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PAPERLESS OFFICE, FIRST STEP TOWARD DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Are you still at the mercy of paper-based systems despite available technologies to reduce paper usage? Go Paperless. Go Secure.

Written by Sunny Ukeachu

Digital transformation has become a prominent discuss in modern business strategies; it is a technology-focused shift and drives changes that determine how businesses relate to customers and how businesses conduct processes. According to Gartner, digital business transformation is the process of exploiting digital technologies and supporting capabilities to create a robust new digital business model. It is “…the process of using digital technologies to create new – or modify existing -business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements,” says Salesforce.

Over the years, technology has always been a catalyst for revolutionizing society. For example, the Neolithic Revolution’s creation of agriculture led to a complete overhaul of where and how people lived and worked. The Industrial Revolution changed agrarian societies into manufacturing centers and altered the work people did and the standards of living they could expect. The Digital Revolution has similarly changed how people communicate, shop, and work. Businesses responding to these changes are having to innovate and invest in digital strategies including adapting to new and available technologies, changes in customer expectations, societal shifts, and industry disruptions. Of course, these changes couldn’t but make them become more customer-focused, agile, adaptive to new opportunities, and efficient to stay competitive in addition to opening the potential for new streams of income, new partnerships, and a broader reach for the brand. Some elements of digital transformation are:

  1. Integrating digital technology;
  2. Improving customer experience;
  3. Modernizing company culture;
  4. Focusing on core business needs;
  5. Strategizing based on technology/digital landscapes.

 The Role of Paperless Office in Digital Transformation

Paper-based communication and processes are cumbersome, impede productivity, reduce operational efficiency, and cost the organization huge money; above all, become a clog in the wheel of maximizing the benefits of digital strategies. Paperless office initiative deliberately removes these papers from processes to improve efficiency and it is the first step toward digital transformation in any organization. In achieving paperless office, you must have a phased road map which is deliberately implemented. In creating the strategic plan, the following milestones need to be considered:

Conversion of documents; information that started as paper is transformed into electronic form. Documents are scanned, indexed, and stored securely in a central repository for easy retrieval.

Processes that were manual are now automated using an electronic document management system integrated with other applications. This helps streamline workflows across business functions.

On the go access of electronic documents – you can access documents anytime, anywhere, and from any device. This is critical if you have multiple offices or employees that need access to documents remotely.

Continual improvement of processes to consistently improve efficiency. Performance indicators are set and monitored for driving steady improvements in customer relationship and service delivery.

Benefits of Paperless Office

1. Reduced Operational Costs

Paperless office helps to reduce printing and other operational costs, for example:

  • Purchase of filing cabinets or use valuable floor space to store paper or keep hard copies for future reference will no longer be needed.
  • Distribution of multiple copies of a file will be reduced. You can use an electronic document management system to store one copy for easy access.
  • Workflow automation helps optimize processes leading to faster payment collection and a reduction in purchasing costs.
  • Securing your data to multiple locations is easy and inexpensive. Recovering that data is even easier, with no impact on business continuity.

2. Regained Time for Productivity

  • When content is stored centrally and correctly indexed, it’s easily accessible. Employees won’t have to waste time searching for those files and can quickly share information across your organization.
  • Easy access and the ability to share documents rapidly, speeds up processes and contributes to time gains in crucial processes such as invoicing, employee on-boarding and collections. For example, you can speed up and automate invoice processing by automatically linking related documents like purchase orders, bills of lading, contracts and more.
  • You can also save time by integrating applications. For example, by integrating document management systems, invoicing, and customer relationship software, you’ll avoid siloing tasks and ensure the smooth flow of information.

3. Better Security and Compliance

  • Information security practice is in the interest of your organization and employees. Its inadequacy may expose you to the risk of losing business-critical information which could impact negatively on business continuity and client relationships.
  • Digital systems let you work in a safer and more secure environment: You’re better protected from security breaches due to document and communication encryption and can control who has access to specific files.
  • Maintaining compliance with mandates such as NDPR and GDPR is also far easier, and you’re better prepared should disaster strike: Multiple and secure redundant backups help you effortlessly recover data.

In conclusion, the International Data Corporation (IDC) analysts, Susan Feldman and Chris Sherman note in a pivotal IDC white paper, that “timely access to critical information separates the winners from the losers in today’s economy.” This is the hallmark of Digital Transformation also. To ensure you remain a winner in your market and are equipped to resolve your customers’ and clients’ needs, including the information needs of the workers sustaining your organization, adapting a paperless office is the smartest thing to do. Go paperless today!

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