Invest in Digitisation Today, for Tomorrow’s Business Success
Digitisation can result in accessibility, flexibility, mobility and increased knowledge in an organisation. Before jumping in and digitising everything, it is best to determine what to digitise to achieve the best value.
Which records are key to the collective knowledge of the organisation? Which documents are used frequently? Which documents must be kept for legal reasons for a longer period of time? Which documents, even though not used frequently used or add to the knowledge base, must be kept for perpetuity?
Assessing records based on these criteria should enable any organisation to earmark a proportion of documents for immediate destruction with no digitisation needed.
Some, not all, organisations will have records which are historically important and while the hard copy will always be kept, a digitised copy is highly recommended for preservation purposes. Digitisation means a precious document does not have to be unnecessarily handled and is available for all to see and use.
Frequently used documents would earn a tick for digitisation, if they are also important to the organisation and must be kept due to retention regulations, they would rank highly for transition to a digital format.
If a significant number of documents must be kept for extended periods of time for legal reasons, they would also be justifiably digitised. Do not, however, assume that all hard copy records that have been digitised can immediately be destroyed. This will depend on the legislation governing your industry and the type of document.
Once identified and subsequently digitised, records can be accessed far more easily, by multiple users at the one time and from many locations. This enables collaboration on projects, simultaneous viewing, annotating and editing. What could have taken days or more to disseminate and work on by one at a time can now be done in hours.
Staff who regularly travel for work purposes may urgently need a document during a client visit, forget fax, forget the courier, it can be accessed online, in real time and in seconds. Of course, this does depend on a visible internet connection but these are usually easy to find in most cities and towns.
Analysis can be done with hard copy but analysis and reporting are far more achievable with digital formats, analysis of the types of records, data within the records and the use of the records. All of this changes data into information and builds the organisation’s knowledgebase.
It is no longer a rare occurrence for customers to interact with an organisation online, eliminating paper from the equation. These days if a customer has to resort to paper, it is a rare occurrence, and in most cases, an annoyance.
While many organisations are investing in a digital experience for their customer’s current and future needs, it is a benefit having historical customer records available digitally and accessible from the one source. This streamlines the process and should eliminate, or at least reduce delays. Providing a complete picture and provides a comprehensive customer experience.
This of course, depends on buy-in and stewardship from the top down. The C-Suite needs to be convinced of the benefits and the return-on-investment, for the long term success of the digitisation program.
Well-informed decisions at the very start, with a continued commitment to digital data, will facilitate a much better understanding of the data owned by an organisation, support the decision-making process and provide the added value required for success.