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January, 2016 | Blog


5 Predictions for 2016

As we start 2016, you will be inundated with lists - predictions, trends and objectives to meet and exceed in the coming year. With all due respect to the list-makers and trend-setters, this is my attempt at a practical, forward-looking "best-educated guess" as to what our customers and partners will have in focus for 2016.


2016 will be the year we throw out all of the old phrases, terms and definitions which are past their "sell-by" date. We will move away from talking about enterprise content management but speak instead about the processes and structure around managing data and information. This was a hot discussion topic at a recent AIIM Executive Leadership Council Meeting, and I expect to see online marketers, thought leaders and sales professionals to change their approach and message to be more relevant and reachable, speaking in terms which are useful and descriptive.



Customer engagement will go 100% digital  - yes, this is a bold statement, but I expect to see every major enterprise implement or at least plan for the possibility to communicate with their customers via digital platforms. Innovation guru Jaspar Roos (@jasparroos) recently shared on this blog site some ideas of how digital transformation would look like in the finance and insurance industries. Smaller B2C and B2B companies without legacy infrastructure will engage via digital channels right out of the gate. This is not to say that our parents and grandparents can't sent a letter to their insurance provider or bank via post. But I highly doubt that my daughter's millennial generation (or, in fact older digital warriors like myself) want to be stuck working with outdated, slow business processes. Government will likely be a bit further away from 100% digital engagement for citizen services. However, regulatory requirements (like digital courts), social and cultural shifts (such as the influx of refugees in Europe) will naturally encourage and motivate local, regional and national governments to rethink their processes.





Which brings me to my third predication.....



2016 is the year of "Process-Rethink". We all have etched in our brains the dire "think-speak" warnings of the novel 1984. Who can forget Winston's angst (and subsequent transformation by) the group-think minions whose sole function was to brainwash? OK, this is not so dire a prediction ....BUT I do expect that a lot of sacred cows (read: outdated processes) will be re-thunk (yes, I just made up this word) in 2016. And rightfully so - too many workflows, processes and practices have been designed to do one of the following:

A. Tick a box (think:“Our company must launch a mobile application!”)

B. Fit into a software platform process or out-of-the-box workflow

C. Map directly a manual process to an automated process

Do any of the points above resonate with your company? Yes, you know who you are, and I expect you will spend some time in 2016 fixing outdated company processes.



E-signatures will go mainstream. The industry has been talking about this for years - companies like @Kofax from Lexmark and  @CoSign_ARX have compliant, secure solutions at a price point that any organization can implement. The time is long overdue for this proven technology to be adopted by mainstream users. Processes will also need to be adapted prevent users from printing and filing documents after they have already been signed (see AIIM Industry Watch, PaperWars Revisited, Nov 2014 ). This will require user education as well as changes in process. 




Information capture and process for the SMB customers. Smart process technology is becoming cheap enough to be cost effective for small business customers - these organizations have the potential to realize numerous, immediate benefits. I know small business employees who spend hours and days searching through files and archived emails for letters, contracts and order forms (for example to counter-reply to a legal claim). The benefits of making these changes is enormous - better data, higher impact when engaging with clients, transparent and compliant processes, less effort chasing paperwork, etc. etc.

The above predictions just scratch the surface and are based on many discussions with Spigraph's customers, channel and technology partners. You will likely be able to identify many, many more. I welcome your insights and predictions as to the trends and shifts in technology adoption for business use. And finally - and most importantly- Happy New Year and all the very best to you and your organization as you rethink your processes, implement your strategy and grow your business.