Document based challenges dents bottom line by as much as €11,700 annually per employee

The @AdobeUK Team

October 16, 2012

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Digital technology has disrupted every industry and geography, revolutionising how office workers today create, produce and manage their work. As more and more employees work remotely and teams span the globe it can often lead to a feeling that all of their time is spent searching, editing and collaborating on documents, rather than their actual day jobs. At the same time IT departments are having to integrate and manage the many different platforms, devices and services workers are demanding, all while protecting sensitive corporate IP and personal information.

While these struggles are well-recognised, we wanted to try and actually quantify their impact on organisations.  It was with this in mind that we partnered with IDC to build a better understanding of office and IT workers’ needs and challenges in the modern day workplace and the financial impact this has on organisations in terms of bottom line. 

The results were surprising: we all know time is being wasted, but the cost of that wasted time reaches an eye-watering, €11,700 per information worker annually! This was calculated by looking at things like the challenges related to personal productivity – such as searching for, but not finding, documents; inefficiencies in collaboration between individuals and companies, and barriers to working on new platforms such as mobile and tablet.

For businesses, the key to closing the gap is to recognise that it is a set of compounding issues: lots of little things that add up to a big impact on employee productivity, and ultimately, the bottom line. The features that we’ve introduced in Acrobat XI – shipping today – equip office workers and IT departments with document collaboration tools that not only increase efficiency through the document creation, management and distribution process, and protect sensitive information, even when documents travel outside of the document management system and corporate firewall. 

Our infographic below highlights some of the other findings from IDC’s whitepaper, and below that you can check out an overview of the all the new features of Acrobat XI to see how it’ll allow you to work smarter, not harder.  

 

Adobe Acrobat XI, new and improved features include:

  • Edit PDF files, modify paragraphs, images, and objects by simply clicking and dragging using the new, intuitive Edit Text and Images tool. Arrange and visually merge select content and multiple documents into one organised PDF file, while retaining source file integrity.
  • Improved protection of all PDF files created from Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and Excel to help prevent copying, editing, or printing without permission.
  • Speed up document and web contract approvals (from weeks to hours) with electronic signatures using the integrated Adobe EchoSign electronic signature service. Simplify forms creation, distribution and results analysis using the included Adobe FormsCentral desktop app.
  • Work with PDF files across tablets and smartphones in touch-friendly Adobe Reader to annotate and add comments, as well as fill in, sign and save forms.
  • Save PDF documents as PowerPoint, Word or Excel files or reuse parts of or entire PDF files as Microsoft Office documents and web pages without retyping or need to reformat.

The new and improved IT features and functionality now enable IT professionals to:

  • Standardise on an easy to use, full-featured, consistent and trusted PDF Reader now with full support for iPads and Android tablets.
  • Integrate Adobe Acrobat XI seamlessly with Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint, enabling users to do more with PDF in an Office or SharePoint environment.
  • Streamline deployment and maintenance with free Adobe tools to aid configuration and installation, as well as enhanced support for Microsoft SCCM/SCUP and Apple Remote Desktop.
  • Help mitigate risk and protect systems and data with industry-leading security technology, in addition to the Adobe PDF Whitelist Framework, allowing selective enablement of JavaScript for both Windows and Mac OS.
  • Easily deliver multi-step PDF file preparation and security measures using the Action Wizard to help ensure organisational consistency.

Making document management work

The @AdobeUK Team

July 24, 2012

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Why the legal industry must embrace technology to improve productivity and increase security

Article by Anke Schnedler, marketing manager, Adobe Systems

 

 

 

 

 

In a fast-paced industry with a huge digital output and major security implications, the need for a robust document management system is not just important, it’s critical. For busy law professionals the ability to easily access, share and work on documents is par for the course: when it works, no one notices, but when it goes wrong, all eyes fall on the IT manager.

As we all know, solicitors, lawyers and barristers have always spent a serious amount of time assembling cases, filling in forms, and compiling letters, briefs and presentations. They then need to exchange these documents with clients, outside counsel and the courts and need a trusted method to control access to, and limit distribution of, confidential information.

As courts implement new electronic filing systems, IT departments need to support staff by equipping them with document collaboration tools that not only increase efficiency through the review and repagination process, but enable them to protect sensitive information, even when documents travel outside of the document management system and corporate firewall. Also key is the ability to have searchable solutions that archive and maintain an audit trail of emails and their attachments.

As a result, many firms are looking at their current document management solutions and cost effectively standardising them across their business. Herbert Smith LLP, a law firm headquartered in London which advises clients from its network of offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, is a great example of a firm that is boosting efficiencies, managing and protecting sensitive information and in turn offering an improved client service. Its aim was to revamp many of its administrative, document-based processes in order to drive efficiency across the organisation.

Using Adobe Acrobat, they were able to assemble case documents efficiently, redact sensitive information securely, improve collaboration across legal teams and complete forms electronically. In addition to reliably redacting sensitive content from case documents, the firm’s staff can now encrypt and password protect PDF files that are delivered to outside teams, helping better safeguard sensitive case details. Indeed, document controls and security rules ensure that only those with permission can access documents and control who opens, views, prints, copies, and modifies files – both inside and outside the firewall.

For further information on how Adobe is helping Herbert Smith LLP prepare, protect, and deliver professional communications in PDF click here.

