How AI and blockchain disrupt enterprise information management

By now, the importance of smart content, proper information management, and its main challenges and opportunities to optimize enterprise information management (EIM) is well established. In this article, we’ll explore the disruptive impact of new technologies like AI and blockchain on EIM.

AI and machine learning is already revolutionizing the efficiency, intelligence and speed of digital capturing processes like scanning, automation and (auto-)classification. But well-applied AI and cognitive computing can effectively boost almost any EIM process. This includes unstructured data as well: companies today are spending large budgets to digitize paper archives, reorganize file sharing, and set up collaboration solutions and document management platforms.

From operational excellence to activation

So far, however, the application of AI in EIM has focused on shrinking stacks of paper and saving physical storage – in short, on operational excellence. Cognitive computing, however, will allow us to ‘activate’ content to reveal new insight as well. This, combined with a solid information management platform, will help organizations to overcome the challenges posed by GDPR. Famous examples include IBM Watson, MS Azure Cognitive services and OpenText Maghelan.

“With cognitive computing, we will be able to ‘activate’ content to reveal new insights.”

Blockchain in the workplace

Blockchain-based innovations are being developed at an unprecedented speed. Once confined to the finance industry to create more digital transparency and compliance, the number of blockchain application in almost every industry is soaring. Governments are catching up as well. The government of the UAE, for example, wants to go fully blockchain by 2020. In Estonia, blockchain is used to manage citizens’ medical files. In a logistical context, blockchain offers a way to increase the traceability of contested goods like diamonds and the supply chains of fair-trade products. While the vast majority of companies weren’t exposed to the concept of blockchain until very recently, 80% have already started exploring and experimenting with it.

Already, some companies are offering block-chain based databases as a storage alternative as well. However, blockchain will not immediately replace ECM and EIM systems, as most companies prefer to have direct control over their information. After all, the value of a company increases with the amount of valuable and unique information it owns and how well it’s managed.

Impact on ECM/EIM

In fact, AI and cognitive computing can increase the value of information that has been captured over the years. These innovations will activate information, make employees more efficient and knowledgeable, and transform companies into truly smart enterprises. Exploiting big data and big content repositories will only be possible with machine learning and cognitive processes.

Even though blockchain will not replace ECM platforms, there is a strong case for developing platforms that offers flexible content services that facilitate interaction with blockchain platforms. Such services will enable transparent information flows between organizations, individuals and governments, and will replace most extranet variations and other information exchange platforms (IEPs).

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Paul Belsack

Paul Belsack

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