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2016 brought about some interesting changes in the information management industry. Among the big changes in the supplier landscape, we saw Dell acquire EMC, who then sold its Documentum solutions to OpenText, further consolidating what may be considered legacy players.

This past year, AIIM research uncovered that the number of large organizations citing compliance and risk as the largest driver for information management has risen sharply in the past year from 38% to 59%, and 55% agreeing that email is still their big untagged, ungoverned, high-risk content type.

Information, process, and the business connection

Our research also shows that it is quite clear that many business leaders understand, now more than ever before, that information and process form an integrated component of business operations as a whole. There is a growing realization that when we change something in the way information is managed, it inherently impacts the associated business processes and the way people work and interact with that information. Likewise, when the process is changed, it will impact worker interactions with each other and with business information. In fact, the majority of AIIM respondents see business process management (BPM) as the combination of a systematic approach to improving business processes (97%) and workflow or BPM technology (79%). Sixty-six percent see BPM as change management.

In my view

There are definite signs that business organizations of all types and sizes see benefit in digitally transforming their businesses and business processes to become more paper-free. Additionally, there is a growing acceptance that cloud and mobile is key to future growth and improved efficiency and agility. It is also apparent that the vendor landscape continues to change through consolidation, emphasis on enhanced services, and increased activity by the smaller and boutique suppliers.

In 2017, I believe we will continue to see businesses focusing on customer-centric processes, improved collaboration through the use of cloud and mobile devices, and an increased transition from paper-based processes to those that are paper-free.

As we enter 2017, take time to reflect on your organizational vision, departmental goals, and the pain points challenging you from reaching those goals. Then develop a strategy to eliminate the pain, support the goals, and align to the overall vision. Once you have this in place, take the steps to move your business forward.

Bob Larrivee is Vice President and Chief Analyst of Market Intelligence at AIIM and an internationally recognized subject matter expert and thought leader with over 30 years of experience in the fields of information and process management. He is an avid techie with a focus on process improvement and the application of advanced technologies to enhance and automate business operations. Follow him on Twitter @BobLarrivee.