Across many enterprises, CIOs were already pressured to deploy new tools to accomplish mission-critical work faster and more securely than ever before. There is a new sense of urgency to meet those goals due to the massive workflow challenges created by COVID-19, while still laying the foundation for continued success in the long term and ensuring resiliency against future business and market disruptions.
Today, it is clearly apparent that the pandemic has not changed business operations for the duration of the outbreak, but rather has forever altered the interaction between workplaces and workers.
For example, Gartner predicts that 48% of employees might continue to work from home in some capacity even after the pandemic ends.
This will lead to even greater hurdles for businesses with respect to efficiency, productivity, and security in the post-pandemic world.
The question is, where is the capacity to create new efficiencies and customer engagement channels given these developments? And again, how is that going to be achieved securely?
Data security is a major concern for fragmented workforces, as new working styles inevitably bring security challenges.
Fortunately, as the workplace has continued to evolve, so too have our workflow solutions.
To address the aforementioned concerns, enterprises must turn to knowledge management automation for three key reasons:
- First, knowledge intelligence is essential for any digital business, pandemic or not.
Digital transformation initiatives have taken intelligent document processing to the front, middle, and back offices, as virtually all companies can realize immediate return on investment by applying intelligent knowledge automation to content-centric processes, such as loan applications, employee onboarding, patient admissions, sales order processing, customer correspondence and contract management, and much more.
- Second, businesses need to automate today but be ready to scale tomorrow, and the automation of knowledge management processes allows for exactly that.
As one example, the ability to convert unstructured data into structured data assets means that a solution put in place for one department can be applied and scaled to many other functions immediately as needed.
- Third, success at scale — particularly in today’s decentralized paradigm — requires digital workforce management.
As organizations grow, the ability to manage, govern, scale, and optimize becomes critical.
Integrated, smarter knowledge management platforms with process orchestration and system connectivity can provide a layer of governance across increasingly diverse and decentralized workforces.
A perfect example of a routine yet vital workplace function that knowledge management automation can help revolutionize is printing and scanning.
A comprehensive, advanced content-aware framework can minimize print security breaches while simultaneously up-leveling employee efficiency.
Granular examples of the benefits and functionality of knowledge management automation applied to printing and scanning include:
- The ability for users to specify which printer is engaged over a network, and the option to hold printing until the individual is at the printer. In particular, given social distancing guidelines, these features afford employees greater flexibility to avoid highly trafficked areas and devices.
- Automatically generated audit trails of what’s being printed or captured, which is especially crucial in heavily regulated industries to help comply with laws like HIPAA and GDPR.
- Automatic prevention of inappropriate printing of personal, sensitive, or confidential information, such as Social Security numbers, when documents are printed or shared beyond a list of authorized people.
- Secure mobile authentication for printing and capturing, and rules-based controls, including restrictions on document printing. This can include user authentication at the multifunction device by ID card or mobile device to enforce end-user access.
- Multi-channel capture integration including mobile, multifunction printers, desktops, and email, as well as document encryption to protect data in motion and at rest.
All of the above drastically up-level security and productivity simultaneously. Knowledge management automation assists employees with rote, low-level and time-consuming tasks; in the case of printing and scanning, for instance, this entails activities like transferring data from a form (whether scanned or on paper), which can be an arduous and mistake-prone process. But automation not only accelerates data transferal, it helps to minimize the risk of human error.
Knowledge management automation can neutralize the conflict that can sometimes occur between greater productivity and security.
Looking at the big picture, the widespread acceptance of remote work will create an even greater reliance on digital collaboration tools.
The hybrid, post-pandemic working environment, in which employees are located at a centralized office on some days, and on others, working remotely, makes it essential that everyone can leverage the latest advances in knowledge management automation so that they have the resources to be productive and secure whenever and wherever needed.
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Enterprises have been on automation journeys for years, but COVID has forced business leaders to redouble their emphasis on becoming more mobile, secure, and efficient.
Such automation tools meet the needs of an increasingly dynamic workforce, and are a critical resource for firms endeavoring to overcome the challenges wrought by the “new normal.”