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What the people REALLY want

A good friend of mine, Ken Molay over at Webinar Success, spotted this article Times have changed, technology needs to follow about the need for new technological solutions as work shifts increasingly to knowledge work.

"86% feel they are being asked to take on higher levels of responsibility when it comes to strategic decisions, calculating risks, providing analysis and developing and running complex projects at all levels of an organization. Nearly all of those polled, 98%, said given the higher levels of responsibility at work they need the right technological tools to increase productivity, reduce costs and increase revenue."

In other words they want their organizations to adopt an EDM-approach. They want to know that the systems that support the business allow for effective analysis of data and use of this analysis at every point of the organization. They want to be able to apply their knowledge so that every user can make better strategic and tactical decisions that reduce operational costs, increase productivity (automation of tasks), and increase revenue.

They are crying out for a new technological infrastructure so that they can perform effectively for the overall good of the organization. That doesn't mean more training manuals, it means models that can be seen and interpreted in a business context, rules-based automation, and strategic decision optimization that is fundamental to every business function. This means having underwriters manage the book of business and the agency network, not approve policies. It means benefits professionals changing the eligibility rules for the employee portal, not reviewing email requests. It means sales management changing the product pricing and commission rules not reviewing every PO. And so on.

"40% want the ability to share documents within a common workspace, allowing colleagues to check documents in and out and work from one central version while enabling everyone to communicate about the project in real time.
32% would like the ability to automatically create and update business processes, forms, reports and documents using the latest back-end IT system, or network, and make the information available through familiar desktop tools."

Forget documents- that's so five years ago. What they REALLY want is a way to collaboratively update the way the business works. That takes a focus on decisioning and a central rules repository with the ability to check functional areas in and out, update rules in real time, synchronize all updates among multiple workers, etc. Then they can change the business not just write about it.

Making a familiar interface to this updating facility meant offering those update facilities through browser pages using the workers' own terminology and a familiar look and feel. What's more it means making this kind of policy change (rule maintenance) something they do as part of their day to day job.

"20% want the ability to control how incoming communications are routed to users based on the system's knowledge of personal preferences, physical location, organizational relationship and topic of communication."

In other words, segmentation leading to rules-based automated operations.  This kind of segmentation is requires rules, analytics, location intelligence and text analysis but it also requires a focus on decisioning and EDM.

These workers will not get the help they need unless their companies can move operational decisioning making into an EDM environment where their knowledge workers can truly use their knowledge to manage and improve the business.

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