The COVID-19 pandemic has reshuffled market conditions. There is a real danger that market leaders will be displaced and disrupted if they don't harness digitization to thrive in a future where technology is the key economic driver.
With most Fortune 500 companies allowing only a limited number of employees back into the office, the digital workplace will be the new normal in the post-COVID era.
A Gartner report revealed that 69% of the Board of Directors surveyed said they accelerated digital business initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. About half of them expect to change their company's business model permanently.
Enterprises scrambled to mandate remote work and serve customers remotely during the lockdown to maintain business continuity. Almost overnight, digital transformation became a matter of survival.
In 2020, organizations ramped up their digital transformation efforts to support remote working and health safety priorities brought on by the pandemic. Now, in 2021, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over. But vaccines have brought us new hope, and the pandemic is waning, at least in some parts of the world. We expect a new normal to emerge at the workplace. And it will throw up new challenges as well!
Digital transformation is crucial in the post-COVID era
Enterprises must accelerate initiatives to help employees embrace digital technology to improve their work efficiencies.
Digital transformation has become imperative in these areas of business operations:
- Supply chain: With significant increases in online transactions, supply chain dynamics have changed. Companies must adopt new digital processes to survive in the ruthlessly competitive digital ecosystem.
- Workflows: Digitization takes away certain job functions and creates others. Job roles and reporting lines change, leading to new org charts. Employees need to learn new skill sets, and new automated workflows improve efficiencies.
- Customer experience is changing as businesses come up with new ways of interacting online and digitally with customers)
- Value propositions of stakeholders are changing as companies adapt to customers' demands and new market conditions.
As organizations of all sizes and from across sectors ramp up digital transformation efforts, they will face a few common challenges:
Aligning to new customer expectations during the pandemic and the post-COVID new normal
Enterprises must deliver a customer experience (CX) in tune with unprecedented customer needs and CX opportunities created by COVID-19. Their ability to achieve this will play a critical role in business success.
According to Statistica, a consumer data company, online sales jumped to 16.1% in the second quarter of 2020, up from 11.8% of the previous year. With COVID-19 forcing people to stay indoors, companies must deliver products and services to their customers in unprecedented ways. Customers are using e-commerce platforms like never before, and this trend is likely to continue after the pandemic wanes. The challenge companies face is—how to offer exemplary service remotely to customers accustomed to personalized service. Organizations must adapt their digital transformation plans to cater to changed customer demands and expectations.
Skill gaps in digital technologies and integration skills
Company stakeholders acknowledge that scale up their digital initiatives. Whether they have teams equipped with the IT skills to deliver these capabilities is a matter of debate. To achieve their digital transformation goals, organizations need to develop expertise in cloud technologies, data analytics, service and application integration strategies. Remote working and collaboration mean that we now have a larger talent pool, going beyond geographical boundaries. But access to in-house technical expertise in security, architecture, and integration remains a challenge for organizations to plan their digital transformation team.
Creating new org structures for digital success
In the post-Covid-19 era, IT organizations must realign their processes to accommodate for remote working and online collaboration. Digital transformation initiatives are successful when change management programs allow employees to adapt to new technologies, workflow changes and data-driven practices. IT leaders must play a significant role in driving cultural changes and adjusting to the team's circumstances and challenges.
How an Enterprise Content Management system supports digital transformation
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is broadly defined as the use of technology to manage the lifecycle of an organization's content from creation or capture, classification, day-to-day access management, and long-term archival or deletion of records.
ECM covers structured and unstructured content. The content may include a wide variety, like PDF files, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, scanned images, audio-visual content, web pages, social media content, and more. The objective of ECM is to reduce risk and improve productivity, efficiency, and customer service by eliminating paper-based processes and improving process visibility and control.
At the heart of an ECM is collaboration—allowing your key knowledge workers to access the exact information they need at the moment they need it.
An ECM benefits enterprises at three levels:
- Digitization of business records: This eliminates paper-based processes, makes records and documents more accessible and increases efficiency.
- Centralized information management: This involves archiving and making archives accessible from anywhere and whenever needed. It also enables digital workplaces on-site or in remote locations.
- Integration: Most business processes depend on ECM and other relevant structured data applications to meet their business ends. Seamless integration and interoperability between ECM, ERPs, and other enterprise applications are essential for successful business transformation.
How does an ECM provide these benefits?
Once your documents are digitized, your business becomes more productive and cost-efficient. An ECM solution empowers you to build solutions that align with your core applications and systems to deliver improved business processes.
Here are some features of an ECM that benefit businesses the most:
- Data Capture: Your digital transformation starts with capturing data digitally (using OCR or eForms) or scanning physical documents. OCR automatically and intelligently extracts, classifies and validates information from scanned images before seamlessly integrating it with your core business application.
- Document Management: Adoption of an ECM starts with a complete review of your information management processes. Automated document management makes files more accessible and reduces risks associated with manual tasks.
- Automation: An ECM allows businesses to program business rules into workflows to automate key business processes.
- Collaboration: It's hard to find a tool that makes collaboration as simple and effective as ECM. Share content, collaborate on documents, internally or externally, in a secure environment.
- Compliance: Configure automated rules and workflows for tasks like approvals, transfer to storage, archival and deletion. ECM systems save and retain critical compliance and regulatory documents in a secure digital repository.
- Reporting: Gain visibility into your content and processes in real-time with interactive dashboards and audit trails of all activities
Digital transformation gives businesses the agility to adapt to changes in the business environment, deliver value in the long term, and stay relevant in your industry.
Choose a comprehensive platform that brings together all the ECM features required for your digital transformation initiative. A single platform maximizes the benefits, is faster to implement, and proves less expensive in the long run.
DRS Imaging offers you ECM solutions that provide tangible value for your business
Mercury is an ECM platform that combines world-class document management with unparalleled compliance, machine learning, and classification software. Mercury manages information through its lifecycle and optimizes data storage costs.
With decades of experience, best-in-industry partners, and a range of document digitization solutions, DRS is your ideal digital transformation partner.
Contact us to find out which content management system suits your company best.