Fundamentally transactional - The business of documents

in LeoFinance10 months ago

An interesting point came up with a colleague today, where they noted that they we do not know what the future of documentation looks like and I kind of disagreed. The reason is that while a company might still be looking at their information such as Excels, Words and PDFs as documents, they actually aren't - all they are, are pieces of digital information. They don't reside anywhere physically - at least for the most part and in most cases.

This does depend on other factors and in some locations, paper is still widely used. However, the future is quite clear, where instead of sharing sheets of paper, we are sharing code translated into a representation of a sheet of paper. Not only that, what we are also doing is providing a location for that information, which could be stored in any number of ways, across various repositories and of course, multiple versions and copies of the same document.


It is pretty obvious what the future of documentation is - for those familiar with blockchains. But, it seems that even amongst document management system specialists, the vast majority of people are completely unaware of what they are actually dealing with. They are yet to realize that what they are wanting to do, is already being done, it just isn't being leveraged for their specific needs.

The management of information across traceability, immutability, compliance and all kinds of other business processes is of growing importance and it is already vital. As it expands, the future is all about data management and analysis, as well as automation of processes and bringing context to data efficiently, effectively and across multiple gateways and interfaces. The only way for an organization to do this, is making their information the core of their business in "centralized" manner, so that all information is accessible through filters and permissions.

Essentially, they need a blockchain.

When people think of blockchains, they think of decentralization of information, but that is not actually the case. The blockchain is actually centralized from an informational standpoint, where one instance of it contains all relevant information. The decentralization is in the verification process and the replication of that information across multiple points, so that failure of one node, doesn't compromise the integrity of the chain, and as long as one node survives, more are able to clone the information to decentralize it again.

Of course, not all information is desirable to have immutable, where for example tax records that need to be kept for an extended period of time, get deleted as soon as that time period ends. However, keeping track of all of this information when it is spread across multiple repositories is a nightmare, let alone filtering to find and ensure and trust deletion of information. What essentially needs to happen is that all records of locations of information need to be centralized, but be able to be added to and drawn from multiple locations.

We do this daily of course on Hive for example, where there are 28,800 transaction in a day (every three seconds) that commit various information to the blockchain. The various interfaces and experiences than call upon this centralized "storage" of information to translate it into something that makes sense for the usecase.

For instance, pulling the information required for @Peakd to visualize this post, is at the same point on the blockchain that @LeoFinance will use. If I edit the post, they will both draw upon the new location to represent the post, in the way they want. Then, on the same blockchain, information held for my Splinterlands card assets are filtered for and visualized, depending on what I have done with them. This is done in a slightly different way at times through JSONs, but the collection, storage and retrieval is essentially the same. Anyone can revisualize this post, where for example, someone might want to make a "word cloud" from it instead, or push it straight into a PDF format for publishing.

A business uses information in the same way, but they don't see their information in the same way, nor do they store their data in the same way. Instead of storing at a certain point in time, they store in various locations and instead of filtering based on context and relevance, they group based on type of information - compartmentalizing and creating walls and silos to information, rather than pooling information and filtering for contextual needs. Of course, there are some DMS systems that are "getting there" slowly, but they are few and far between.

But, aside from "boring" document management, what is interesting is the changing form of information, where while it has always been the case, the "transactional" status of it is coming to the fore. Businesses that are run predominantly on numbers, are starting to understand that the information they are using to facilitate their business, are transactions just like any monetary exchange and as such, have explicit values that can be monitored and applied. Even something such as the number of versions floating about across various repositories and the variance between contents of each has a value or, amplifies the chances of error. Content variance is a risk for business, especially in regulated industries, but they also impact on prospects and endusers, where the wrong information is used.

This shifting perspective of documentation into transaction will increasingly require smarter and more efficient systems to manage it, as the sheer volume makes human management impossible, not to mention the complexity of pulling multiple points of data in to a single source for usage. But, this also means that more and more people are required to make that data useful for the organization, which is why there is why data analysis skill is tipped to face a growing demand.

For me, this is all very interesting and it is another usecase slice that blockchain and blockchain processes and approaches are going to support in the future. Yes, it seems boring, but all of these slices add up to create a robust industry, that is able to interact with and support multiple industries. Just like interoperability is a growing part of the future of blockchain tech, industries do not act alone either and have to be interoperable with other industries. Because blockchain is about recording data into that single source of truth and then allowing it to be filtered and presented in endless ways, it makes sense that it is to become a foundation for information management systems and as such - core to business itself.

As they say - check the fundamentals.

[ Gen1: Hive ]

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta


This is an interesting take on the growing trend of digitalizing information, but I think we're about to see a considerable speed bump rear its ugly head in the form of ISP's. Politics aside, ISP's in many countries have become objective "worse" over time while taking active steps to further entrench themselves against less restrictive internet provider models. Heck, throttling, data caps, and every other arbitrary (manufactured) hindrance on the average user's ability to interact digitally means that sooner or later we'll run into the internet equivalent of "food deserts."

