Business Documentation – An Overview
Anyone that’s worked at an office for an extended period of time will know that businesses produce massive volumes of documents on a daily basis. Try this statistic on for size – Every year 7.5 billion documents are created by businesses, and a further 15 trillion copies are made.
Let’s go a little further – 90% of all business information exists on paper. Therefore, paper & the manual workflows that accompany its usage, are still ubiquitous among the majority of businesses.
Even as the world has gone increasingly digital and automation has taken over nearly every aspect of business, the digital revolution has largely left the world of documentation behind.
While this appears rather innocuous, the consequences of relying on non-automated methods for key business aspects such as documentation can be extremely dire.
Document challenges account for 20% of productivity losses among workers, and knowledge workers spend nearly half their time searching for documents. Due to bottlenecks such as these, businesses around the world end up wasting nearly $8 billion a year in total on paper documents and $14,000 of worker productivity annually.
However, AI-enabled document automation has been stepping up in recent years to help businesses automate away their wasteful dependencies on paper and manual workflows.
Here’s how smart documentation trends are taking the business world by storm.
AI Trends In Document Automation
Business documentation follows a “lifecycle”, documents are – created, approved, verified, executed, stored & renewed. Not every business document follows every stage in this lifecycle, but every stage of any business document can be transposed onto one of the aforementioned stages.
The role of AI in document automation is largely to automate the steps of this lifecycle. Here’s how AI technology is helping businesses tackle their documentation problems.
- Smart suggestions & interactive drafting
One of the key functions of AI is real-time & intelligent learning. Document automation technology takes advantage of this by learning from pre-existing documents and extrapolating both context and rules for drafting documents.
This feature of AI enables it to provide suggestions for document content and play an active role in drafting by interacting with users in real-time. AI-enabled documentation allows for quick and error-free document creation in this way, saving businesses both time and expenses.
- Pattern-based behavior prediction
Another function of AI’s capability to learn based on pattern detection and leverage this learning is to predict certain aspects of user behavior and pre-empt behavior pertaining to documentation.
For example – AI can predict the sort of content a user is likely to fill into a document, what sort of document the user will need to create in several scenarios, who the document will be sent to for approval, how long this entire process will take, and even what sort of document a user is likely to be searching for.
These features enable workers & managers to boost productivity and optimize process supervision, respectively, by creating timeframes for processes and optimal workflows to complete these processes.
- AI-powered document verification
Pattern-based learning & intelligent decision-making functions of AI find another application in documentation in the form of document verification.
OCR technology and AI techniques are leveraged to enable digital documentation solutions to scan & extract critical details from documents and then match these with learned patterns to determine the authenticity of documents.
This usage trend of AI is taking the financial world by storm since AI-powered document verification can be (and is being) used to automate critical aspects of digital onboarding such as customer & ID verification.
- Smart risk estimation
All business documentation is associated with a certain amount of risk. This could be a risk of loss or misplacement, risk of not being approved, or in general, the risk of a document not making it past a certain stage of the lifecycle.
The predictive capabilities of AI can be leveraged to estimate the risk associated with any document, allowing businesses to optimize their functions and implement risk-based assessment techniques for sensitive document workflows.
Risk estimation plays a pivotal role in contracting, mainly since businesses would be at a massive advantage if they could estimate the amount of risk associated with a contract between themselves and vendors or clients. This would allow them to responsibly plan for incidents of contract breach and shore up resources appropriately.
While these are just a handful of the AI trends in business documentation right now, the larger picture indicates a complete overhaul of the way businesses document.
AI-powered digital documentation is quickly becoming an industry benchmark due to the various advantages it engenders businesses with.
Going Digital, The Smart Way – The Future Of Documentation
With businesses saving between 55% and 78% of their expenses by shifting to digital documentation, it’s no surprise that businesses are quickly going digital.
However, cost benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to AI-enabled documentation.
Automated documents lower document errors by nearly 80%, save nearly 22,000 hours per document and boost audit efficiency by up to 80%.
Additionally, AI leverages user data to further optimize workflows and pre-empt user behaviors, giving businesses the edge they need to revamp a function as fundamental as documentation with ease.