Now's the Time to Make Sure You Can Take your Business Where You Want It to Go
It is highly likely your organization is well on its way to digitizing as many processes as possible. To help, you have probably adopted a number of digital document and signature solutions. These solutions can transform manual, paper-based processes into automated digital work streams that enable work to be done from anywhere, at any time, ideally using whatever device is handy. But that isn’t enough.
It’s time we looked at what it really takes to thrive and compete in the Document Economy. It’s time we moved from digitization to optimization and true transformation. It’s time to make sure that we are laying the groundwork to enable the kinds of changes that will support the business models and operations we desire in the future. As Jeanne Ross, of the MITSloan Management Review once wrote, “I would argue, failing to distinguish increased digitization (even radically increased digitization) from a digital transformation could be a fatal mistake.”
The first stage of digitization was driven by necessity
The problem is most digitization to date has been done to serve an immediate need versus an overall strategy. This means organizations didn’t do the hard thinking about what they want their operations (and values) to be in the Digital Age. They didn’t have the discussions or make the hard decisions about what the end-goal for the organization is.
Instead, different departments or business units over the years went ahead and adopted a productivity solution(s) that worked for their needs. For instance, the marketing department may have picked something that worked for them, while engineering went with another solution(s), and legal went with something else entirely.
Then, the pandemic hit, and many companies realized they had to immediately accelerate their digitization efforts to support their knowledge workforce working entirely remotely overnight. A McKinsey & Company survey found organizations accelerated the digitalization of their customer interactions, supply-chain interactions, and core internal operations by three to four years and acted 20 to 25 times faster than expected in enacting these changes.
Now, with a couple years of working remotely under everyone’s belt, it’s time to take a step back and see if the way we digitized is really going to set us up for success long-term. Given that hybrid work is here to stay - 70% of companies have announced they are looking to adopt a hybrid work model – we have a unique opportunity to pause and make sure it works best for everyone.
The reality of today’s remote work environment
When most companies look out over their environment, it is usually made up of a hodgepodge of technologies and vendors. As noted, this is the result of decisions being made to solve a particular problem or need, at a specific moment in time. This piecemeal approach to digitization, however, often means the productivity tools an organization needs to empower their digital transformation at scale, are not the productivity tools they currently have.
It matters because the “wrong” tool(s) can limit future potential and add unnecessary complexity and risk to operations that can slow progress, add costs, and generate frustrating experiences for everyone. For example, if it takes multiple solutions to digitize a workflow end-to-end, it can create data silos, incompatibilities and significant expense, both in licensing and maintenance costs, as well as ongoing operational costs. This can stifle the optimization of workflows for maximum ease of use and productivity. For example, a recent Deloitte study found some alarming statistics on the inefficiencies that can result in the workplace:
• 10 times an hour: The amount of time a worker has to toggle between different workplace apps. This translates to 32 days per year of lost workplace productivity.
• 25% of time wasted: Workers spend 25% of their time devoted to finding information on how to do their jobs.
• Trillion of hours lost per year: Knowledge workers spend 40% of their work about work. Factor in 800 hours X 1.25 billion knowledge workers, that’s a lot of time that could be used getting actual things done.
Where Organizations Can Start
Organizations can begin by envisioning what they want the future of their workplace – operations and values – to really look like. When they have defined the ‘end-state’, they can start to choose technologies and work with vendors who can help them meet their transformation objectives. For a look at some of the things to start to think about for productivity tools in particular, check out the blog, “The 4 Capabilities to Ensure Your Remote Work Environment is Working for Your Business”.