Organizations run on information. From invoices and expense claim forms to contracts and customer records, there’s content at the heart of almost every business process. The way that companies manage their information can have a substantial impact on operational efficiency and regulatory compliance. It can also make or break the customer experience.
How can forward-thinking organizations use modern technologies to gain maximum value from their content?
Enterprise content management (ECM) systems have played an essential role in traditional enterprise IT architecture. Today, however, colossal on-premises ECM platforms have given way to cloud-based content services suites, such as SharePoint, Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox among many other examples.
This agile approach to content management offers a host of new business benefits. These can be leveraged to maximum effect when companies integrate their many content services tools with process automation technologies and other business optimization tools.
How to augment content services with RPA
Robotic process automation (RPA) provides companies with the tools to automate the monotonous tasks that monopolize employees’ time. There are countless examples of workloads that can be delegated to a bot. A few include: compiling and emailing standard sales reports, processing routine invoices, and migrating data from one application to another to update records.
Because RPA solutions work on the presentation layer of software in the same way that humans do, this technology can be applied to virtually any application or legacy system, including many of the content services solutions that human workers use every day. For this reason, RPA and content services technologies are typically complementary and can be used synergistically to accelerate tasks that are repetitive, structured, and rely on content.
Bots are also well-positioned to support compliance with information security policies and data privacy regulations. Leading RPA solutions, for example, can automate tasks with a locked screen, to ensure total privacy.
When applied in the right areas, RPA can deliver tangible efficiency gains, cost savings, and greater process accuracy. However, this is heavily reliant on whether the robotics software is provided with clean, formatted content.
Managing unstructured content
The reality is that many business processes today involve information that comes from multiple sources, in diverse formats. Any business wanting to minimize human intervention and maximize automation needs to find the tools to transform the semi-structured and unstructured content into standardized data that bots can use.
There are several solutions available on the market that can sort, decipher, and format content for use in RPA systems. These include specialized content intelligence tools with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities such as optical character recognition (OCR), natural language understanding (NLU), and text analytics.
The challenge lies in bringing all these capabilities and systems together – the content services suites, legacy line-of-business systems, RPA configurations, and intelligent tools – into one cohesive architecture that can power seamless, optimally automated business processes.
The solution? A low-code development platform like K2
K2 technology provides a seamless connection with virtually any line-of-business system and content services suite, whether they are housed on the premises or in the cloud. It also provides easy integration with RPA platforms and emerging AI-powered content intelligence tools.
This means that any low-code application built and run on the K2 platform, can call a bot to automate routine tasks that humans would usually handle; or leverage the OCR or NCR capabilities needed to format content that’s surfaced from an unstructured source, for example.
Using K2’s visual drag and drop tooling, organizations can build applications, digital forms, and workflows that access content housed within SharePoint, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, and other platforms – in one central place and without needing to write lines and lines of code. This content can then be processed by relevant content intelligence technologies before being routed to the relevant software robot.
K2 effectively acts as a process orchestration engine, coordinating the flow of work between content services suites, legacy systems, RPA tools, intelligent technologies, and humans (who can be liberated from rote work and only tasked with handling exceptions or actions that require complex, strategic and conceptual thinking).
This approach helps to cut down on low-value manual work and automate a much greater portion of the business process. In some cases, it makes full lifecycle automation attainable.
Taking a holistic approach to content management and process optimization
Any company that relies on a range of different content services from multiple vendors can use a low-code development platform like K2 to bridge gaps in the content management environment.
K2 provides managers with a central view of how content is being used across the organization, as well as how bots and other systems are performing. These insights can be used to drive continual business optimization.
By combining all these technologies and insights, organizations can gain greater value from all their assets – including content services suites, RPA platforms, AI-powered tools, and their human capital.