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The transformative role of AI in the next generation of records management

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As business leaders look to AI to solve some of their biggest technological challenges, including cost reduction, productivity improvement, and driving competitive differentiation, CIOs leading their company’s AI digital transformation efforts need to figure out where AI can make the biggest impact for higher ROI.

AI was the focus of much of the conversation at Davos 2024, where Paul Knopp, the U.S. CEO of KPMG, told Axios, “We’re at a phase where in 2024 we think generative AI will move from pilots and experiments to implementation and industrialization” (axios.com/2024/01/16/davos-wef-artificial-intelligence). According to a recent BCG report surveying C-suite executives, AI has risen to the top of “to-do” lists, with 71% of those surveyed planning to increase their company’s tech investments in 2024. A large percentage of the executives (85%) specifically plan to increase their spending on AI and generative AI (GenAI) this year (bcg.com/publications/2024/from-potential-to-profit-with-genai).

Even while some of the hype around AI simmers down, organizations are starting to test and implement it for a wide range of applications—from onboarding new employees to adhering to compliance with global data privacy regulations and gleaning deeper business intelligence insights from corporate and customer data. One way to see an almost immediate ROI is by automating mundane tasks and using GenAI to respond to information requests, thus allowing teams to focus on higher-level tasks and responsibilities.

Managing the terabytes of data that organizations have amassed within the past decade and using AI to turn digitized records into actionable business intelligence may be one of the most impactful applications of AI in both the short and long term.

AI drives transformation in records management

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that the amount of data stored in the cloud alone will reach 100 zettabytes by 2025, or 50% of the world’s data at that time. This is up from approximately 25% stored in the cloud in 2015 (cybersecurityventures.com/the-world-will-store-200-zettabytes-of-data-by-2025). Organizations amass and keep data and documents for a variety of reasons, including compliance, legal, and financial. The question is, how can organizations leverage the data and records on hand to create a competitive advantage?

Before leaping into AI, organizations should first rely on data classification best practices to digitize documents, including historic “dark data,” by using a combination of software and digital imaging scanner to convert these records into electronic formats. Once this initial step is complete, the records that contain customer information and personally identifiable information (PII) that are no longer necessary should be identified, secured, and anonymized. These are critical, required processes that need to be accomplished before AI is even introduced.   

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