It is estimated that 90 percent of the world’s data has been produced in the last two years. While a tsunami of data inundates organizations from a variety of sources (most of them digital these days), many businesses still depend heavily on paper-based business processes. The challenge with paper is that it prevents organizations from truly unlocking the power of documents and the information they contain. Manually extracting data from paper is laborious and time consuming for staff and can result in errors, missing or overlooked information, and inefficient business processes.
As such, paper is the Achilles heel of most organizations and a great place to start tackling digital transformation. According to Quocirca’s Digital Transformation Study, 79 percent of organizations report that digitization of paper documents is very or extremely important to their overall information management strategy.i The primary drivers for information capture are improved searchability, reduced physical storage and increased shareability. The report adds that organizations that have digitized several business processes are reaping productivity benefits and cost savings while enjoying better customer retention and enhanced employee engagement levels.
Still, information capture has its challenges – the top one being complexity, cited by 62 percent of respondents. While there is no one-size-fits all approach to digital transformation, there are a few simple steps organizations can take to optimize information capture and workflow automation to avoid or overcome hurdles in the implementation process:
- Map out the associated data streams. Find the different input channels and repositories used, along with interdependencies like augmenting or validation.
- Isolate the most business-critical workflows.
- Identify simple, easy to implement projects with measurable business impact. Get buy-in from the leadership team based on a clearly defined project scope and expected ROI.
- Pinpoint the biggest bottlenecks in the process. Quantify the impacts to the business that affect profitability, productivity and long-term success.
- Document and communicate progress and key performance indicators against expected goals and ROI.
- Consider every step of the data and/or document lifecycle as it impacts the end- to-end workflow. Start with the first steps in the business workflow; if you don’t optimize the first steps, it will make the entire process inefficient.
Digital transformation initiatives can provide a host of benefits to an organization – particularly the gains that come from automating labor-intensive, manual processes. As the volume and complexity of data entering modern organizations continues to increase, an ecosystem of intelligent information capture solutions will be critical to help businesses achieve their digital transformation goals.