Over the last three years, much of the analyst, vendor, and industry buzz has pointed to the end-goal called digital transformation. The adoption of digital transformation solutions has skyrocketed over the past few years, with their market size expected to reach USD 8.92 trillion by 2030, according to Fortune Business Insights. Other reports confirm its position in the zeitgeist, claiming that 70% of organizations are working on some aspect of digital transformation. However, it’s important to distinguish between following just another trend and actually driving impactful change. Here are a few ideas to remember if you plan to transform digitally.
Don’t update your tech without reexamining your processes.
Digital transformation only occurs when companies understand how their processes can change with new technologies to support them. One of the worst mistakes an organization can make is scanning all their documents and replicating their paper processes.
Take the management of invoices as an example. These documents are frequently referenced and contain business-critical information. Moving them from a physical file cabinet to a digital tree of folders would involve a newer technology but would ultimately be the same process with little return on investment. But with an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution, such as Laserfiche, information on the invoice, such as vendor name, date, and invoice number, is digitally indexed, allowing the document to be instantly searched and retrieved.
This process saves significant time for other business activities, creating a tangible return on investment. Once this new digital process succeeds, it can be expanded and improved upon. Better still, the organization can look for a similar “case-based” process to automate.
Digital Transformation should be approached gradually.
Using the same invoicing example, we can look at a different process: indexing within the ECM system. Manual index data entry certainly helps search capabilities and takes staff time away from more strategic duties.
This process can be significantly improved using the automated population of key fields, a tool with ECM solutions like Laserfiche Workflow. Simply clicking a button and highlighting the information will populate the index fields instantaneously, saving additional time and reducing errors that can result from typing.
This process can be further transformed by removing the need to punch in data from each invoice individually. Laserfiche Quickfields lifts index information as invoices are scanned and can feed that data to business-critical systems like ERP to foster bill creation and resource management.
Expanding your digital transformation with document capture technology can save tremendous amounts of time, but it also relies on changing your processes. While the process for manual data entry would involve keying in the data and reviewing it for quality, document capture shortens this process by entering the data automatically. The resulting, updated process takes advantage of the new technology to transform the way you work.
Effective digital transformations result from being mindful of your processes and how new technologies can improve them. Setting measurable goals with metrics like productivity and customer service ratings can indicate whether your return on investment is substantial. Implementing these changes gradually allows you to keep measuring these metrics and scaling up your solution when you see opportunities to create more value.
Now, as far as the question I posed in the title when implemented thoughtfully and positively impacts operations and the bottom line, digital transformation is NOT malarky.