Making Digital Transformation a Business Priority
Author: David Whitton, regional general manager of Kodak Alaris Information Management
Whilst it is a commonly held belief that reducing and/or removing paper is best practice, we are still a long way from becoming a paper-free world. 25 per cent of the businesses polled in the AIIM ‘Paper-Free in 2016, Are we there yet?’ report indicated that they run a totally paper-free environment – a mere seven per cent increase on the previous year’s findings.
In today’s digital age, getting smarter about data and taking steps to ensure that information is no longer an under-utilised asset, needs to be a high priority on the business agenda. Organizations should view digital transformation not as a challenge, but as an opportunity for them to manage information with greater efficiency, facilitate better sharing and collaboration, reduce costs, boost productivity and improve the bottom line. Here are a few tips for accelerating digital transformation.
Eliminate media disruptions – focus on end-to-end digital processes
Due to increased manual effort, paper produces the highest costs and the largest loss of time. In today’s era of near real-time communication, this is no longer viable. Take a close look at all paper-based workflows. Most of them are recurring routine operations, which can be easily automated and thus made more efficient.
Input management is part of the overall digital strategy
Create a ‘paper firewall’, so that costly paper-based operations do not enter into business processes in the first place. Capturing (scanning) information, at the point it enters the organisation and seamlessly integrating the data within business processes and workflows, ensures greater control, security and accessibility. The key is to ensure that data quickly becomes active for all employees and can be used to drive the business forward.
The future belongs to browser-based capture and mobile apps
Web-based (browser-based) and mobile capture solutions enable documents to be digitised anytime, anywhere and across all devices. The software runs centrally on servers, there’s no need to install on individual terminals, meaning documents can be captured via a browser, from within a line of business application or using a smartphone. Expenditure on infrastructure is reduced and as IT support is centralised, businesses benefit from lower operating costs and a faster ROI.
The new freedom of wireless scanning
Wireless scanners enable seamless connectivity through the office network or over Wi-Fi. Equipped with standard drivers, they can be easily and securely integrated within existing and legacy business applications and used alongside cloud- or web-based capture applications. This new generation of scanners can be controlled by smartphones and tablets, but also by permanently installed scanning solutions and browser-based capture software, which makes them flexible devices, both today and in the future.
Decentralised capture complements the central input management
Historically, centralised document capture was sufficient. However modern working practices and trends including Bring your own Device (BYOD), which is driving more use of mobile devices at work, combined with customer expectations for 24/7 access and real-time communication, has created a requirement for knowledge workers to tap into decentralised capture solutions. This is exactly why companies should be leveraging new scanning technologies and solutions that simply, efficiently and securely integrate paper documents directly into electronic processes, independent of the application or available hardware.
In conclusion, the bottom line is always at the heart of any business decision and any capital investment needs to be carefully considered. However, it’s important to look at the long-term picture. We are managing more information than ever, which makes the requirement to create efficient systems to handle it much more pressing. In today’s mobile-first era, paper-based processes are no longer viable, and forward-thinking organisations should be digitally transforming their information management strategies to improve operational efficiency and ensure profitable growth.