Your employees use a wide variety of digital technology every day. For some, the convenience of their personal technology exceeds what they have at the office.
And doesn’t that seem to be a disconnect?
Your employees leverage digital technology to simplify their lives. Your business can too. Fortunately, it’s simpler than ever today. In fact, you can upgrade your systems, streamline your workflows, and train employees remotely from anywhere.
By focusing on the ways technology can enable employees to perform better by minimizing manual workflows and making processes more efficient, you empower them to:
 – Increase productivity
 – Enhance collaboration with team members
 – Improve communication with clients and customers
Your digital transformation journey doesn’t need to be difficult or require excessive amounts of time. In this article, we’ll look at three ways you can drive a successful digital-forward workplace.

Examine the way you handle document management

How you manage your paper and documents is a good place to start. This involves evaluating your current print and document management infrastructure. Ask yourself questions like:
 – Are you bogged down with paper workflows?
 – Do you have overloaded file cabinets?
 – How many hands touch a piece of paper before it gets filed?
 – What data do you record from every document?
 – How many documents get printed, so they can go into a file cabinet or be recycled later?
Your answers to these questions can help you establish your current stage of digital maturity. When you finish your analysis, you may find:
 – You are only equipped to maintain and defend core business with manual, paper-based processes and some basic digital data management
 – You have the capability to nurture emerging businesses by leveraging digital technologies and data that provide your team with actionable insights
 – You can empower your teams to create new business opportunities by transforming activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities that digital technologies can bring
Of course, no business has a digital maturity model that falls exactly in line with each of these three scenarios. As you work to establish the digital maturity of your document management processes, remember that this step should complement the actions of validating your business objectives and developing recommendations for your next steps.
Analyzing your current print infrastructure and document processing can help you to see future business goals in context to where you are today.
If you have questions, consider partnering with an experienced digital solutions service provider. Experts who live and breathe document management can help objectively assess your current situation and make recommendations based on best practices.
Part of assessing your print and document management may involve looking at if and how on-premises print infrastructures tie up your IT resources. You may find that moving print offsite can free up resources for strategic initiatives. You may also uncover the benefits of scanning directly to the cloud for simple and centralized access to your information.

Digitize data to support more efficient process management

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), 87% of executives say digitization is a priority.1 The challenge is putting the right technology in place. As you begin to look at ways to digitize your data, ask yourself:
 – How can we better leverage data to improve functionality and provide our employees with more speed to act?
 – What is our team currently doing manually that can be automated to give them more time to focus on strategic initiatives?
 – How can we create a digital workplace that helps to make our employees more analytical, mobile, innovative and creative?
You can dig deep into these questions by simply asking “Why?” with each answer.  The more you learn, the more you’ll see how data flows through your organization – and where improvements can be made. You can build greater value by thinking about how you use data, specifically:

How well-positioned are you to maintain and defend your core business?

Can your workplace model keep up with the speed at which ideas and information move today? Where is your competition succeeding or is ahead of you in the market? How do you safeguard daily business operations against adversity and disruptions? Answers to questions like these can reveal areas where the speed to act is most important for your specific business — providing insight into what data processes need to be streamlined for improved efficiencies.

How can you nurture emerging businesses?

Automation, for example, increases data accessibility and frees both on-site and remote employees to move with more agility and focus on strategic initiatives by removing the burden of manual processes. As you identify which processes can be automated to free up your employees’ time, you can start exploring collaboration and cloud tools that can improve the way employees and customers share ideas and data.

How will new processes improve the customer experience?

The more you can put critical data securely into the hands of the right people, the more you can enable greater productivity. Greater productivity means more innovation, revenue, and success in achieving your business goals. It also means more efficient customer service that results in higher customer satisfaction.

Use your digital transformation to optimize your team’s performance

New technologies naturally increase the speed with which your employees can work. Retrieving a file from an electronic document repository is certainly faster and more effective for remote work than manual file and document storage. But the best results don’t come from replicating current workflows using new workplace technology.
With new workplace technology, you want to redefine work and create better ways of working.
Ideally, you want to optimize the processes of how your people work. For example, you may want to:
 – Provide on-site and remote employees with the means and the time to collaborate more easily and effectively
 – Streamline document workflows to reduce the time and effort involved with any given task, regardless of where process stakeholders may be
 – Ensure employees have visibility to information and data so they can analyze and inform decision-making faster
As you implement digital workplace solutions, one goal should be to minimize manual and labour-intensive workflows. When you do, you enable your employees to get more done, leaving more time to focus on strategic initiatives.
The key to optimizing user workflows is to keep your focus on “the how”. A good question to start with is, how do these processes need to change for optimal results?
Answering this question will lead you to the right digital solutions that best support your employees and operational needs.

Getting started with your own digital transformation

Once you’ve worked through these three considerations and how they can help positively impact your business, it’s time to seek out the solutions that can do it and plan for the change.
Find out how Ricoh can support you at every stage of your digital transformation journey with advanced services that apply intelligent automation to manual, and labour-intensive workflows for faster and more cost-effective work. Discover more here or get in touch with us today.
1“IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation 2018 Predictions.” IDC. 2017.