Max Ertl, President of DocuWare, explores the meaning of digital transformation in a post-pandemic world.
Enabling employees to operate normally anytime and from anywhere is critical to a successful remote workforce. The challenges presented by the pandemic has been a call to action for businesses to take digital transformation seriously. There has been a surge in cloud, cybersecurity, and digital investments to ensure business continuity and productivity since the start of the pandemic. Forrester outlined two key pillars to digital transformation – customer experience and operational excellence.
Businesses are embracing the lessons learned during this unprecedented time and building solid foundations for continual digital transformation. The path to post-pandemic recovery will lead to a more empowered, digitally-savvy distributed workforce, technological investments, operational transformation, and better customer experiences – all of which are key to organisations thriving.
Creating an empowered, digitally oriented operation
The sudden shift to remote working presented challenges to ensuring a seamless operation. Aspects of work life, such as onboarding employees, managing workflows and collaboration, were easier to do in a single physical space. However, the pandemic has forced businesses to quickly adapt to a new work environment and be much more flexible to employee needs. Research from McKinsey has revealed that more than 20% of the workforce could work remotely three to five days a week, which would mean that there will be three to four times as many people working from home than prior to the pandemic. Businesses of all sizes and industries need to be prepared with the right investments, strategy, and mentality.
Working together in a distributed environment requires new skills and tools. More flexible policies and investment in intuitive cloud and document management tools can free teams of administrative, manual tasks, such as managing long email chains, multiple versions of crucial documents, and constant status inquiries. Having colleagues work alongside one another live in Microsoft Office programmes and collaborating in real-time has real benefits to creating a connected and highly effective remote workforce and is key to a successful digital transformation.
New technology or document management software solutions need to integrate seamlessly with current systems in use by the business. Software integrations enable employees to continue working with minimal disruption, which gets their buy-in on any such major investments.
Improving workflows and eliminating manual intervention is crucial to fostering seamless digital transformation. The increase in remote workers has led to a rise in digital workflows, as they are the most effective way to ensure timeliness and effective collaboration. Any document management solution that enables workflows to be set up easily by the business user will lead to a huge boost to productivity. Business users should not be reliant on IT experts to create their workflows; they should be able to do it themselves – this is essential for organisations on their digital transformation journey.
Transforming the customer experience
Whether it is contract management or invoice processing, ensuring processes are automated, seamless, and integrated will enable operations to thrive. Better collaboration can drive customer-centric innovation. With agile, efficient systems in place, paper-based workflows that typically take up too much time will be replaced by real digital workflows. Employees can focus on higher-value tasks, such as improving products and services and creating new ways to engage with customers, all of which will enhance the customer experience.
Data is at the core of any business, so providing secure, anytime-anywhere access is key. A remote workforce comes with additional security risks. Businesses need to continue assessing protocols they can put in place from a corporate level, explore protection against both deliberate and accidental security breaches, improve access control and protection. This will not only provide reassurance for business leaders and their employees, but also security for customers that their data is safely archived.
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As the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, businesses can look to adopt a work model that is best suited for their organisation. Equipping teams with the right technologies to better manage workflows will be essential for any work model. Having the tools in place that automate processes, free staff, reduce costs, and ensure security, means information can flow effortlessly – from anywhere, on any device, at any time. Organisations not only transform the way they work internally but also how they engage and deliver experiences to their customers.