Adobe Digital Dialogue

Digital Transformation — An Imperative for Every Business

Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion (DX) has been a hot talk­ing point for some time now, but it seems that a tip­ping point has been reached, with orga­ni­za­tions pick­ing up pace to get onboard. Accord­ing to IDC 72 per­cent of the top 1000 enter­pris­es in APAC will have DX at the cen­ter of their cor­po­rate strat­e­gy by the end of 2016, with more than half of them cre­at­ing an inde­pen­dent posi­tion to over­see the DX strat­e­gy implementation1.

Beyond the hype, what does DX real­ly entail? First, DX should span the entire orga­ni­za­tion. Aside from pro­vid­ing an engag­ing web­site, great ser­vice, or excel­lent con­tent, DX should be an orga­ni­za­tion-wide exer­cise in cre­at­ing great cus­tomer expe­ri­ence (CX) from end-to-end.

This requires atten­tion to the user expe­ri­ence (UX) from cus­tomer acqui­si­tion and trans­ac­tion, to on-board­ing stages. A mobile-first approach is key in deliv­er­ing opti­mal UX across devices, espe­cial­ly as con­sump­tion of data via mobile has been increas­ing in Asia Pacif­ic. Accord­ing to Trans­paren­cy Mar­ket Research, Asia Pacif­ic is expect­ed to be the largest mar­ket for mobile data traf­fic from 2012 to 2018, and is primed to lead the glob­al mobile traf­fic data mar­ket in the same peri­od.

The ques­tion on the minds of many orga­ni­za­tions today seek­ing to make the tran­si­tion to dig­i­tal is — “How?”

Digitizing Document Workflow — One Step Closer to Digital Transformation

Dig­i­tiz­ing doc­u­ment work­flow is one of the most nat­ur­al step towards achiev­ing a ful­ly-dig­i­tal user jour­ney. Accord­ing to IDC, 77 per­cent of busi­ness­es agree that improv­ing their doc­u­ment man­age­ment and process­es would increase cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. Doc­u­ment dig­i­ti­za­tion also deliv­ers agili­ty, effi­cien­cy and cost-sav­ings that are espe­cial­ly ben­e­fi­cial for resource-scarce small and medi­um busi­ness­es look­ing to do more with less, in the midst of ris­ing busi­ness costs and intense glob­al com­pe­ti­tion.

Here are some advantages of switching from paper-based to digital workflows:

Speed and agility

While doc­u­ments are part and par­cel of every­day busi­ness, there is still room for improve­ment when it comes to doc­u­ment­ing work­flow process­es. A sur­vey by IDC of over 1,500 line-of-busi­ness exec­u­tives across sales, human resources (HR), pro­cure­ment and more, esti­mates a 36 per­cent increase in rev­enue, a 30 per­cent reduc­tion in cost, and a 23 per­cent reduc­tion in busi­ness or com­pli­ance risk, that will result from the abil­i­ty to stream­line doc­u­ment process­es.

In a con­nect­ed, fast-paced mar­ket­place, doc­u­ment approval and con­tract turn­around time­lines that used to be seen as the norm are no longer accept­able. Paper-based process­es and wet sig­na­tures are fast becom­ing obso­lete. Time is mon­ey, and with dig­i­ti­za­tion, the entire sign­ing process can now be com­plet­ed in min­utes, instead of weeks.

Local­ly, SMRT – one of Singapore’s major pub­lic trans­port providers – took effi­cien­cy to the next lev­el when they imple­ment­ed Adobe Sign to dig­i­tize doc­u­ment work­flows for sales agree­ments, inter­nal pro­cure­ment doc­u­ments, and invoic­es. Across depart­ments, teams saw an imme­di­ate impact. With doc­u­ments being sent elec­tron­i­cal­ly, SMRT was bet­ter equipped to keep track of the doc­u­ments through their respec­tive work­flows, and could even quick­ly restart approval process­es when­ev­er changes arise.

Over­all agree­ment pro­cess­ing time also came down to about 16 hours, from three weeks pre­vi­ous­ly. In addi­tion, SMRT was able to turn around the approval for urgent doc­u­ments in just sev­en min­utes.

The pos­i­tive impact on the bot­tom-line is evi­dent. After going dig­i­tal, SMRT observed sav­ings of more than SGD$100,000 in man-hours. Beyond quan­tifi­able terms, dig­i­ti­za­tion can also pos­i­tive­ly impact qual­i­ta­tive aspects such as employ­ee morale and sat­is­fac­tion.

Greater workforce morale and productivity

In Adobe’s “Paper Jam” sur­vey of office work­ers world­wide, 61 per­cent of respon­dents would change jobs if they could han­dle less paper­work. Accord­ing to the same sur­vey, 55 per­cent of office work­ers feel the bur­den of mun­dane and inef­fi­cient process­es, which detract them from their core job func­tions. Exec­u­tives sur­veyed by IDC in a sep­a­rate study echo this phe­nom­e­non. Accord­ing to IDC, work­ers spend 36 per­cent of their time on admin­is­tra­tive tasks, and less than two-thirds on their core job func­tion.

This is not at all sur­pris­ing, giv­en the sheer amount of doc­u­men­ta­tion involved on a day-to-day basis. In HR for exam­ple, doc­u­men­ta­tion is nec­es­sary at every stage of an employee’s life­cy­cle – from con­tract sign­ing, to per­for­mance reviews; and clear­ance check­lists when employ­ees exit a com­pa­ny. The dra­mat­ic time-sav­ings that can be gleaned from doc­u­ment dig­i­ti­za­tion pro­vide agili­ty to busi­ness­es in the inten­sive war for tal­ent, espe­cial­ly in meet­ing the UX expec­ta­tions of mil­len­ni­als who have grown up as dig­i­tal natives.

Getting Started

Giv­en the wide range of use cas­es for doc­u­ments – the next ques­tion to tack­le is often where one could begin. Here is a check­list to get start­ed:

  • How does your organization’s work­force oper­ate in the mobile envi­ron­ment today? Do your employ­ees have the same set of capa­bil­i­ties to work on doc­u­ments inside and out­side the office?
  • How does your busi­ness send out sales con­tracts today?
  • How can you speed up doc­u­men­ta­tion process­es and be more agile?
  • How can you ensure trace­abil­i­ty of doc­u­ments, espe­cial­ly for con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ments?

The con­flu­ence of high mobile, smart­phone and inter­net pen­e­tra­tion rates puts us at the inflec­tion point at which dig­i­ti­za­tion is set to take off. Cou­pled with the expec­ta­tions of a work­force that is increas­ing­ly time-strapped, the demand for dig­i­tal doc­u­ments will soon rise expo­nen­tial­ly. Get­ting onboard the dig­i­ti­za­tion jour­ney is not an option, but an imper­a­tive for busi­ness­es who plan to stay ahead of the pack.

This arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Entrepreneur’s Digest.

Document Management

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