Digitizing Paper Documents is More Important than Digital Transformation of Business

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Why Digitization of Paper Documents is Important for Digital Transformation?

A lot of people say they want to digitize their business:

  • But what exactly do they mean by it?
  • Are they referring to the digitization of their entire business?
  • How do they plan to do it?
  • They cannot just go ahead and turn everyone and everything into bits and bytes, neither can they automate everything and replace humans with robots.
  • Are they planning to connect everything which is not connected till now with IoT? So what exactly do they mean by digitization of their business?

There are a lot of what and why and how.

One of the elements of a successful digital transformation is adapting and adopting newer ways to operate, which mostly relies on the right kind of talent, prioritizing speed and targeting milestones. But one of the most important and prime amongst all of them is getting the organization in shape for digitization.

“There is no digital transformation without digitization of paper and processes”

What is the digitization of paper documents?

For the benefit of all, would emphasize on the fact that digitization is creating a digital version of paper documents, microfilm images, photographs etc. It also can be the activity of converting and then representing things which are non-digital, such as signals, health records, location data, identity cards, etc., in a digital format, which conveniently can be used for a wide plethora of possible reasons.

What is the digitization of processes?

So now that paper documents or analog, printed images are digitized by using document scanners; the next step is to use the data it contains. With help of intelligent capture technologies, data is extracted in a digital form and leveraged to feed a workflow, a business process, software or a system etc. In a way, it is automation that we are talking of. Use of digital data, extracted from physical documents, to automate business processes and workflows is the digitization of processes.

Why should you digitize your business?

Paper documents are required to be stored somewhere, and the cost of storage space is a real burden to companies with the increase in real estate prices. In addition, costs of having enough professionals to keep the paper stream moving to things like the cost of the paper, shelving, file folders, etc., it all adds up. Several industries are required to adhere to more stringent data management rules, which makes it all the more necessary that such organizations are equipped to track, access, and retain/destroy documents as dictated by those rules. But the reason on top of all this is customers are spoiled big time. Thanks to the amazing services offered by companies like Amazon and Apple. The benchmark they have raised makes every customer expect delivery of products and services as swiftly and seamlessly as they do.

To the extent that now customers want to buy a phone from their telecom provider and activate and set it up immediately. They want to see a real-time report of their electricity consumption through their account. Pre-approved bank loans or approval in minutes is also on their wish list. They judge the credibility of their service or product provider based on the automated access to the data, which they as customers provided earlier. Lesser the repetitive questions, better the service provider.

There still exist organizations, which fail miserably when it comes to meeting these basic customer expectations. This is what makes it a convenience for millennial attackers to just swoop in and disturb the market with rapid delivery of digital products and services, backed with advanced machine learning algorithms, and of course complete access to information. Do not make the mistake of expecting the customer to ask for services or products, in a way mentioned above.

Instead, they would demand:

  • Global consistency
  • Intuitive interfaces
  • Personalized treatment
  • Real-time fulfillment
  • Round-the-clock availability
  • Zero errors

You may be a company from any industry, with the kind of paper document driven business that you are operating can you meet any one of the above-mentioned demands? If the answer is No be prepared for a radical overhaul of all your business processes. The task might sound to be humongous and difficult – but it is not impossible. Once you start providing superior user experience to your customers, you can offer more competitive prices due to lower costs, better operational controls and of course less risk.

Digitization of documents and processes; now is the time to do it

Every single business is required to initiate the process of digitizing their legacy files and new documents, as and when they are received or created. Improved efficiency, accuracy and customer service will give them a competitive edge for futuristic profitable growth.

Chirag Shivalker
About the Author: - active as a BPM professional for more than 15 years; believes that mindset & not the toolset ensures the success of any Business Process Management partnership. He creates strong arguments for justifying BPM initiatives, which provide leaner and more productive, flexible and efficient business operations.

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