AIIM Conference 2021Galactical Digital Experience

In the last week of April 2021, I participated in the annual AIIM Conference. Described by AIIM this year as a “Galactical Digital Experience”. What should I expect from this galactical experience of AIIM? I would like to share the most striking and interesting topics discussed about Information Management. About the latest trends and technologies and the digital transformation that is taking place worldwide.

Association for Intelligent Information Management

For those who do not yet know AIIM, AIIM is the Association for Intelligent Information Management. It is a trade association for users of Information Management. Users with a high musketeer content: one for all and all for one. We call it the AIIM Tribe. This means that the main purpose of this membership is to help each other. As a result, the AIIM Conference consists to a large extent of end users who share their experiences. Normally without Covid-19, a physical conference. Supplemented with round table sessions. So that users and suppliers jointly put topics on the table and then exchange ideas.

Digital edition AIIM Conferentie 2021

This year was different. It became a digital edition of the AIIM Conference. Despite everything being online, what was striking and interesting? The common thread was striking: the transformation from physical business processes to digital. Those who used to fly to the US and got out of the airport always saw a multitude of billboards. Billboards on which damage lawyers offered their services. The TV commercials are also peppered with lawyers offering their services. In case something is not quite as it is promised or should be. What if you see a fly in the tea in a restaurant in the Netherlands? Then you just ask for a new cup of tea. In the US they ask for a lawyer. You can also see that in their view on information. For them, Records Management has been # 1 for years. As a result, this is a barrier to innovation and digital transformation.

Digital transformation new normal

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the desire for innovation and digital transformation was no longer in demand. It became an assignment. Make it happen! As well as it goes, almost every organization is well on its way to embracing this new normal. So much so that the digital transformation of business processes is a top priority. Of course including good care for the records.

To illustrate this, a good story was told about this by Ed McQuiston, the EVP & CCO of Hyland. This story was titled ‘Thriving in the Next Normal- Where Customers, Content and a Complete View Collide’.

Delayed digital transformation

Of course, there are still plenty of inveterate record managers who stick to their classic approach. In every change, there are laggards who are the last to make the transition. Not surprising when you look at the global picture. The average organizations from the USA cannot be counted among the innovators or the early adopters. The masses are falling into the early majority anyway. Especially when it comes to the digital transformation.

Low-Code and EIM Content Services

How different in Europe and certainly in the Netherlands. Here the digital transformation is a running train. With us, it goes much further than just digitizing business processes. In the Next Normal to which Ed McQuiston refers low-code is given a prominent place. These are low-code solutions that offer the information from EIM systems via Content Services. In a complete view. Whether or not in combination with other enterprise data sources. It is an image with the right information for the right users. At the right time that can be quickly adapted to the ever-changing circumstances. Low-Code and EIM Content Services. Both are part of Informed Group’s DNA. However, for many companies, it is far from always part of the train called Digital Transformation.

AIIM Conference 2021 speakers

There is another keynote that I particularly enjoyed. This was How to Stop and Focus in a World of Change. By Erik Qualman on his latest book The Focus Project, The Not So Simple Art of Doing Less. Actually, we all know we’re at our best if we only do one thing at a time. Part of this presentation was also an excerpt that can be found on YouTube: Social Media Revolution, Did You Know. It gives a different view of the world in which we live and with the power of information. That alone is reason to ensure that every organization must have its information management in order.

Digital Disrupted

Also interesting was the keynote by Tom Koulopoulos, chairman and founder of the Delphi Group. A Boston think tank. Under the title ‘Digital Disrupted’, he illustrated the power of information as Amazon uses it. For many, it’s a privacy nightmare. Because your own behavior on Amazon.com is collected and used for a new service: Predictive Prime. The regular Prime gives you as a subscriber, among other things, movies and free delivery of products. The Predictive Prime innovation does this based on your behaviour. Amazon already delivers you products that they estimate you want to buy. Nothing illegal because you have given them permission to have your behavior tracked on their site. For many users, however, a scary thought. Yet I also see benefits. How nice would it be if you got a package from Amazon for your wife’s birthday? A package with a desired content. How nice.

AIIM21 topics

There were about 70 other presentations, so there was certainly knowledge for everyone. Real rocket science hasn’t come along. Although it has to be said that the presentation by Steve Radar of NASA gave a special insight into the speed of innovation. Under the title ‘Riding the G-Forces: how crowdsourcing platforms accelerate innovation in the midst of disruption’. The lesson I learned from that is: don’t just stare blindly at your own discipline. Combine your knowledge with that from other unrelated domains. To realize progressive innovation. All in all, I have enough fabric in the coming weeks to come up with a new white paper. Including a nice presentation about the developments in our field of Information Management

Was it a Galactical Digital Experience?

After previous digital conferences by Microsoft and OpenText and knowing where the power of the AIIM conference lies, I was not hopeful. Would AIIM still be able to come to such an experience that next year I would be happy to choose the digital version over the physical version? That question is easy to answer: No. For me, in the case of AIIM, the physical experience far exceeds the digital version. The value of this conference lies above all in the interaction that takes place between and during presentations. Exchange ideas with colleagues. Without distractions from other displays, your mail, your children and a completely different time zone. Focus on one thing with real people. I love it! That is what connects us in the field of Information Management during the AIIM Conference.

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About the Author: Ed Steenhoek

Ed is manager Business Solutions at Informed Group and a Management Team member by virtue of this role. He is also on the Leadership Team, the technical thinktank of Informed Group. Ed is moreover a highly valued member of the AIIM Leadership Council

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