Document Intelligence Plays a Key Role in Digital Transformation, Survey Finds

In part three of their just released intelligent automation benchmark study, intelligent automation provider Kofax and analysts at Forrester Consulting concluded that automating workflows with document intelligence, process orchestration, and connected systems yields the greatest return on investment. 

The study is based on a 2020 survey of 450 automation and AI decision makers and 450 individual contributors in North America, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, according to Kofax. When asked to rank automation technology use cases in order of importance, the top responses cited those requiring document intelligence.

The survey effectively validated the role of document intelligence in digital transformation. Document intelligence or document AI refers to the use of artificial intelligence to understand, extract, and generate insights from business documents.

The survey respondents referred to workflows that are ingesting, classifying and extracting unstructured content from documents and other sources, and turning that information into actionable data insights for further processing. Those use cases include:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – 61%
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)/machine learning – 43%
  • Digital Process Automation (DPA) – 40%

"Companies seeking to remain relevant and competitive in the digital economy are aggressively investing in low-code automation platforms to digitally transform internal operations and customer interactions," said Chris Huff, Chief Strategy Officer at Kofax. "Industry winners will leverage automation with a focus on outcomes and experiences increasing organizational capacity, driving operational efficiency, empowering employees, and enhancing customer experiences."

Respondents also said they're prioritizing automation capabilities focused on process orchestration to ensure successful ongoing management of the digital workforce at scale, and they're also prioritizing workflows that depend upon connected systems – the ability to connect people, digital workers, systems, data and applications.

Part one of this study concluded that "organizations have a deep need for automation, and an integrated platform approach to intelligent automation yields the greatest benefit at scale." Part two focused on intelligent automation at scale and how organizations can bridge the usage gap between IT and the rest of the business. In that second report, the researchers included discussion of "a new persona of interest," which they called the "business innovator," which is better known as "citizen developer." This newish species of developer "can and should play an important role in automation strategy."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at