Click to learn more about author Sam Thorpe.
Businesses have strived to become more digital over the last few years, but the process to get there has been slow or even nonexistent. In fact, more than 50 percent of digital transformation efforts stalled in 2018. However, the “sit there and wait for the right time” approach wasn’t an option when the pandemic hit last year. Since then, the need for digital transformation has rapidly accelerated, forcing companies to adopt new tools, technologies, and practices.
While organizations have prioritized digital initiatives, there are still some gaps, especially in the area of document productivity. According to recent research, 83 percent of employees said the way their company handles documents has not improved significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with employees at home, many businesses continue to use physical documents and storage. But in this new era of remote and hybrid working, having a significant reliance on paper is problematic.
Remote work is here to stay in some form even after the pandemic ends – 73 percent of employees plan to work from home as much or more frequently after COVID-19. With this in mind, companies need to start digitizing their document workflows and move to electronic data storage. Here are some of the benefits of storing documents electronically:
1. Easy and effective collaboration
Stakeholders can review, update, track, and share documents with minimal effort. If a team is remote (or working in a hybrid structure), they can still access all the documents they need no matter where they are.
2. Cost savings and efficiency
If you’re still leasing office space, consider the costs you have devoted to physical document storage. Removing that storage could help you downsize or free up that space for something more valuable like a conference room. You can also cut costs significantly if you eliminate the need to print and deliver documents. Bottom line: When paper is no longer in the picture, the possibilities are endless.
3. Better document management
Consistency can be difficult to maintain when dealing with physical documents, especially when changes are required. With electronic documents, however, teams can easily introduce new formats, track edits, and avoid duplicating efforts.
4. Increased productivity
Printing, scanning, filing, and sending documents is time-consuming and repetitive. When storing documents electronically, teams can instead focus their efforts on more important tasks and projects.
What to Consider When Evaluating Solutions and Partners
When going down the road of storing data electronically, it’s important to know what features and qualities to look for in a document productivity platform and technology provider.
You should invest in a solution that ensures electronically stored documents are accessible. Find a tool with an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature, which can turn scanned files into searchable, editable PDFs. After OCR, the content within the document becomes accessible to a storage platform’s search function, making it easier to locate in a file database.
A document productivity solution should also deliver an intuitive user experience. When a tool is difficult to learn and navigate, you’ll have a much harder time getting employees to adopt and use it.
Deploying a new technology is never easy, so in addition to strong features, you’ll also want a document productivity solution partner that will guide you through the change management process. Working with the right partner to identify your path to digital transformation will not only help improve workflows, it will also better position your company to compete in today’s highly connected, digital world.