What is a Digital Document?

Documents are a useful information management and sharing tool—they’re easy to compose and understand. Their strength lies in their autonomy. Unlike a lot of the tech that’s around these days, documents are something everyone can wrap their heads around—and you don’t have to know about databases or have coding skills to use them.  This is why documents have found a new role and purpose in the digital age. According to the enterprise IT analyst firm Gartner, there are three technology building blocks that every business should be thinking about to transform from a digital laggard into a leader. They are a:

Clustered Cloud Architecture

The latest clustered cloud technology improves the economy, governance, integration, cybersecurity, and scaling of applications. Very much focused on IT departmental needs, Encanvas Digital Cloud Spaces offer businesses the optimal balance between IT economy, IT compliance, and IT agility.  With Encanvas, this is the layer used to provide holistic governance over digital documents, apps and portals.

Composable Data Architecture

This technology data layer spans the enterprise, decoupling data from the various places it resides in, building connections between data silos where they don’t exist today, and making data consumable for consumers.  Digital documents are one of the consumers of the composable data that these systems make available, thereby democratizing data analytics.

Invest in Tools to Encourage Data Reuse

Digital Documents offer your team the tools they need to reuse and present data in more ways, enabling creativity, data storytelling, learning, communications, innovation and digital evolution.

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Micro-Portals • Forms • Reports • Training Dashboards • Charts • Maps • Tables Checklists • Onboarding • Risk Registers • Presentations • eBooks

Digital documents have become the lifeblood of business administration

There are many more asks of the humble document. People work with information differently in a digital business. Demands for greater adaptability in processes, self-service on the front end, and personalization of customer offerings create an environment that’s demanding of good data, consumed in many alternative ways.  It takes information workers with autonomous tooling to bring the level of responsiveness needed to respond to all these expectations. Consider the list of tasks that are being placed on digital documents. Here’s a short list:

Like a Document

The fact that digital documents have the look, feel, autonomy and general purpose of use as traditional hardcopy documents is extremely helpful for IT and digital leaders working to cascade new technology across the enterprise. Traditional documents is a concept already grounded and familiar to us all, unlike interpretative technology terms like cloud computing, big data, or IoT. (Let’s be honest, how many people can get their heads around all these things?!)

Codeless Composition and Publishing

Due to the shortage of IT skills in the global workforce, coding is a skill that comes at a premium. Democratizing information working and removing the demand for coding is something business leaders want to do, but not at the high price of unregulated applications, data management, security risks, or IT architectures spiralling out of control.

Digital documents represent a new balance in the relationship between business and IT, one that benefits both sides of the equation.

Rich and Interactive

Unlike other document forms, digital documents support rich media composition and publishing, enabling you to include video, hotlinks, maps, interactive graphs, and more.

A Great Way to Work with Data

Practically every digital document does ‘something’ with data. That means it’s important to be able to integrate with existing data sources and applications. A Digital Data Fabric becomes an essential partner for digital documents, because it serves up clean data of high quality. But it is for the digital document composition tool to provide the point-and-click interface needed to organize and manage the data assets.


Everything today happens on a digital cloud. For your digital documents to enrich customer portals, websites, eCommerce platforms, SaaS apps, and the likes, the technology you build on must be cloud-native. That means it was built on the cloud and uses cloud-native technology components, for example, big data architectures and flat file data structures, in addition to relationship databases.

User Behavioral Tracking

Personally, I find this one of the more valuable features of digital documents. In a data-driven age, every marketer or content producer wants to know how effective their content is. Out of the box, digital documents support rich behavioral tracking, enabling you to learn about your audience and what they care about. It’s highly valuable for marketing and essential in areas like learning management, where tracking course completion is generally a compliance requirement.

Powered by AI

Digital documents include features that allow IT professionals to easily embed plug-ins, data, graphs, maps, bots, and artificial intelligence into documents. This equips IT teams with an effective and easily managed way of cascading new technology to the edge of the enterprise.

Enterprise-grade App Performance

Digital documents are designed to exist within a highly regulated corporate business environment. That means, for example, that each document has a version identifier that allows user-automated upgrades as and when new platform features are added to the digital document ecosystem.

This means there are never any software upgrade costs, and any decisions to upgrade documents to the latest version are made selectively, as and when needed, at the discretion of the document owner.

Always Safe for Data

A series of additional cybersecurity safeguards can be added to digital document platforms over and above the industry standard controls already available from prevalent hosting environments, like Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, and others.

Mobile Ready

Documents can be published in various formats. Templates make it easy to choose the type of deployment treatment. One of those options is a stylesheet for mobile-first sites, so pages scale according to the form factor of the device used to read it.

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Micro-Portals • Forms • Reports • Training Dashboards • Charts • Maps • Tables Checklists • Onboarding • Risk Registers • Presentations • eBooks

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