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AIIM is the global ECM community that provides education, research, and best practices to help organizations find, control, and optimize information.

Recent AIIM research has found that 54% of organisations manually re-key some of the document content they receive from customers, suppliers, partners and citizens.

Nearly 40% of respondents said they don’t scan any of their incoming documents, implying that they still haven’t tapped into the enormous benefits of converting paper documents into a digital stream, despite the fact that these technologies have demonstrated clear ROI from process automation for over a decade.

According to AIIM, this represents a wasted opportunity to reduce transaction processing costs. Scanning invoices and order forms, and using modern capture techniques to automatically match them with data held on internal systems, can considerably improve productivity and speed of response.

As a positive endorsement of modern recognition techniques, over 16% of organisations polled convert more than half of their scanned documents into editable text, with 34% converting one in ten documents or more.

The survey also flags up some optimism for the paperless office. Whereas 100% of respondents include paper as a currently used format for both content creation and long-term storage, only 77% consider that will be the case in five years time. The clear winner going forward is the PDF format which is currently used in 87% of organisations as an output from native office files, with 90% using it as the preferred container for scanned documents. The five year prediction takes use of PDF up to 93% of organisations.

The AIIM survey also addressed content publishing at the output end of ECM. For the most part, organisations understand the benefits of re-purposing content — with 57% citing “reduced costs”, 51% “more effective communication” and 45% “tighter control of content” as core benefits.  The translation of these benefits into action is only at its earliest stages, with only 41% saying they are “somewhat” or “extensively” involved in content repurposing/recombination.

Many cutting-edge organisations cite the benefits of XML in improving content delivery agility.  The survey suggests that this recognition is not yet widespread in the wider business community.  Only 16% of organisations indicate that they have deployed XML publishing within their organisation, indicating a significant opportunity for organisations to improve how they repurpose content and deliver it through multiple channels.

According to Doug Miles, AIIM Director of Market Intelligence, “This survey shows how the wide availability of scanners and multi-function devices has increased the use of scanning for documents received from outside of the organisation, but it also shows that many companies have yet to tap into the ability of modern data capture techniques to convert documents for indexing and editing, or feed them directly into line-of-business processes such as order processing or accounts payable.”

The AIIM Business Process Management (BPM) Certificate training program  is specifically focused on how these document-centric processes can produce a very fast return on investment, which is something of an imperative in the current climate. Information about AIIM’s six Certificate Training Programs can be found at

The AIIM Market IQ report: “Content Creation and Delivery” can be downloaded at and was supported by Abbyy, Kodak, Mark Logic, Thunderhead and Visioneer.