The benefits of office digitization are clearly defined: features such as scan-and-capture, enterprise content management (ECM), and e-Signatures are supposed to improve efficiency and reduce human error. Digitization is also purported to simplify regulatory compliance and document security. However, studies show that the digital revolution has hit several snags. Some of these problems were, ironically, created in the rush to digitization. Without careful reconsideration of their IT procurement and information management policies, businesses will be locked into a poorer ROI on their technology expenditures.

What’s Holding Digitization back?

In a 2016 Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) study titled “A Holistic Approach to Digital Transformation”, 85% of the businesses surveyed reported that their employees wasted too much time looking for records and information. Another 80% reported that the duplication of existing content as another source of major inefficiency. These figures come despite the fact most respondents had introduced scan-and-capture and or digital document management solutions into their workplace.

AIIM suggested several reasons to explain why companies struggle with their paperless office reform: disconnected ECM systems, ad-hoc implementation of scan-and-capture solutions, and labyrinthine file storage architectures.

Another large obstacle comes in the form of redundant document processes. Ironically, today’s virtual desktop, with its multitude of opened tabs and windows, can be just as cluttered as the physical desktop of old, with its stacks of unsorted paper files. Many document tasks are distributed across an alphabet soup of file types that require different document solutions across different stages of the workflow. This lack of consolidation imposes its own costs: it increases the chance of errors, lost files and duplicative work. It saps productivity. It also wastes paper resources, as frustrated workers continue to print to read, edit and sign documents that they can work on digitally.

Why Simple is Better when Choosing a Document Solution

In an August 2016 CMS wire article, “Why Just Enough is More”, Joe Shepley argues that when it comes to information management reform, companies often try to do too much. This leaves them overwhelmed. Instead of trying to do everything, Shepley suggests companies adopt a policy of parsimony instead. This means targeting efforts on pre-determined objectives, so the first step is to clearly define your goals. Are you aiming for document findability? Or aligning the streamlining of business processes with that of their IT.

Often, these information management reformation goals can be met by lightweight document solutions such as PDFelement. Procuring productivity software can be a cost-effective first step towards realizing digitization’s gains. With PDFelement, your workers can directly create, edit, combine and convert PDFs. This empowers them to consolidate document workflows into a single application that simplifies a range of office document tasks, while avoiding the licensing entanglements, steep learning curve and frustrations of bigger branded PDF software.

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Posted by Faisal Khan

Faisal connects market and document trends with PDF technology. ​ His focus is on growing our global market reach and impact so that we can make a meaningful difference for our business clients. Outside of work, he enjoys volunteering, wildlife photography, hiking, playing games, and travel.

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