For information services providers, big data leads to big challenges. An automated platform can help leading companies synchronize their business processes and improve the customer experience while reducing costs.
Content-intensive industries such as publishing, information services, insurance, legal and healthcare face some tough challenges. In addition to outdated technology and organizational silos, they are also undergoing business and operating model changes that lead to increased work volumes, higher fees and more content to manage. The number of channels through which information is delivered also complicates where and how information must be tailored to fit each and every delivery touchpoint. And lastly, the availability of free content online has impacted the number of consumers willing to pay for it.
These issues can create difficult challenges for consumers. Increased information management costs can lead to higher subscription fees, and large volumes of uncategorized data can result in an exorbitant amount of time and effort required to identify relevant information.
Developing an Information Management Platform
An integrated and comprehensive information management platform can address these challenges by offering capabilities across the value chain, from information ingestion, to enrichment, to delivery.
Using automated tools, technologies and techniques, businesses can become hyper-digital enterprises, using platforms, automation, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and the cloud to support the following capabilities:
Ingestion. Using template-based systems to read, parse and collate incoming information from multiple providers can significantly reduce the time it takes to process, store and ingest information. Image and entity recognition play a major role here, enabling systems to automatically identify and categorize pictures and videos. The ingested content is typically converted into a machine-readable format, identifying issues and flagging them for resolution. AI is increasingly used for information selection across multiple sources, at a far faster rate.
Enrichment. With the help of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning, information services can now capture, analyze, categorize and enhance data to make it easily retrievable. Based on linguistic indicators (phrases and their meanings) and context cues, the system can be taught to recognize and categorize textual units automatically. It can also identify topics and extract relationships automatically. The results of automated categorization are validated to further strengthen the system.
Storage and delivery. To counter the rising costs of maintaining, analyzing and securing big data, enterprises are moving to cloud services. Original content is stored as is, then converted to a neutral form that is both machine- and human-readable. This enables information to be generated on the fly in an appropriate format to be distributed across multiple channels. The use of detailed, multi-layer metadata makes it easier to search for and retrieve information, and improve its relevance. And information in this form easily supports analytics and reporting.
The benefits of this approach extend across the enterprise:
A platform approach to information management: eliminate silos and bottlenecks; ensure seamless integration of business processes.
Automation of ingestion, conversion and categorization: increase volume of information processed; identify and resolve errors more quickly.
NLP and machine learning for enrichment: reduce operational costs due to less manual intervention, quickly discover information platforms; improve entity recognition and resolution.
Cloud storage in media-neutral form: low cost, high availability and better performance; rapid delivery of information to consumers; quick onboarding of new formats and templates.
Notes from the Field
Based on our client engagements and expertise in information management, we expect the following scenarios to play out across industries:
Enterprises will agree that auto-classification is the only way to overcome “content clutter.”
Workflow, content analytics and enterprise search capabilities will be in strong demand, although users might become confused by the convergence of collaboration and social tools.
Approximately 52% of enterprises will build a company-wide enterprise content management system.
Applications such as records management, scanning and capture, HR, and AP/AR already reside on the cloud.
For organizations considering an integrated enterprise information management platform, we suggest either of the following acquisition approaches:
Build-integrate: Enterprises can create individual modules to support their specific business processes, and then integrate them with current systems and applications. This approach gives organizations more flexibility when determining the level of functionality needed, but can be more costly and take more time to construct.
Buy-integrate: Enterprises also have the option to purchase off-the-shelf products that support some portions of the value chain, customize them to suit their needs, then integrate them with existing systems. This approach costs less but may not provide all of the features required to support key processes.
The strategies highlighted here can serve as a good starting point for any organization interested in becoming a hyper-digital information service.