That is perhaps the most disturbing finding of the AIIM State of Intelligent Information Management 2022 survey – especially when those same executives placed the ability to execute business processes ‘nimbly and on-demand’ as the second most important ingredient in digital transformation success. Years of working with customers have shown us at KineMatik that effective information management solutions are required for successful process automation. Yet a wide and troubling gap still exists between business and information strategies for many organizations. I’d like to suggest a simple and practical way to close it.
Process automation is now more essential than ever as organizations respond to a post-pandemic economic environment. However, another AIIM survey found the most important target for process automation efforts are processes that cross departments, systems, and organizational boundaries. These are the very processes most vulnerable to the information overload that is now engulfing virtually every company. This information has been increasingly siloed as organizations focused on department-based process and enterprise applications.
Business and information alignment becomes more challenging
According to AIIM: “Given how content management capabilities evolved in organizations, this should come as no great surprise. ECM (Enterprise Content Management) was conceived as a layer of enterprise capabilities to be shared across multiple processes … in far too many instances, content capabilities were deployed department by department, often using different process tools and sometimes utilizing a common content infrastructure and sometimes not.”
Too often in the past, information management investment has played second fiddle to business process or enterprise system investment, without the understanding that if you don’t have the right information available to the right people at the right time then you can’t fully optimize your processes or your systems. It seems from the AIIM surveys that there is a growing understanding of this fact. Executives place ‘digitizing, automation and integrating processes’ top and ‘managing information throughout its lifecycle’ next when asked what the main challenges are when dealing with the vast amounts of data in their business.
Organizations know that business success means more closely aligning their business strategies and information management practices. They also think that there is a long way to go within their organization. In fact, many believe the situation is getting worse. What are we to make of the AIIM finding that 74% of executives would grade their organization's alignment between business and information strategy as the same or worse than the year before?
I think Harvard Business Review (HBR) offers a compelling explanation: “With technology and business goals so inextricably interwoven, there is heightened urgency today around getting digital transformation right… Ultimately, there’s a fundamental and costly lack of alignment and a persistent gap between IT and business. And this organizational disconnect has become the biggest impediment to digital transformation."
Crossing the IT/business chasm
Our experience at KineMatik is that HBR is absolutely correct: Sometimes the gap between IT and business can appear more like a chasm. It’s highly relevant that when AIIM asked about the leading frustrations around process automation then two completely opposite but related answers came to the fore. A lack of IT understanding of business was almost entirely balanced by a lack of business understanding of IT.
KineMatik has been working in partnership with customer organizations for many years to deliver successful process automation based around OpenText Content Suite and OpenText Extended ECM. We’ve taken time to understand the frustrations of our clients to create automated processes that meet both business and IT expectations. In this way, we provide a sustainable link between IT and the business. IT have access to preapproved and deployed tools that reduce the need for expert knowledge of the underlying business process. The business quickly and cost-effectively receives solutions optimized to its needs and strategies.
Always choose configuration over customization
For me, customization is the enemy of agility, flexibility and change. Deploying customized solutions for process automation is both costly and time-consuming to deliver and complex and expensive to maintain. Often, the business can not properly articulate system requirements or development takes too long to complete. Alternatively, business requirements evolve rapidly meaning system specifications can change frequently during the project. The result is that the final software delivered is not fit for purpose.
Customized solutions provide the agility or flexibility to react quickly to business change – either during development or when delivered. That’s not acceptable in a post-pandemic world. Now more than ever, business needs to be ready for anything and fast to adapt. Little surprise then that AIIM found those organizations experienced in process improvement saw customization as a major risk and tried to avoid it.
The alternative is out-of-the-box business process solutions that are pre-configured to meet the organization’s requirements. These low code solutions simplify business requirements and makes application modifications easier and faster. In fact, changes can be quickly made without complex coding at any stage. Business owners define the process and work with IT to ensure applications aligns precisely with business needs. This approach significantly shortens the development process and improves the quality of the final system.
Looking again at AIIM research, cost and a lack of skills top the list of why organizations have yet to move forward with a process automation initiative. Taking a low-code configuration approach helps remove these barriers by ‘democratizing’ the development process – bringing the business and IT together - and reducing the budget required to create and manage your process automation solutions.
KineMatik works with organizations worldwide to create success in their digital and content services transformation by developing innovative and tailored business process automation solutions. Together with OpenText, the leaders in information management, we help organizations connect data, content and processes to maximize productivity and enhance information availability, value and security. KineMatik Business Process solutions offer out-of-the-box adaptable and configurable business processes utilizing best practises. Our process automation capabilities will clearly demonstrate to every organization exactly the value that information management brings to drive business success.
Let us help meeting your business process challenges. Contact us today to arrange a confidential call to discuss your specific requirements.
KineMatik is an OpenText Solution Extension (SolEx) Gold Partner developing business process solutions for OpenText Content Suite and OpenText Extended ECM.