Imagine trying to find that piece of paper you left on your desk last week. You’re not sure if you managed to file it away somewhere sensible and safe or if it ended up getting lost among the melee of clutter that seems to follow you. One thing you are sure of is that looking for it will take up valuable time.
Now, imagine you need to find a hard copy document or file image from a year ago, or perhaps from two, three or four years ago. Where would you even start? Looking for that one vital piece could take hours. Even then, there’s no guarantee you’ll ever find it again.
If you had the option to eliminate the labour hours spent on manual, paper-based searches, wouldn’t you? With a functioning digital workflow in place, you won’t have to face these issues again.
The benefits of a digitised workflow are multifaceted, practical and necessary to make the most of your organisation’s assets moving forward.
Workflows typically come in two formats: manual or rules-based. A manual workflow relies on a user to view a document and then determine where it goes. A rules-based workflow follows, as implied, programmed rules set by an administrator who determines where each type of document goes within an organisation.
A digitised workflow manages a rules-based workflow. This system can automatically send an application of leave to HR or to the relevant department head for approval. Similarly, a customer quote can be sent to a financial controller for approval before being sent to the customer.
Speed of retrieval and access control are only two of the many important aspects of a digitised workflow. It’s important to guarantee the preservation of ageing documents, particularly in the case where the format in which a document was saved originally has become obsolete and consequently harder to access. Making digital versions available also allows for protection against the deterioration process.
Digitisation can give your organisation the power to monetise your assets. An art gallery could make digital reproductions of some its display to sell to the public, or, an industry analyst could sell copies of a report they created.
Implementing a digitised workflow increases security when dealing with sensitive documents. Digitisation provides a platform for the application of digital signatures when accessing documents to confirm approval, providing an elevated level of trust and compliance to the approvals process.
Digitisation can simplify your file storage system. Live working documents can be sent to the fastest access storage in your infrastructure while older documents, which are no longer being accessed, can be sent to the cheapest archival storage. Digitisation plays an important part in disaster recovery. It allows for multiple copies of any vital documents to be made quickly and easily which can then be stored at remote locations. Back-ups can be made on low cost, low performance drives, as they will rarely need to be accessed. Imagine the peace of mind that comes with an efficient, effective, automated contingency plan.
The process of digitisation can be a lengthy one, especially for larger organisations, however, the benefits far outweigh the cost and time it takes to future proof your organisation.