Automated workflow: A journey worth taking
Paper has had a historic run.
Since it was invented over 2,000 years ago, it’s been the main way to record, communicate and document the way we work.
In fact, recent studies have shown that up to 80% of business information is still kept on paper. But that figure is changing fast.
“Paper is a good place to start thinking about transformation because it is the Achilles heel of most organisations.” John Mancini, President and CEO, Association for Information and Image Management.
As more and more enterprises make the move from paper to digital, we’re seeing huge new efficiencies and cost savings opening up.
Let’s take a quick look at how being less reliant on paper and moving toward digitisation could positively impact your enterprise:
No company wants to pay for unused space. By moving more and more of your data to digital document workflow, you’ll be eliminating all that wasted storage space.
Replacing mountains of paper with productive workspace.
Safe from disaster.
Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods or fires, unfortunately, do happen. Switching to Cloud Document Management keeps your valuable data out of the path of potential danger.
Easy to edit.
Passing around a paper document for edits, changes and updates can be confusing. Changes get lost. Edits go unnoticed. The latest versions become hard to find.
Digital files allow you to protect the full document lifecycle with audit trails.
Easy to find
We’ve all had the experience of searching frantically for some misplaced piece of information. “Urrgh….how frustrating is that!
Digital documents are not only easy to file and retrieve, but they are also impervious to most forms of physical damage.
Safe from spying
One of the big problems with leaving important information on paper is how insecure it can be. Filing cabinets are left unlocked. Papers are misplaced on office printers or desks.
The truth is, paper isn’t safe from prying eyes.
By digitising your information you can monitor and control exactly who has access to vital information.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s easy for paper documents to be shared. Too easy, in fact.
Digitising your documents keeps all your edits and revisions in one place. And only allows people with access to make changes. This not only boosts security, it also streamlines workflow.
This is an advantage every business can agree upon. Whether it’s the outright savings on physical paper products, improved productivity, data protection or improved workflows, they all mean greater cost control for your enterprise.
The advantages of digitising are obvious. But is it really that easy?
The answer is both yes and no.
No one says you need to move 100% away from paper. Or that you should digitise all at once.
Whether your enterprise is just starting its digital journey or you’ve already automated much of your operations, it’s worth considering a few things.
Automation is about trial and error.
We’ve previously discussed the importance of monitoring and evaluating the tasks that you choose to digitise. And making changes along the way. It’s vitally important to be flexible. To learn from mistakes. And to make changes.
Digitisation is a journey. Not a quick download.
Be open to feedback
A big part of learning from mistakes is admitting that they happen. Having an open and honest corporate culture allows your team to admit failures and learn from them.
Prioritize the tools of transformation
Of course, for your team to succeed they also need the right equipment. That means that your senior management and IT department make technology a priority.
It’s impossible to lead a digital transformation with last year’s tools.
When technology is given top-priority it sends a signal to your team that the company is committed to transforming.
Transform from the top
Equally important is having the right team members to lead the transformation. Executives need to be educated on digital transformation, its benefits, how to plan for it and what is needed from the company to succeed.
While it’s important to leave room for mistakes, there are a few things to watch out for when leading your company’s digital transformation.
Don’t rely on old research.
The customer experience is changing as fast as the technology that enables it.
Make sure you are not following old corporate models or old ways of managing customers. Having current user experience research is hugely valuable for companies looking to improve their digital offering by understanding who their users are and what they’re looking for.
Don’t rush into it
Yes, we did say earlier to be adaptive and flexible. And that’s still true. What we are talking about here is to have a broader strategic plan. Instead of rushing into digitising your operation, take a step back and see what tasks and what workflows would benefit most from digitisation.
It may not be the sexy stuff like AI and big data analytics, it may be invoicing or scheduling. Think about what your company needs not what you think the business wants.
Look before you change lanes
Again, this may sound somewhat obvious, but change can be hard. As you switch your old systems over to digital-first solutions, make sure the change doesn’t cause any downtime or further fragmentation to your workplace.
The transformation to digitisation is unavoidable. By preparing your company with the right culture, a workable strategy, and the ability to adopt a trial-and-error approach, you’ll be able to enjoy a successful digital transformation.
And a successful digital transformation to a paperless office will lead to more of what your employees, users and stakeholders truly want.
And more rewards.
If you’d like to know more about the specifics of transforming your workflow, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today.