Every day, the world becomes more digital. In our personal lives, the change is persistent.
How do businesses keep up at the same pace? The answer is: With a focus on changing how, when and where work is done – and by better managing that work across the entire business.To this end, businesses are using a digital strategy that includes Document Management as a means of growing cost effectively and gaining an edge that might otherwise be leveraged by the competition.
How could your business prioritize digital technology choices to help you become a more efficient, more productive and more profitable company?
The answer is in your digital business strategy.
What Is A Digital Business Strategy And Where Should You Start?
Before discussing the need to create a “digital business strategy,” it helps to define the term.
According to SearchCIO, there are three key elements to a digital strategy:
A plan to apply technology to optimize business processes and better manage client and company data
- A cross-functional team involving executive leadership, marketing and IT to develop the plan
- An approach that breaks down silos across departments for better business collaboration and a consistent digital customer experience
Defining your digital business strategy also delivers the benefits of a tighter focus on technology architecture and information governance.
While all of these activities impact marketing and customer-focused processes, the core of your digital business strategy should revolve around how to use technology within the business to do more with less. Therefore, when developing your digital strategy, focus on the major business benefits first.
Lessons From The Recession And The Implications For Your Digital Strategy
During the recession, companies laid off hundreds of employees – employees who had been with the company for a long, long time. These layoffs forced businesses to do more with less and figure out how to do it fast, or be swallowed up.
No one wants to relive those painful days, but the wounds are still fresh. Businesses are wary of adding bodies. They don’t want to lean on people-heavy processes in a market that’s still volatile. They want to leverage technology in a way that helps them accurately assess where and when more heads should be added to the business.
A digital business strategy helps to determine what resources should be added to the organization within the context of digital processes. An effort to create digital processes around major workflows will eventually put time back into the business so you and your employees can focus on other goals.
Guidelines For Prioritizing Technology Choices
While the lifecycle of business technology varies by industry, it is sometimes as short as 12 to 18 months.
So, how do most businesses prioritize technology initiatives? By focusing on making money from the people and the business intelligence they currently have on hand, establishing an infrastructure and extending out from there.
The better businesses are at managing their people and their data, the more profitable they will be – and the more money they’ll have that can be used to grow the business.
Even under these rules, businesses remain conservative and have a hard time distinguishing between “nice-to-have” technology and “must-have” technology. Some businesses remain reluctant to see digital document management as a necessity. The ones that formulate a digital business strategy around a document management system usually find themselves in a better position than those that do not.
A focus on controlling, managing and protecting company data, often in the form of documents, is an initiative that touches every facet of a business.
Profitable Growth In The Digital Age: Benefits Of Digital Document Management
The key elements of a digital business strategy include using technology to optimize processes and data, and breaking down silos in favor of interdepartmental collaboration. Deployed properly, document management software does exactly this.
Today, each department in a business usually has its own file system, its own set of documents and its own way to share that information, whether it’s by downloading and emailing or printing it. What’s more is that the information within each department is stored in a silo, and if information is shared by downloading and emailing, this will create copies upon copies of business intelligence. Disseminating information this way increases a business’s liability in terms of compliance and information governance; as well as placing a huge burden on your servers
On the other hand, consolidating seemingly different technology through a document management system creates security, enhances collaboration across departments and allows a business to leverage information in ways they never have before.
A business that aligns its digital strategy with a document management strategy is in a better place to centralize information, dissolve silos and build interdepartmental and external workflows that are much easier to scale as the business grows.
Digital Document Management: Productivity And The Advantage Of Integration
On average, an employee spends 18 minutes searching for a document. In a document management system, this process takes 10 seconds. To save 17 minutes on finding any file for any department within any workflow is like adding an entire employee to the business.
Because your business sometimes uses the same document across departments, it helps to centralize that information. The document management system should easily integrate with and store documents that may be accessed from other systems in cross-departmental workflows. This increases ease of retrieval and speeds up the pace of work while eliminating errors that arise when a document moves from one department into another.
When processing a digital document sourced from your ERP system but stored in your document management system, you are able to quickly cross-reference information and create digital workflows. For example, in a scenario of reviewing an invoice against what was received, you are able to automatically match information and initiate a digital workflow, whether it’s sending a document through to approval or back out to the owner to review an inconsistency.
In another example, when looking up a bank statement on a phone, a document management system serves up the actual PDF statement to the customer in a seamless transition between systems that results in an enhanced customer experience.
With this kind of integration between all business systems, customers who do business with you barely notice the document management technology. They simply benefit from the speed of their information.
Document management improves a business’s ability to provide great service, to do more with less and to use their business assets – both data and people – in an entirely modern way.
Developing Your Digital Strategy Around Document Management
Focusing on developing and extending digital tools throughout your business creates an unprecedented level of transparency. The right tools give you access to how work is being done, how that work might be done differently and, ultimately, what the old way of doing things will cost your business if you resist a technology shift.
While some companies are averse to change, change in the form of electronic document management only opens the door to opportunity.
Learn more about how to digitize paper-based processes through these document management tips.
Learn more about enterprise content management.