Digital transformation is an evolution that a business must undertake in order to successfully adapt to the changing business landscape. And yet, many businesses are still struggling to generate a return on investment (ROI) from their digital initiatives.
Businesses that try to digitise their activities too quickly often fail. That’s because the typical business environment is actually a constantly-evolving balance of manual and digital workflows. Organisation-wide digitisation is the light at the end of the tunnel, but non-digital ways of working will likely continue to play an important role while you optimise your processes and workflows.
In the Middle East, digital disruption is happening fast. McKinsey’s 2016 ‘Digital Middle East’ report identified big increases in smartphone and social media use in the region’s wealthiest nations over the past decade. But digital transformation varies widely from country-to-country, with many businesses and governments still catching up.
Digital transformation is about much more than simply going paperless. In addition to reducing waste, it’s also about improving business processes and changing how you work with documents. That includes being able to work effectively with customers, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders who are at different stages of their digital transformation journey.
This might be in the form of suppliers who still prefer paper receipts, or achieving market penetration in areas where print-based advertising still dominates. Inside your own business, document-intensive departments, such as HR, finance and marketing, could also be at different stages of digital maturity. As you embark on your digital transformation journey, how will your workflows bridge this gap?
When pursuing a digital strategy, first consider the best delivery methods for your business. Which processes should you continue to manage yourself? Which would be better outsourced or delivered as a managed service? In both cases, you will need to be able to clearly communicate your business strategy at each stage and request feedback.
It may not need to be a whole process that is outsourced or automated, but simply some labour-intensive manual tasks that are slowing it down. Traditional document workflows contain many such examples – document searches, retrieval, distribution and archiving can all be delayed for a wide variety of reasons, from human indecision or error, to the use of outdated software.
Digital workflow management allows you to design your document processes to ensure your business, and its employees, are always on track to achieve your digital transformation goals. Areas where it can offer the greatest benefit include:
Digital archiving: Paper-based files and local storage servers are laborious, time-consuming options that slow down your business and cost money. In HR, for example, Canon’s digital document processing has been shown to increase response times and improve visibility through automation. Centralised storage helps to reduce risk through improved security and compliance, and makes it easier for HR staff to keep records up to date.
Content and workflow management: When information can be more easily accessed, every team member has the facts needed to complete their tasks, and insights as to how to improve their ways of working. Cloud based document workflow software such as Canon’s Therefore enables secure access, storage and editing of documents on any device – at any time or location – for better efficiency and team collaboration. Its dynamic and automated reporting provide up-to-date information on KPIs and bottlenecks, allowing you to analyse, automate and optimise.
Physical record management: Paper records can slow productivity to a crawl while making documents harder to find and share. State of the art scanning and imaging products such as Canon’s imageRUNNER and i-SENSYS can help you convert paper documents to a digital format that can be integrated into your workflows quickly and efficiently.
It’s never too early to start your own digital transformation journey. With the right tools, talent and training, it’s now easier than ever to streamline your workflows and achieve real organisational growth.