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In 2018, Go Digital Before Your Competitor Does

For a business to stay relevant and grow, it’s no longer enough to just deliver great products. People are looking for experiences from their personal lives to cross over into the workplace

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We’re less than three months into the New Year and for many of us, New Year’s resolutions are already the very last on our priority list.

In 2017, it was recognized that company success is largely dependent on how well it adopts digital technology. While most businesses recognised the need, few knew what was required to get the initiative started and make it a reality.

For a business to stay relevant and grow, it’s no longer enough to just deliver great products. People are looking for experiences from their personal lives to cross over into the workplace. 

For this reason, organisations must move beyond the digital transformation buzzword and explore ‘transformational experiences’ reimagining how companies and people connect and work in 2018.

What’s the rush?

Regardless of industry, Indian customers are slowly becoming less tolerant for manual, paper-based processes that slow them down. Customers want and expect access to their information to be instant, automated, mobile, and secure. Anything less will feel slow, old-fashioned and frustrating.

This means it is imperative to deliver products and services that are:

  • Customised and cost-effective
  • Productive and personalised
  • Physical and digital

Arming your workforce with digital technology

The needs of a workplace go beyond supporting employees in one physical location. In today’s era of digital disruption; the always-connected, digital workforce needs secure access to contextualised information from anywhere. They need to be able to switch between digital and physical platforms whether they’re working from home or travelling. Work is no longer limited to an office and it is not strictly conducted between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

Today, data is transmitted on both digital and physical mediums. The insights data provides forms the backbone of any business, hence securing it while it is in transit or storage becomes a top priority for organizations today. This gets further complicated when the input/output channels like mobile and cloud applications are becoming dominant.

Securing critical assets like intellectual property and customer credentials is one of the biggest responsibilities for any enterprise—more importantly due to the growing number of high-profile security breaches. Hence, as a starting point, companies must address mobile access and printing, as well as any security concerns with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies.

This will ensure core business processes can function regardless of the employees’ location.

Taking that first step

Going digital is not achievable overnight. It is often a gradual change — one that becomes easier once the first step is in place. Managed document services (MDS) can be a great springboard to bigger digital changes because it transforms the way work is done.

Many essential documents still are managed and processed with paper and printing. It’s common for businesses to replicate its internal approach to paper in its interaction with customers, slowing down even more processes.

To begin the transition, it’s worth considering the following steps:

  • Understand: Establish how and where you use paper and technology today, and identify what you could change. Then assess how the two experiences connect. Once you start to interrogate the process, you may be surprised at the number of simple tweaks which could dramatically streamline business workflows.
  • Educate: Set targets, make your case, and change user behaviours. People can be fearful of change, but reminding employees of the long-term benefits will help them stay motivated and work with you, not against you.
  • Activate: You’ve identified the problems, now you need to make the transition and replace key functions and processes with digital equivalents which improve the experience overall.
  • Assess and improve: Remember that this will be continuous journey as technology continues to evolve. Leverage the opportunity to use data and automation to take your transformation to the next level.

Make 2018 the year of digital

Over the next twelve months, challenge traditional thinking and look in unexpected places for hidden opportunities to streamline and add momentum to businesses. If companies delay their digital journey, they put customer loyalty at risk, because customers will seek out other companies that provide a more seamless transition between the physical and digital world. With every small change, companies will increasingly challenge old ways of working, such as time-consuming paper processes. In time, this will free businesses to focus on more high-value activities that drive customer satisfaction and top-line performance.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Ritesh Gandotra

Ritesh Gandotra, Director, Global Document Outsourcing, Xerox India

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