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Digital transformation strategy guide: From e-fax to AI

Last updated:February 2017

Editor's note

Some call this the post-digital era, but many companies are stuck in digital transformation limbo.

While some businesses hold onto their printers, fax machines and file folders, others at the bleeding edge of technology are already using artificial intelligence to personalize content for customers.

The inertia of some companies is largely due to the lack of a sweeping -- yet achievable -- digital transformation strategy. Digitization involves significant changes in the way things are done -- moving from paper-based systems to digital documents and processes in every part of the business. But those changes can cut costs, significantly boost productivity and improve the user experience for employees and customers.

Take fax machines. They are still a thing in most enterprises, despite predictions as early as 2000 that they'd go the way of the dinosaur. Faxes require paper, toner and maintenance, and typically take more than a few minutes to use. Their digital alternatives, cloud fax or e-fax services, allow employees to send and receive faxes using mobile devices or desktops, wherever they may be, while meeting compliance standards. No standing by a machine waiting for it to warm up. No missed failed transmission errors for those who don't stand by the machine waiting for their fax sent confirmation to print out.

Ditching fax machines is just the tip of the iceberg in a digital transformation strategy. Companies need to replace other outdated platforms with tools that match their employees' and customers' demands for everywhere, anytime access. That includes modernizing websites, products and services using social software, mobile applications and, further, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to provide personalized content.

In this digital transformation strategy guide, we deliver articles that range from the first steps in digitization -- going paperless -- to the tools and platforms available to make that transition a success. We also offer case studies of companies that have made the move to digital, along with video interviews and a glossary of terms to know.

1Digital transformation begins with paperless processes

Even in the most digitized enterprise, you still hear the occasional hum of a fax machine, scanner or printer. Companies find it difficult to go 100% paperless, especially in industries subject to compliance rules. But there are cloud-based systems that allow companies to achieve their paperless goals and still meet regulatory and security rules. In this section, learn about the advantages of a paperless office and the tools to replace paper-based systems, including e-fax, e-signatures, digital transaction management and more.

2Digital transformation tools, platforms

Companies understand the need to embrace digital platforms, and, for many, that means using digital enterprise content management technologies, online document sharing tools and collaboration tools. In fact, according to a recent Forrester Research report content and data topped the list for 2016 investments, as firms said they planned to invest in web content management (WCM) and customer analytics as fixtures of their digital experience portfolio. In this section, learn about platforms companies can use to enhance their digital transformation strategy, from SharePoint Online to WCM with AI and context-aware content tools.

3Digital experience case studies

Perhaps the best way to learn is by modeling your digital transformation strategy on the success of others. In this section, read about organizations from different industries that have successfully implemented a digital strategy with a single transformative technology, such as e-signature or a deep investment in digital technologies to greatly improve the user experience for customers and employees.

4Digitization strategies -- explained

A successful digital transformation strategy begins with leaders who will push the envelope to ensure that their employees and customers get the best user experience with the tools available. Here, industry watchers and business leaders discuss their digitization strategies, as well as the challenges and successes along the way.

5Digital transformation glossary

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