Electronic document software has roles, benefits, and features native to both knowledge and process industries. However, no industry or any given worker within a specific industry can be described in its or his or her entirety as either a knowledge or process worker.
Despite this, at the document level, there is very little overlap between how knowledge workers and process workers manage information.
Rather, the knowledge vs. process worker distinction rests on a continuum, not an absolute duality.
This means that no knowledge or process worker is fully a knowledge worker or fully a process worker, and the same concept applies to any industry in which these workers earn their paychecks.
No knowledge-oriented industry is based solely on knowledge, and no process-oriented industry is based solely on processes. Rather, there is an overlap between the two and each usually rests on a specific point of the process-knowledge spectrum.
However, each industry in this section has either been classified as a process-oriented industry or a knowledge-oriented industry because every industry mentioned is best characterized by these classifications, especially as they are relevant to electronic document software implementation, use, and strategy.
An Introduction to Electronic Document Software in Knowledge-Oriented Industries
With roughly 90% of the world’s information being created within the past several years, knowledge workers’ skills are significantly diluted without the central information repository, security, and file retrieval features electronic document software provides.
The knowledge worker and his or her industry will demand a decentralized management of information, as knowledge workers tend to be introverted specialists, as opposed to extroverted generalists.
This means that they tend to understand and analyze information in a non-collaborative vacuum. Although this paints a grim portrait of the knowledge worker, it is necessitated by the fact that knowledge workers need less collaboration with others because their skill sets are so tailored to specific tasks that needn’t garner others’ input.
However, EDS’s bandwidth does not stop at the centralized information repository that knowledge workers need—it also extends to how knowledge workers manage and share information insomuch as the information is leveraged and potentiated as insight-ready.
“Insight readiness” is not something typical paper-dependent office processes can facilitate, and therefore bring the importance of the paperless office into proper perspective.
It minimizes the risks associated with human error, ensures reproducible workflow processes, and effectively organizes information so knowledge workers can achieve their objective: to produce and apply knowledge for the betterment of their organizations.
In recent years, knowledge workers are less productive than ever.
This can be attributed to the fact that information proliferates at an alarming rate, and successful adoption of technology necessary to manage the sheer amount of information available is lagging.
Since knowledge is now the most important commodity in highly advanced economies, it must be managed better through electronic document software if the American economy is to be potentiated.
In summary, whereas knowledge workers deal more with decentralized information management, process workers and industries rely heavily on centralized processes.
An Introduction to Electronic Document Software in Process-Oriented Industries
Whereas most knowledge workers are concerned with analyzing the contents of documents, process workers are oriented toward the routing process of documents.
This means that knowledge workers are basically concerned with the metadata elements of documents and process workers are concerned with the nodes between retrieval and storage, meaning their understanding of documentation is only important at the routing level.
Characterized by rote, repetitive processing and tasks requiring automation from machines and programs rather than cognition from humans, process-oriented industries, although dwindling in importance, are still extremely important to manufacturing and services.
For instance, process manufacturing and discrete manufacturing are both natives to process-oriented industries, and electronic document software supplies documentation features such as Zonal OCR that are necessary for backroom information management in the manufacturing world and other process-oriented businesses.
As a whole process-oriented industries, whether in manufacturing or beyond, pertains to centralized management of information, and when it comes to records management, having a secure centralized repository for information storage is imperative to achieving compliance and organization.
How Electronic Document Software Will Capitalize on an Emergent Trend
As data proliferates at an unprecedented rate and remains largely uncontrolled, electronic document software will actualize a trend that will impact the future of labor forever.
As these solutions become more popular within organizations, the process worker will die out, and the knowledge worker will prevail as the most commonplace type of worker in the United States economy.
In essence, business process automation will render the process worker obsolete, as document management tools will automate their skill sets. Although some deem this a bad thing, it will actually provide room for the educated workforce to find gainful employment.
Given that technological innovation outpaces inflation, debt-saddled, highly educated professionals will have access to a greater volume of knowledge oriented occupations.
Even though the smartest and most productive process workers will attempt to win these positions, the competition for knowledge work positions at any given organization will not increase to the extent that it nullifies the populace’s attempts at higher education.
Additionally, as organizations use electronic document software to harness documents as a store of value, their analytical skill sets will be prioritized over the managerial and administrative skill sets of most process workers. There was once a point in American history where the process worker predominated everything, as information was scarce and few companies knew how to harness it to their benefit.