The 2022 GBS & Shared Services State of the Industry Survey found that data digitization is the top priority for companies in 2022. The survey also revealed most enterprises that have started digitization are currently only focusing on documents, and the majority just documents in the procure-to-pay (P2P) and order-to-cash (O2C) processes.
Data digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format. For example, scanning paper documents and converting them into digital files (e.g., PDF). Digitization is a foundational component of digitalization, which refers to leveraging technology and digital data to enable new processes or improve existing ones. Digitization and digitalization are stepping stones to the ultimate goal of digital transformation, where business activities, processes, products, and models fully leverage the opportunities of digital technologies.
In order to succeed with digital transformation, companies need to drastically expand the scope of data they leverage. An estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes (exabytes or 10^18) of data is generated each day, and 80-90% of it is unstructured—think documents, emails, texts, social media posts, videos, audio, and images. This information is scattered across organizations, with more than half (52%) of businesses reportedly keeping their data in five or more storage platforms.
This raw resource is waiting to be mined for valuable insights that can radically transform customer experience and lower costs. However, most enterprises today are focused on automating business processes that rely on structured data, while deprioritizing or altogether ignoring unstructured data. What they don’t realize is that nimble, AI-first startups in every niche of their business are hard at work delivering products and services that delight customers at a fraction of the cost of incumbents. Tackling unstructured data today is paramount for remaining relevant in an increasingly competitive and dynamic environment, as well as succeeding with digital transformation.
Digital transformation is fueled by data, which makes selecting the best platform for processing, analyzing, and digitizing data paramount to success. Data accuracy and flexibility are key to any digitization effort. Without accurate data, digital transformation efforts are destined to fail. Without flexibility, businesses will struggle to process new data types (or handle variability in *any* data type). For example, many intelligent document processing (IDP) disappoint users because they fail to accurately extract data from documents that aren’t formatted in a specific manner. solutions boils down to issues with accuracy and flexibility.
Many companies are still struggling to digitize and process documents because they are using rigid platforms that are incapable of dealing with the complexity and variability inherent to documents. When it comes to data digitization, selecting a platform that is capable of processing unstructured data can help mitigate or altogether eliminate accuracy and flexibility limitations. Keep these tips in mind as you begin your search for a data digitization platform: