Businesses have been going through document digitization for the last 10-15+ years, so this should not be big news. In the process, everyone discovered important reasons why to digitize, such as:
While many organizations rely on paper documentation for governance, operational needs, and general management, digitization of these documents is also important. Converting paper documents to digital ones increases operational efficiency, improves workflow, and enhances customer relationships and public perception of a company. More importantly, digitization ensures that, should paper documents become lost or damaged, their electronic counterparts will remain accessible. Companies working in the medical, financial, and legal fields are particularly vulnerable in this regard.
Digitization has a strong impact on productivity and profitability, yet like most other major upgrades to a company’s operations, digitization involves costs and risks. Fortunately, experts say that organizations can mitigate these downsides with proper research, management, and oversight of the process.
Here are only a few reasons why going digital makes sense for any 21st-century entrepreneur:
So why is business digitization important for you?
1. Increase your productivity
Digital data is highly searchable, quickly accessible, and easily transferable – which leads to better and quicker workflows. Depending on where your company’s focus is, you can then increase your output with the same resources, and/or have happier clients (e.g. with faster deliveries), and/or have happier employees (e.g. with shorter downtimes of your coffee machine). For example, a paper document that can be found on average in 12 minutes can now be retrieved within seconds, then possibly processed and delivered within 1/10th of the non-digital time. And that’s precisely it: by digitizing your documents, you can target a 10x increase in productivity, without any reduction in coffee breaks.
2. Cost reduction
The dark side of “increased productivity” is “cost reduction”. Yes, you can do more with the same resources, but also you might need to reach the same results with fewer resources. We are the biggest fans of having happy employees, but also know that there are times when empowering the high-expertise side of the company can prove existentially important. Digitization can help you move away from handling, processing, storing paper documents, with potentially significant cost reductions coming from personnel, storage, and transportation.
3. You need to improve everyday efficiency
No matter how efficient you think you have become by today, there is always room for improvement thanks to new technological solutions. Using outdated legacy systems, operating processes manually that could be automated, poor communication between workers and managers, etc. Symptoms like these suggest that you are dealing with real problems that can be solved using digital solutions.
A custom-built enterprise management system can provide solutions to many of these problems by itself. You will find that business digitization greatly increases speed and efficiency, especially if the system is built specifically around your business. Also, you can finally transition from the pen & paper format to the Cloud, which is beneficial for both your business and the environment.
The fact that you are already using some kind of software doesn’t guarantee maximum efficiency. Software constantly needs to evolve and adapt to new business conditions and scale together with the company. If your current software is slow and unreliable with frequent crashes, or incompatible with your newer systems, you probably need to consider updates or replacement. Replacing your inefficient software usually saves you money in the long term, compared to the high costs of maintaining outdated systems.
4. It will save you time.
A business that relies only on paper documentation loses tens of thousands of employee hours annually in the effort to maintain, locate, and update these items. Additionally, many of those documents are only valuable in a specific situation for a few points of data they contain. Therefore, it makes sense to convert them to digital form for as-needed electronic searching, rather than having employees go over large amounts of irrelevant text and data in hopes of finding the exact piece of information they need.
5. It will streamline your operations.
Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of information governance (IG). Simply put, IG is a planned strategy for organizing and accessing all of the documents containing information pertinent to a business’ operations.
A well-structured IG policy increases overall efficiency in handling and dealing with both physical and cloud-based components. Such an IG plan can ensure that, even if physical documents are altered or lost, their digital counterparts remain accessible. This policy also enables employees at multiple service points within an organization to have instant visible access to shared information. Moreover, it helps to implement formalized office protocols for dealing with information as a vital resource.
Recent studies have demonstrated that poor-quality data is the major reason for project expense overruns that cost companies trillions of dollars annually. The greater the visibility available to you through the digitization of documents, the more chances you have to increase the quality of the information these files contain.
6. It will increase the flexibility of your staffing schedule.
Digitization provides greater flexibility in staffing, as it permits staff to work remotely. An added benefit here is the potential to significantly decrease a company’s environmental footprint. A company can also increase retention when staff members enjoy the flexibility of being able to work from home.
Additionally, digitization may enable a company to reduce the amount of office space it needs, thus lowering overhead.
7. It will help you cut costs and maximize your company’s potential.
Digitization can reduce the amount of paid staff needed to process and handle paper copies of records. Electronic files also minimize or eliminate the transportation costs of moving documents from place to place, and lessen the amount of time needed to retrieve relevant documents. Further, nearly two-thirds of American businesses in one recent survey achieved a positive return on investment within two years of undertaking a digitization program.
Today, when the corporate environment is rapidly transitioning to what some experts call “digitization 2.0,” new possibilities have emerged for gathering and using digitized business data to create new layers of value-added products and services. These can, in turn, increase the range of options available for companies to offer their customers and other stakeholders.
8. Enhanced security
A digital document is trackable and you can control who has access to it. Workflows and individual permissions can be instated to maintain confidentiality. Multiple copies can be set, so you can make sure that your documents are never-ever lost. Quite the opposite, information stored in paper formats is degradable, either by natural causes or unfortunate accidents.
Want to find more about how and why you should digitize your company? Our experienced consultants will guide you through the entire process of digitization and/or software development. Together we will find the best digital solutions, to help your company make a global impact.