Disparate, siloed content and processes, coupled with the dependence on legacy paper files are affecting the digital transformation journeys of organisations in healthcare, manufacturing, financial services and government, according to a global survey.
The Forrester survey was commissioned by open-source pioneer Alfresco Software and revealed that organisations have content and documents scattered across many locations, leading to two thirds (67 per cent) acknowledging that users need to frequently or always reference external information in a workflow application. The lack of content integration is most significant in manufacturing, with 83 per cent reporting having to scour multiple applications, systems and files for vital information.
The survey also found that organisations are still reliant on paper legacy files, only 14 per cent have enterprise content that is virtually digital today. However, there are plans to convert to digital, data driven content in the next two years, with half expecting to be virtually all-digital then. Manufacturing and healthcare organisations are more ambitious, with 58 and 55 per cent respectively intending to be virtually all-digital in two years.
There is a desire to speed digital transformation efforts as organisations recognise the benefits of marrying process and content into a single integrated and digital platform across industries. However, the top benefit varied across verticals:
- Manufacturing: improved user experience (53 per cent)
- Healthcare: better customer experiences (55 per cent)
- Financial services: business agility (48 per cent)
- Government: more productive staff (67 per cent)
"Digital transformation initiatives are being hampered by legacy technologies and the bolting on of new solutions as a business grows. Such an approach is creating content silos, affecting productivity and decision making," said Paul Hampton, Product Marketing Director at Alfresco. "It is time to leverage the technologies that will enable effective content integration to deliver the right information, in the right context, in a timely way."
Content silos continue to frustrate organisations across industries. This was most significant at the stage of process initiation, where each cited a different pain point:
- Government: poor integration across multiple data sources
- Financial Services: lack of immediately available content
- Healthcare: lack of visibility of process status
- Manufacturing: content stored in too many places
In the age of the customer, IT leaders must remove the barriers between process and content, and intensify integration efforts across the business to deliver greater productivity and agility.
"The UK's recently announced Digital Strategy underlines the importance of and need for digital transformation of businesses. Now is the time for organisations to kick their digital transformation projects into high gear. Creating a cohesive and integrated digital business platform that will deliver the contextual information efficiently to users for informed decision making and better customer service will be key," concluded Hampton.
Alfresco commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate organisations' evolving needs for technologies that support enterprise content and business processes. The survey was conducted with 158 IT Professionals at the director level or above in the United States and the UK across manufacturing, financial services, government and healthcare sectors.