An increasing number of companies are readily adopting digital solutions to automate and enhance critical processes, most prominently document management. Experts in the field say the advent of innovation and rise of mobile-first and digital-centric businesses has changed the industry dynamic profusely.
Digital documentation and solution development is being driven by cloud-based solutions, integrations via APIs and digital signatures.
Local specialist software and IT services provider Assimilated Information Systems (Pty) Ltd. (AIS) says in terms of the adoption of digital document solutions, the majority of large enterprises are still engaging their customers with paper forms and signatures.
“The smaller startups though, that must scale acquisition without seeing their customers, are mobile first and exclusively digital — and this is disrupting the industry and eating into the enterprise customer base,” says Craig Leppan, business development manager at AIS.
According to Leppan on the digital document output side, many large enterprises have implemented digital document solutions, but there remain business challenges around rapid business rule changes, branding updates and product changes to keep up with market demands.
“Those that have embraced the appropriate document solutions for their business are seeing the ability to adapt their messages and product offerings to their customers,” adds Leppan.
While going paperless is the main objective, AIS points out that there are several considerations that must be kept in mind.
“Mostly it starts with an understanding of where they are today — in terms of IT systems legacy, architecture and other factors. Cloud is an obvious choice to implement new solutions next to some of the legacy systems and to pilot a digital process with a small customer base,” Leppan adds.
AIS believes there is serious business momentum now with global customer bases that need to be digital, and a new millennial customer that only knows digital and mobile.
The reality of the market is that there are risk factors involved in digitalisation and document automation, including storage, audit, proof of signatures, contract repudiation and reputation damage.
But, as Leppan explains, these are mitigated by normal good IT governance, architecture and implementing proven and trusted solutions.