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PHOTO: Marten Newhall

A survey conducted by Opinion Matters found that nearly half (45%) of C-suite executives admit that they are unsure where to start their digital transformation strategy. Dozens of internal processes need digitization, but where to start can often turn into an internal political debate. Fortunately, IDC offers an independent perspective in its report, Content Intelligence and the Future of Work, where it surveyed 500 global decision makers in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France and Australia. According to the results, three enterprise applications offer the most immediate benefits from transformation: customer relationship management systems (CRM), business intelligence (BI)/analytics and risk management solutions. 

What Is Content Intelligence?

IDC defines content intelligence as a set of technologies and services that leverage artificial intelligence to carry out tasks such as reading and categorizing a document, routing a document, extracting and validating data from documents, and other tasks related to understanding and processing unstructured content. Cognilytica further describes content intelligence as enabling the digital workforce (RPA bots) with the necessary skills and understanding to make intelligent business decisions.

Relevant content IQ technologies include optical character recognition, computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing and content analytics. It may also include mobile capture, language-based insight and semantic analysis for unstructured information. 

Respondents to the IDC survey said their average expected increase in spending for content intelligence technologies over the next year will be 31%, and the overall intelligent process automation market, which includes content IQ, will grow from $13.1 billion in 2019 to $20.7 billion in 2023. Here's how content IQ can accelerate the top three enterprise applications. 

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Content Intelligence and CRM

Content IQ extracts information from any incoming communication and integrates relevant information to downstream processes to provide it to consumer-facing systems. The quick turnaround of incoming content into actionable data assets is crucial. Staff can view the latest and most comprehensive set of information when communicating with a customer. This opens up the possibility to analyze, for example, customer complaints to identify business optimization opportunities. 

If all relevant data from various systems are accessible — even if they are hidden in an unstructured conversation from an email, phone call, chatbot or on social media — then it would be easier to send the right information to a customer or engage at the right moment of their buying journey. With speedy access to relevant customer data, organizations can provide personalized feedback to their customers and achieve better customer experience.

Content Intelligence and Business Intelligence

When introducing content intelligence to BI, it opens up new ways to identify trends, business-relevant opportunities and optimization potential by analyzing existing and incoming customer, partner and supplier communications. For example, in accounts payables, claims or contracts, this could help identify payment trends to negotiate new terms. 

Content Intelligence and Risk Management

Content intelligence makes it possible to track a document or communication and its content at the earliest stage possible, which helps ensure transparency for the entire process. Managing received or existing content automatically and intelligently gives insights into it, and enables, for example, a better overview of the completion of a document set. This is crucial to making it easier to comply with regulations and prevent fraud. 

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What’s in Store for Content Intelligence in 2020?

Many global organizations are already on their way to add content intelligence to their business processes. Seventy-three percent of the respondents to the IDC survey said they are in earliest stages or highest stages of content intelligence maturity. Any process that is content-centric and based on an intelligent automation platform like RPA or BPM can benefit. For example, Medline Industries transformed its accounts payable processes by working with UiPath and Ashling Partners to streamline the processing of 2,000 invoices per day among 4,000 suppliers. RPA and content intelligence improved their process cycle time, set a foundation to scale to higher volumes, reduced the costs to process an invoice and freed up its employees to focus on exceptions and analysis. 

IDC advises to keep these strategies in mind when introducing content intelligence to your workplace:

  • Invest in modular, enterprise-wide digital platforms that can integrate with existing enterprise applications and support a broad range of use cases.
  • Develop a strategy for ongoing training and development of employees to ensure they have the required digital skill sets.
  • Think human and machine. The human-machine collaboration is not just the future of work, but it is the new normal for today’s high-performing enterprises.

Additionally, be clear about where you want improvements within your organization, why you need them and, more importantly, who needs to be leading the process. Process mining and process intelligence are emerging tools companies will explore more of in 2020 to help them identify process improvement areas, and improve their overall digital intelligence. The goal for all companies in the next year is to leverage technology to enable quicker, more accurate decision making and deliver greater business value.