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How To Use Digital Innovation To Differentiate Your Business

digital innovationDigital innovation is no light endeavor, but it is one that positively impacts your business internally and externally.

Yet, with so many ways to go digital, it’s hard to decide where to focus your attention as a business.

The purpose of this article is to outline a strategic approach to digital innovation. It’s an approach that challenges you to look at how you work today versus how you could work tomorrow, and one that, with the right kind of implementation, will help you get closer to achieving small and big business goals.

The 3 Ps Of Digital Innovation

People: Your most expensive business assets are also your most underutilized. How do you get more out of your people? Focus on automating the administrative and data-entry aspects of their jobs. The key to driving digital innovation through your people is uncovering the source of their headaches and then relieving them through technology. Many times, this will enable employees to focus on incorporating their knowledge and skills into the business, which is really what you hired them to do in the first place.

Processes: People are stops in a process, so when you uncover the source of their headaches, that source may point to a process. You can't fix everything at once, so where do you start? The answer is in digitizing document-intensive processes. In the end, the bottlenecks and lack of accountability and transparency in processes can all be alleviated with easy-to-use digital workflows.

Platform: Leading digital innovation with people and processes helps you steer away from buzz-worthy technology trends – unless they actually make sense – and arrive on technology that empowers your people and streamlines your processes. In some cases, this may lead you to consider content management, document management, records management, collaboration management or a solution that encompasses all of the above.

Where Digital Innovations Make The Most Business Impact

Internal Systems, Processing, Reporting And Access:

Technology allows businesses to do more with less and to tame out-of-control costs. Using technology to relieve these stress points ultimately points to back-office, paper-heavy processes. Look at how your business might automate not just tasks, but entire workflows. Such innovations lead to faster reporting, quicker decision-making and reduced response times for satisfied customers. Empower your employees by giving them better access to the data they need, when they need it, wherever they need it.

Product And Service Simplification:

Doing business with you should not be a hassle. In fact, doing business with you should be an insight into how modern companies use technology to supplement and streamline service offerings. Allow your customers to pay for service before you leave their home. Enable your systems to seamlessly serve up frequently requested reports. Use technology to do exactly what you do today, but better.

Business Collaboration And Customer/Supplier Engagement:

Businesses waste time looking for answers, whether these answers live in documents or other members of the organization. Communication and collaboration tools speed the delivery of knowledge and products. The faster your salespeople send a proposal out, the more potential customers they are able to meet with. Knowing what discounts are available from suppliers and where customers stand on payment are just the tip of tackling cash flow efficiencies through digital innovation.

Digitizing Documents And Processes: Where To Begin

Tackling document-intensive processes is an important component in any digital innovation initiative. Documents touch all areas of a business. A focus on how your business distributes, manages, controls and protects documents flowing in and out of the business yields high returns in both improving processes and establishing digital workflows – the true aim of modern organizations considering new technology.

The first question a business should ask is, "How could we be more efficient and responsive through digital processes?" followed by "How can we best manage the documents within these processes?" Each document needs to be associated with a flow, and figuring out the essential documents and associated processes is the first step before establishing digital workflows.

A focus on digital innovation should ultimately revolve around better business outcomes and how to achieve these outcomes through efficient digital workflows.

Learn more about adopting a strategic pursuit of digital innovation by implementing electronic documents through digital workflows.

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