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3 ways to drive business with a digital transformation

Summary

3 steps to help drive a successful digital transformation.

Read time: 7 minutes

Your employees live digital technology every day in the form of smartphones and personal assistants like Alexa™. For some, the convenience of their personal technology exceeds what they have at the office.

And doesn’t that seem to be a disconnect?

Your employees use digital technology to simplify their lives. Your business can too. Fortunately, today it’s simpler than ever. In fact, even if you have a remote workforce, you can upgrade your systems, streamline your workflows, and train employees, without needing everyone in the office.

Do this, and you’ll empower them in user-friendly ways to:

  • Increase productivity.

  • Enhance collaboration with team members.

  • Improve communication with clients.

The good news is that that journey of your digital transformation doesn’t need to be difficult or require excessive amounts of time. In this article, we’ll look at three ways you can make digital convenience a daily reality.

By focusing on the ways technology can enable employees to perform better by minimizing manual workflows and making data processes more efficient, you set your team up to end the frustrations of the disconnect between technologies they can use outside of work versus technologies available in the workplace.

1. Examine the way you handle document management

How you manage the flow of paper and documents is a good place to start. This involves evaluating your current print and document management infrastructure. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Are you bogged down with paper workflows?

  • Do you have overloaded file cabinets?

  • How many hands touch a piece of paper before it gets filed?

  • What data do you record from every document?

  • How many documents get printed, so they can go into a file cabinet?

  • How many documents get printed, only to be recycled a little later?

Your answers to these questions help you establish your maturity model. It’s all about understanding – not judgment – so, embrace the answers to guide your next steps. When you finish your analysis, you may find:

  • You are only equipped to maintain and defend core business with manual, paper processes and some basic digital data management.

  • You have the capability to nurture emerging business by leveraging digital technologies and data that provide your team with actionable insights.

  • You can empower your teams to create new business by transforming activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities that digital technologies can bring.

Of course, no business has a maturity model that falls exactly in line with each of these three scenarios. As you work to establish your maturity model of your document management processes, remember that this step should complement the actions of validating your business objectives and developing recommendations for next steps. 

You might even consider all these activities as part of the same step. Analyzing your current print infrastructure and document processing can help you to see future business goals in context to where you are today. 

If you have questions, consider partnering with an experienced digital consulting team. People who live and breathe document management can help objectively assess your current situation and make recommendations based on best practices. 

Part of assessing your print and document management may involve looking at if and how on-premises print infrastructures tie up IT resources. You may find that moving print offsite can free up resources for strategic initiatives. You may also uncover benefits to scanning directly to the cloud.

2. Digitize data to support more efficient process management

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), “87% of executives say digitization is a priority." [2] The challenge is putting the right technology in place. As you begin to look at ways to digitize your data, ask yourself:

1. How can we better leverage data to improve functionality and provide our employees with more speed to act?

2. What is our team currently doing manually that can be automated to give them more time to focus on strategic initiatives?

3. How can we create a digital workplace that helps to make our employees more analytical, mobile, innovative and creative?

Dig deep into these questions. You can dig deeper by simply asking “Why?” with each answer.  The more you learn, the more you’ll see how data flows through your organization – and where improvements can be made. You can build greater value by thinking about how you use data, specifically:

How well positioned are you to maintain and defend your core business? Can your workplace model keep up with the speed at which ideas and information move today? Where is your competition succeeding or just flat out beating you in the market? Answers to questions like these can reveal areas where the speed to act is most important for your specific business — providing insight into what data processes need to be streamlined for improved efficiencies.

How you can nurture emerging business? Automation, for example, increases data accessibility and frees both onsite and remote employees to move with more agility and focus on strategic initiatives by removing the burden of manual processes. As you identify which processes can be automated to free up employee time, you can start exploring collaboration and cloud tools that can improve the way your employees and customers share ideas and data.

How will new processes improve the customer experience? The more you can put critical data into the hands of employees, in a secured way, the more productive they can be. Greater productivity means more innovation, revenue, and success in achieving your business goals. It also means a faster customer response and happier customers.

3. Use your digital transformation to optimize your team's performance

New technologies naturally increase the speed with which your employees can work. Pulling a file from an electronic file cabinet from your desk is certainly faster than getting up, going to the file cabinet and getting the documents needed. But the best results don’t come from replicating current workflows using new technology.

With new technology, you want to create new ways of working.

Ideally, you want to optimize the processes of how your people work. For example, you may want to:

  • Provide onsite and remote employees with the means and the time to collaborate more easily and effectively.

  • Streamline document workflows to reduce time and effort involved with any given task, regardless of where process stakeholders may be.

  • Ensure employees have visibility to information and data so they can analyze and inform decision-making faster. 

As you implement new technology, one goal should be to minimize manual workflows. Let your technology do the heavy lifting of menial tasks and moving document from one person to another. When you do, you empower your employees to get more done, leaving more time to focus on strategic initiatives.

The key with optimizing user workflows is to keep your focus on "the how" when it comes to user workflows. A good question to start with is, how do these processes need to change for optimal results?

Answering this question will lead you to specific technologies that best support your team's unique workstyles.

Getting started with your own digital transformation

Once you've worked through these three considerations and how they can help positively impact your business, it’s time to:

  • Seek out the solutions that can do it, and

  • Plan for the change.

We can help with solutions for your business, please contact us and let’s talk about your specific needs. Our experts are here to help.

You can also read about change management strategies and the challenges often faced during implementation of new technology.

  1. 1. “State of the American Workplace." Gallup, Inc. 2017. https://s3.amazonaws.com/external_clips/attachments/2131671/original/SOAW_Report_GEN_1216_WEB_FINAL_rj.pdf?1538591582
  2. 2. “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation 2018 Predictions." IDC. 2017. https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=US43154617

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