Going Digital isn’t a switch which can be just flicked on or off.
Impact of Ceasing Physical Document Usage
Whilst Going Digital can happen quickly, it needs adequate planning and be carried out incrementally. There are some realistic impacts that need to be addressed to ensure a smooth transition.
So, let’s break down those issues:
The Business Process
- It may take more time in digital format than when hard copy documents were used previously, which may become less efficient rather than more efficient. We have a case study about this which clearly shows how this may happen.
- It may appear to break down by ceasing the use of hard copy documents within it.
- Steps may get overlooked when hard copy documents are not used.
- They may cling to their hard copy documents because they are unable to easily and simply make the change from hard copy documents to using digital documents or information and become very resistant to giving up hard copy documents as they may have relatively low levels of digital literacy/skills.
- They may undermine a business process by demonstrating their lack of faith in digital technology by deliberately holding on to hard copy documents and associated parts of the business process.
- They may hamper using digital documents and processes because they fear ‘Going Digital’ as they believe it could erode their job and they may no longer be required.
- New pieces of hardware or software might need to be purchased to go digital and this may not have been realised initially and was therefore not budgeted or planned for.
- The configuration and size of the office may change as less physical processing is undertaken.
- A realisation may occur that the business process may be moved to a remote or off shore location.
- Some business processes may need to be consolidated or disappear completely as digital ‘in puts’ increase and replace hard copy documents.
How do we fix it?
The Business Process
- It must be analysed and optimized to make efficient use of digital inputs. This does not need to happen to every business process as some may cease to exist or be consolidated. Start by just one or two key or critical business processes depending the size and type of organization.
- They need the right skill set to ensure they go digital at the same time as the business process goes digital. Staff need to be prepared by ensuring they have the required digital literacy and skills set required to Go Digital.
- A digital strategy needs to be in place to ensure the organisation fully comprehends the consequences of going or not going digital.
For more information see IRIS Consulting Group’s “Going Digital’ section on our website.