean maximum value from any content, all of these must be available to the organization, and there must be a single, unified catalyst technology to expose all of them. 

If you’d like to learn more about how each element fits into the value chain, please contact us at