Organisations need to embrace digital processes or risk being left behind by more agile competitors. In a time of tight IT budgets, it would be a mistake to prioritise other projects over digital transformation initiatives because of the advantages to be gained.
According to Gartner research vice-president John-David Lovelock: “The need to invest in IT to support digital business is more urgent than ever. Business leaders know that they need to become digital businesses or face irrelevance in a digital world. To make that happen, leaders are engaging in tough cost optimisation efforts in some areas to fund digital business in others.”
The move from paper-based to digital documents can assist organisations here in two ways.
Striata Document Solutions executive head Greg Gatherer, comments: “Moving from paper to digital offers cost-savings, which can be used to fund other digital transformation initiatives. Additionally, digital documents and document management can be delivered as a service in the cloud, offering organisations the opportunity to digitise while saving on the costs associated with establishing and maintaining localised document management and storage solutions.”
Gartner’s Lovelock adds: “Most traditional IT now has a ‘digital service twin’ — license software has cloud software, servers have Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and cellular voice has VoLTE.
“Things that once had to be purchased as an asset can now be delivered as a service. Most digital service twin offerings change the spending pattern from a large upfront payment to a smaller re-occurring monthly amount. This means that the same level of activity has a very different annual spend.”
In addition to saving on costs, moving to digital documents offers organisations an opportunity to streamline document management processes and make it easy for both employees and customers to find the information they need, when they need it, through a variety of channels – internal systems, the call centre, browser, app or mobile.
“Transitioning to digital documents gives companies an opportunity to deliver a better customer experience,” Gatherer says. “Customers can interactively engage with digital documents, and companies can personalise them, on an individual level, depending on a customer’s behaviour, products and preferences.”
Digital documents offer a security advantage over their analogue counterparts. Digital documents can be protected in multiple ways – by securing the network, through application access management, by encrypting the database and locking the document itself. “In an era where data breaches pose a considerable risk, companies are under increasing pressure to ensure their customer (and other) data is secured when it is being used, stored or transmitted,” comments Gatherer.
For companies looking to digitally transform, digital documents offer a number of advantages – cost, efficiency, customer experience and security. Digital transformation is a journey – the trick is focus on those areas that can offer immediate benefit first.