Driving efficiencies through collaborative working

The @AdobeUK Team

July 04, 2012

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Article by Anke Schnedler, marketing manager, Adobe Systems

 

According to Gartner Group more than 35 per cent of the top 5,000 global companies will “regularly fail to make insightful decisions about significant changes in their business and markets in 2012,” because of lack of information, processes, and tools. Indeed, for many years managers have been telling employees that they should ‘work smarter, not harder’ when seeking improvements in productivity. This is all very well but for design professionals and engineers in the manufacturing industry, collaborating and exchanging plans with colleagues, suppliers, partners and agencies is part and parcel of the job. Having so many people involved in any one project means document review cycles can add days — even months — to project timelines, impacting productivity and the bottom line.

As a result, it’s more important than ever that engineers embrace smart working principles and equip themselves with document collaboration tools that not only increase efficiency through the review process, but enable them to protect company information, even when documents travel outside of the document management system and corporate firewall.
Gone are the days when designs are hand drawn and sent by stagecoach or post for review. Advances in software packages have automated paper-based processes and remote working has revolutionised the way that manufacturers work with dispersed project teams, remote suppliers, offshore production facilities and customers worldwide.

Given the impact of the recession on the UK manufacturing industry, now more than ever, manufacturers need to have a tight end- to-end document management process and collaboration tools to bring products to market quickly. Adobe is committed to helping manufacturers to connect, interact, and engage in powerful new ways. For example, Acrobat X Pro allows organisations to not only combine files from multiple applications which streamlines the design review processes, but also includes features that allow designers to add dimensions as well as rotate, zoom, cross-section, measure, and create 3D markups. The ability to review documents in real-time allows large teams to interact and interrogate rich 2D drawings and 3D designs. Being able to compare plans with previous versions ultimately helps organisations reduce costs, drive innovation, minimise design cycles and improve product quality — while bringing products to market faster than ever.

Another key challenge for manufacturers is how to maintain the integrity of networked systems whilst mitigating the risk of exposing critical data in an environment where the threat landscape is constantly changing. Indeed, manufacturers across the globe (Boeing, Allgaier Automotive, Electrolux, and Samsung) rely on products like Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader software. By using PDF, manufacturers can protect and manage sensitive information through document controls and security rules so only those with permission can access documents and control who opens, views, prints, copies, and modifies files — both inside and outside the firewall.

The old adage time is money is now more relevant than ever before. Modern day manufacturers need to embrace technology if they are to achieve operational efficiency. To see how Adobe and its partners can help manufacturers prepare, protect, and deliver professional PDF communications click here.

Maintaining company confidentiality through collaborative working

Emma Wilkinson

May 15, 2012

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Today’s fragmented workforce means document creation and distribution is a core activity for the majority of businesses, with workers frequently collaborating on and exchanging documents with colleagues, suppliers, partners, agencies, and customers remotely. This increasingly collaborative way of working means that business productivity and document security can be compromised.

This trend is exacerbated by the consumerisation of IT, where employees are increasingly using their favourite mobile devices for corporate data and applications regardless of the security perils. With confidential information being regularly exchanged outside of the corporate firewall, there is an increased risk that this may fall into the wrong hands.

It’s therefore more important than ever that businesses are equipped with collaboration tools which not only increase efficiency through the document review, creation and distribution process, but also enable workers to protect confidential information, achieve cost savings and ultimately grow the bottom line.

Given how many mobile devices are lost or stolen, it’s no surprise companies’ data is at risk. In the UK recently, we have seen high profile data losses endangering not only a company’s intellectual property, but its reputation as well. It is the IT department’s role to proactively protect data and know who in the business is responsible for identifying and classifying sensitive information. That means knowing where it resides, who has access to it and in what way it is coming in or leaving the organisation.

This presents a big challenge to IT professionals but here are some top tips from Adobe that can help navigate this minefield:

  • Apply passwords and usage restrictions to documents: It’s important that employees protect documents with strong passwords or digital signatures, that way, if the documents fall into the wrong hands company information will stay confidential. It’s also a good idea to set usage restrictions to documents so people can’t print or extract information from important files.
  • Educate employees: It is critical that employees not only understand the security measures your company takes, but understands how to use the software that protects them. Training and refresher sessions should be made compulsory for all employees that use software. The key is to make the process as straightforward and understandable as possible so that best practice is second nature to each and every employee.
  • Regularly update software: To help keep your software up to date, ensure you receive regularly scheduled updates and patches from your provider. If you outsource your IT or work with a supplier, make sure that you’re regularly getting updates from them too – they should also be able to provide you with updates and new ways of managing your data. It will also give you an opportunity to brief them on any changes or new challenges you need to work around.
  • Back up work: Making back-up copies of data should be regular practice. This will need to be encrypted to ensure that no one can access the information.  Again, not only should this be part of the company culture so every employee takes responsibility for securely backing up data, speak to your supplier or IT management company and they should be able to assist you with managing your data back-up.
  • Hide or remove sensitive information from documents: Redaction unfortunately normally hits the headlines when it’s done incorrectly, however when done properly, it’s an invaluable tool which lets you permanently remove (redact) visible text and images from PDFs. In place of the removed items, you will see redaction marks that appear as either colored boxes or blank spaces – it is here that you can specify custom text or redaction codes to appear over the redaction marks.

To see how Adobe and its partners can help businesses prepare, protect, and deliver professional communications click here.

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