The world is facing an unprecedented season with the novel coronavirus. Case in point, we are seeing multiple businesses seriously regretting or realizing an opportunity for digital transformation. Which to many was an after-thought or a case of bureaucracy that was delayed for multiple years. On diagnosing the current situation and the factors that drive business changes, allow me to present important aspects of digital transformation and why it might not be as expensive as many think!

Universal effects

In a modern world, digital transformation affects all sectors of society, especially economies. For example, social networks, mobile, big data, Internet of things, or other innovations like blockchain. We see digital initiatives at the core business operations and influencing products and processes, as well as organizational structures. So, either you join the movement and set up appropriate management practices to embrace and conduct these complex transformations, or get left out. It’s the new world order as the digital economy emerges.

Prepared for change and uncertainty.

The first point I can argue is, change is inevitable and the recent pandemic has certainly proved that. In a practical world, it would be foolhardy not to prepare for uncertainty. Changes are basically twofold: either voluntary, where a company can choose to actively shape its future strategies via optimizations and investments. Or reactive, where unplanned and unexpected changes adversely affect the business model and call for restructuring or emergency operations.

Taking a Simple Step Towards True Digital Transformation

More and more businesses today are exploring complex initiatives to achieve digital transformation, but they may not be starting with the basics, from the bottom up. Digital transformation should be seen as a positive change for every person across the organization. So how is this achievable? Consider for a moment the day-to-day processes and tools that workers regardless of role, level or function interact with and one thing everyone has in common comes to mind—documents. By changing the way people work with documents, and improving document workflows, you can have a game-changing effect on the whole organization leading to real competitive advantage.

Lost Productivity

Accelerating staff productivity is of the utmost importance to every business (we always say time is money, right?). Studies have shown that workers lose 20% of their productivity due to documentation challenges. This loss in worker productivity is mainly due to common barriers to effective document collaboration, with traditional and inefficient approaches being utilized. For instance, in the case of email attachments, 44% of workers have ever emailed the wrong version of a file to a colleague or client. While 81% found themselves working on the wrong version by mistake, meaning lost time! Furthermore, up to 5.9 hours a week—close to a full working day—is spent collecting, consolidating, and deciphering convoluted feedback. Yet smoother systems could streamline this inefficacy, where changes made in separate versions could lead to a pile-up of documents that inevitably cause great confusion in teams.

So why should companies go paperless?

First, the energy requirements to support paper-based document processes are tremendous, to say the least. Unfortunately, photocopiers and printers top the list of energy usage in an office, consuming energy when printing, on standby and even in sleep mode.  To give context, it takes approximately 11,134 kWhs to produce a ton of paper – the same amount of electricity used in an average household over 10 months. Wow! Secondly, paper-based documents consume an overwhelming amount of natural resources. For example, every ton of paper consumes 24 trees, 25 m3 of water and 680 gallons of oil. Lastly, paper utilization increases bottom-line costs for the business. It costs $1.12 to print a piece of paper, $20 to file a document, and $120 to search for a misfiled document. In the new internet age, this could be questionable. That’s not even including the cost to store a document!

In case of a Fire Outbreak

While it might seem a rare occurrence nowadays, fire outbreaks cannot be ruled out. Over 60% of today’s businesses would fail within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based. It is hard to fathom, to say the least. That’s omitting documents that could be lost due to human security breaches or unscrupulous behaviour. Unfortunately, more often than not many companies believe it’s too arduous a task to become a “paperless office”, but look at the trade off in the long term! It might seem an impossible feat to have a workspace completely void of all forms of paper, without any printers or file folders in sight. However, going paperless isn’t about removing every single piece of paper from your office – it’s about not creating more paper than is necessary and developing appropriate processes whilst providing workers with the tools that allow them to be more efficient with time and money.

Facilitating remote work

The new world order is already in effect. We can attest to that with the rise in secure remote connectivity, the Cloud, collaborative software, VoIP phones, and “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD). The pivot is towards disruption of the way we work and providing opportunities for more remote out-of-office work. Many managers and employees are already working outside the office using their personal devices, but typically on an ad hoc basis without clearly written remote work best practices. These practices can be improved overtime; however, multiple employers have already implemented security measures to protect their systems and data. Telecommuting is the new way

It’s not that expensive as you think

That said, I believe digital transformation is not as expensive as many tend to believe. The cost myth could be what has fueled many corporate companies and small businesses from shying away from tech. The average online supermarket system can cost you as little as $800 to start, depending on the extra amenities you might require. A basic online shopping system can start from $600 to kick off. While the average online office set up and digitization could start from as little as $2000 to set up a fully managed content management system. Systems that could have features such as secure file sharing, remote chat, remote VoIP calls and project management functionality. So, if you ever decide to take this step, feel free to reach out to us.





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