The road to digital transformation

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Find out how to start your digital transformation journey. Learn how transforming document-heavy workloads is the first step.

8. mars 20217 minutter
the road to digital transformation | Iron Mountain

Digital transformation can optimise workflows, eliminate data silos, automate processes and improve efficiency. It can also help attract new customers, boost employee productivity and streamline organisations. Learn how transforming document-heavy workloads is an integral part of the transformation process.

Surviving and thriving in today's competitive, fast-paced world is tough for small businesses. Many are finding the key to success is digital transformation. It's the best way to promote productivity, reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction.

In a broad sense, digital transformation is the concept of transforming manual processes into digital or automated processes. It often starts with modernising data and information management. When it's done well, it can optimise workflows, automate processes, enhance efficiency and do away with data silos. It can also help attract new customers, boost employee productivity and streamline organisations. It's so important, in fact, that Gartner's latest CIO survey found it's now a top-three priority across every industry.

Transform Document-Heavy Workloads

Transforming document-heavy business workflows is a key part of any digital transformation strategy. According to research from IDC, taking this step reduces the time spent on documented-related tasks by 17% each week, increases employee productivity by 41%, decreases errors by 52% and lowers costs by 35%.

While the benefits are clear, achieving these results takes some work. For most businesses, it starts with knowing what you have. Only then can you determine the best way to digitally store the remaining documents and implement formal processes to store or destroy future documents.

Know what you have: Do you know where all of your data (both paper and digital) is? Most companies have documents and data in various locations — in filing cabinets or in various and often unconnected data repositories. The only way to know for certain is by performing an inventory audit. For paper-based documents, this can be time-consuming, but it's critical. For digital records, some companies choose to use an inventory management application to identify discrepancies. Others opt for a logical vault audit, in which experts scan individual bar codes for all media belonging to the company.

Destroy what you don't need: Unless there is a compelling reason to keep paper copies for legal, compliance or tax reasons, destroying documents after they are no longer needed or required makes economic sense. Once you've determined which documents can go, it's important to destroy them securely.

Store documents that must remain in paper form efficiently and cost-effectively: Storing documents in filing cabinets occupies valuable space. It's also not secure. Instead, consider moving those documents to a secure facility where storage experts manage records and can retrieve them for your staff on demand.

Digitise the rest: Digitising documents is crucial for digital transformation. While some of your records may already be stored digitally, most businesses have plenty of paper documents that must be retained for some length of time. Many choose to categorise and prioritise files to be digitised based on department or project.

Once all existing files have been digitised, implement an automated process that consistently digitises new documents as they are created. One popular option is image-on-demand, which scans documents and stores them in a web-based, hosted repository or secure FTP site.

Once documents are stored digitally, they are much easier and faster to access and share when needed. It's also much easier to extract important data from documents that can be invaluable for decision-making.

No high-level digital transformation can ever be complete when the information required to make decisions is stored in non-digital records. Essentially, eliminating paper as much as possible is a prerequisite to automation, which in turn is a prerequisite to digital transformation.

More companies than ever understand what it takes. According to recent research by The Economist, digital transformation is now the norm. A large majority of respondents (73%) have had digital-transformation initiatives in place for two years or more.

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