We define the Digital Transformation of Document Workflows as the automation and optimization of the activities that remove the inefficiency of information silos and disconnected processes, connecting people to the information they need, when they need, and with specific business benefits. These activities include the integration of sources and types of information, structured and unstructured, from a paper or digital source, in text or in form of enriched media, and covering the front office and back-office systems. So, how to evolve your Document Workflows maturity level? That’s our focus in this article.
The solutions that automate business document workflows can cover a wide range of technologies, including hardware and software, and can be specific to a particular sector of activity or functional/horizontal process. Main technologies include intelligent capture, enterprise content management, advanced data extraction and automated recognition, business process management and integration with enterprise applications (such as ERP systems) and vertical solutions (such as electronic healthcare records).
Document Workflows MaturityScape
We believe that the maturity level of automating business document workflows is split between the types of workflows. Research shows that line-of-business workflows are in the early stage of automation, migrating from the manual stage to basic stage of maturity. There are, however, back-office horizontal and vertical workflows that are at the repeatable stage and have begun the integration of 3rd Platform technologies, migrating up to the managed stage. These workflows tend to be back-office ERP, CRM, and account payable applications that are beginning to integrate with customer-focused applications such as client retention, cash-to-pay, client onboarding, and other engagement applications.
To outline what we need to evolve, we must first know what are the characteristics of each stage. This figure summarizes the Digital Transformation of Document Workflows MaturityScape, from the least mature and effective ad hoc stage to the most mature and effective optimized stage:
Digital transformation of document workflows – essential guidance to progressing through the stages and evolve your Document Workflows maturity level
First, you should build a digital transformation team (champion group and primary sponsor) that brings together the necessary competencies, strong knowledge of the workflows, and compliance/regulatory requirements to ensure the most efficient re-engineering of the workflow and employee buy-in. We always recommend a multi-task and multi-disciplinary team including members from:
- Line of Business – people that know about business goals like no other.
- Human Resources – people that can manage the change and involve the team.
- IT – people that ensure security, data protection, and systems integration.
- Legal & Compliance – people that guarantee you are accurately managing information to avoid future issues.
- Regulator – people from your specific industry that should be present in some sessions to certify everything is done according to existing standards.
Here are our recommendations for each phase so you can evolve to the next one
- Do not spend significant time and effort to try to gain executive support before establishing initial project proof points.
- Expect to fund proof-of-concept projects that create no business upside.
- Search for workflow solutions that are standalone.
- Solicit suppliers for requests for information (RFIs) to learn their capabilities to convert paper to digital.
- Launch a proof-of-concept or pilot project using existing resources.
- Take a hard look at compliances, regulations, and security standards for workflow.
- Recommend LOB leaders to reach out to the CIO for strategic planning.
- Focus a workflow automation project within a specific business domain.
- Educate both business and IT leaders about the benefits and importance of automation.
- Establish transparent workflows between IT and LOB.
- Encourage LOBs to solicit direct input from workflow facilitators.
- Establish a department-level workflow automation strategy.
- Articulate and publish the digital workflow governance guidelines.
- Remove all BU/IT content silos.
- Continue to expand workflow automation across departments while integrating 3rd Platform technologies.
- Partner with systems integrators for engineering support on future advanced automation.
- Establish a culture of innovation across all aspects of the organization.
- Regularly provide training to workflow staff.
How to make the optimized stage a reality? Count on Papersoft document management platform and consulting services! That’s what we have been successfully doing for the last 17 years. Let’s talk?
– Identify critical processes – look at your organization and find the critical processes that influence your business and you need to work – cash flow, sales, customer satisfaction, and so on.
– Place mobility in the centre of the processes – think of it as the starting point to collect and integrate data.
– Delegate authority on business lines (LoB) – make them lead the process, they bring more awareness, they know everything about efficiency, productivity, risk assessment, and all other business processes that need to be addressed.
– Take down information silos – end-to-end processes need to be corporate wide.
– Subscribe to our blog to receive valuable insights about mobile and paper-free processes.
– Download our eBook in partnership with IDC “Digital Transformation of Document Workflows: maturity scape, market research and guidance”.
– Move on with a personalized demonstration request of Papersoft Platform!