In other words, as the world adapts to a blockchain way of life, many will find themselves surrounded by ISP's that don't actually provide them with enough overall "usage" to properly interact with others. The metaverse, as a concept, relies on internet connectivity, a connectivity that is being held hostage in some areas by outdated ISP's too stubborn to adapt.

For that reason, paper documentation is likely to stick around for a while. Until an individual—especially in business settings—can reliably navigate the internet without the artificial obstacles put in place by ISP's, physical documentation will remain core to many businesses.


I think this has been a problem for a while in countries where for example, the internet connection is "free" through Facebook. However, I also think that there are going to be more alternatives in those areas too, where others are going to launch more satellite access. The interesting thing is, most of the bandwidth used is for entertainment activities and streaming services - is it so important?

However, in terms of business practices, the documentation flow doesn't account for much bandwidth :)

It sounds exciting and a better move up compared to these awful collaboration solutions in the cloud we use.

Most companies don't want to use any new software. Word, Excel and Outlook.. it's really a joke in the corporate world!

I tried to suggest some new modern solutions and was frowned upon..

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

A lot of the cloud solutions don't take into account things like GDPR and localization laws. People don't realize that it is illegal for some documents to leave country borders for example, so the servers they are stored on have to be in the country and gated so the documents don't go anywhere else.

i guess we stick with excel for now then! lol

However, the future is quite clear, where instead of sharing sheets of paper, we are sharing code translated into a representation of a sheet of paper.

The transition has, so far, been slower than some might think. I spent much of my career in the related fields of graphic design, printing, and digital publishing. At least 30 years ago, the end of paper was just around the corner.

Sure, blockchain technology will win, but a lot of people will be dragged into it kicking and screaming.

This isn't about paperless, though that is one of the results. The main reason is automation of business processes and ease of audit. But even now, there are some surprising companies still making a meal of it :)

Despite the advanced technology in sharing and storing information through various types of code, paper is one of the best things to preserve information because it makes you appreciate the value of what you tap.

Hard to automate paper, or digitally sign it from around the world :)

Shouldn't computer documentation programs be combined with blockchain so that there are multiple copies to avoid particular malfunction or error?

It isn't about a true single copy, there can still be server replication - but for the intents and purposes of the business, there is only one and the replication for backups happens to keep it in sync.

I am pretty horrible at documentation. At least as far as processes go and things like that. In terms of records, we have a lot of that which needs to happen every year. The records retention rules for school districts is pretty steep. I think it is something like 99 years last I heard. I actually just purchase a new device to help with that the other day. I will be writing about it in a future post.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

Public services are often in dire need of a DMS, but they are also not very good (as you know) at configuring and onboarding new technology, especially across functions. Ping me when you write about it - I find this stuff interesting :)

I will try to remember! :) We purchased a hosted data silo service a while ago for most of our student transcripts.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

business uses information in the same way, but they don't see their information in the same way, nor do they store their data in the same way.

The strategy in such business is always different with how they go about such plans in a different dimension but aiming for the same goal.

When the aim is to maximize profits, eventually, information handling and usage comes into play. The smart companies improve it constantly.

One thing that blockchain needs to do is somehow increase the amount, and type, of information that can be stored in a file. Right now size is the limiting factor, and as for type it is mostly only text that can be stored, no x-cell sheet, no pdf files, no formatted Word Documents.

For a business, this doesn't matter as much as the information can be stored in harddrives, with the "blockchain" they use just tracking where it is all stored. It isn't quite the same as what is happening here, but works for their purpose.

I can see it working that way, kind of like a card catalog in the library, where in stead of wandering all around looking for a particular book you just look in the card catalog and find it's location.

Technology just keeps evolving and at some point, we might just have software digest the information and give us the summary. At the same time, it's more convenient for digital stuff because we have things like phones, ipads, and laptops.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

With advancing AI and good information management and workflow development, the AI will do much of the job that many people are doing now. this is good and bad of course, as while it frees up brain power and time, it will reduce the need for less skilled workers.

The firms can even go further with storage mechanism on blockchain, making it another tokenized storage. They can even incentivize their employee when they submit the data into a designated storage, a hash will be generated and validated by other employees on that storage chain, each time it is validated it provides an incentive to the storer in coins, it can be known as proof of storage.

There are many ways to gamify it and because of the tokenization layer, it is possible to also use it for filtering.

I think that the first industry will be the finance, especially banks, which will be transformed to blockchain. However, blockchain might be their end in the future.

Finance fields are already a target for the DMS companies, as they handle massive amounts of documents and require immutability (for a period of time), auditability and accountability. It is interesting!

Documentation is a good use case as well as compliance. But there is no money in it DeFi is the place for cash and investment.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

There are billions upon billions in it and it is increasing.


You have received a 1UP from @entrepidus!

The following @oneup-cartel family members will soon upvote your post:
@leo-curator, @stem-curator
And they will bring !PIZZA 🍕

Learn more about our delegation service to earn daily rewards. Join the family on Discord.


PIZZA Holders sent $PIZZA tips in this post's comments:
@curation-cartel(15/20) tipped @tarazkp (x1)

Please vote for pizza.witness!

 10 months ago Reveal Comment