For most of our clients COVID -19 is not just a health crisis. It is also a test of business continuity and ability for employees to work effectively from anywhere – which has proven that many organizations need to accelerate their digitization efforts.
This is what Doculabs has been doing for the past 25 years – helping organizations digitize old paper-based processes that would otherwise require manual interaction. And as workflow and other automation technologies continue to advance, we help our clients determine how best to streamline and connect disjointed digital processes into more seamless customer and employee experiences.
So what are some things that firms can do now to “digitize” and improve business continuity and minimize operational disruption during the next crisis? Here are four ideas.
1. Move ECM to the Cloud
Many organizations spend a lot of time and effort ensuring business continuity and disaster recovery for their on-premises ECM platforms and server farms that host them. Why? You likely have more critical line-of-business systems that require your business continuity attention. But for content management and archiving, the cloud is a no-brainer in 2020. The tools and security are in place to manage and control your content as stringently as you need, no matter how unique you think your requirements might be.
2. Take Advantage of Process Automation Tools
Plenty of processes still require people to do their jobs across multiple systems, via the swivel chair, and even through interaction with others. Why? Process automation has made big leaps through RPA/IPA, AI, ML, and other capabilities with acronyms. With the right automation strategy and tools in place, many processes can run with minimal human intervention. This is a tremendous benefit on any given day, but has significantly more value when employees aren’t physically available to manage important processes with human interaction.
3. Digitize Your Customer Communications and Data Collection
Are you still using outdated systems to generate statements and client communications? Are you still collecting data using static forms in Word or PDF format that need to be scanned in as paper? Why? Modern platforms for customer communications management and forms digitization will help you interact with your customers across multiple digital channels and improve the customer experience, while reducing your print volumes and scanning volumes, and requirements and allow for stronger client data collection.
4. Plan Strategically for Digital Workplace and Collaboration Tool Adoption and Governance
Still think that Microsoft Teams, Slack, and video conferencing will just manage themselves, and that your users will all use them consistently? Did you have to turn off video sharing due to bandwith restrictions in your network? Why? Your Agile teams just got displaced, and many of the basic collaboration capabilities you have may not be set up to effectively manage the kind of digital workplace your teams need. You might have thought that turning on your Office 365 licenses was good enough, and employees would all take to them. Poll your employees and management after two weeks at home and see what struggles they’re experiencing and what ideas they have on how to really improve their work-at-home effectiveness. Use this as input on how to enable and configure the capabilities they need to be effective, and how to implement the kinds of controls on information access and retention that your organization needs for information governance.
Doculabs consultants have been helping firms improve digital information management programs for long enough to know that not all problems are solved overnight, and that it’s difficult to be ready for every curve ball thrown your way. We’re happy to have a call or video chat with you if you’re looking for some quick advice on your digitization initiatives, direction, and challenges – and how your organization can be better equipped to support a new way of working.