Digitalization results in decluttering. When you convert your paper-based workflows into digital format, this reduces physical clutter from hard copy documents. However, decluttering is not just about doing away with the paper mess. With digitalization, a business gets the opportunity to do so much more in terms of collaboration, productivity, and corporate governance. It also enables a business to keep better track of its workflows and performance, thus leading to efficiency gains along the way.
Here are some of the benefits your business can gain from going digital.
1. Reduced paperwork and improved process flow
With digitalization, it will no longer be necessary to use paper-based materials such as printed reports, visual aids, and bulletin boards, for example. This results in significant physical decluttering. Desks will no longer require stacks of paper and mail trays. Offices will no longer need mailrooms and assistants who go around distributing paperwork.
Many office processes are now being replaced by digital platforms for collaboration, which can be used to edit documents, create presentation decks, and engage into contracts.
With today’s social distancing policies and remote working arrangements, organizations are greatly benefiting from digitalized business processes, amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. For one, remote access is possible. Besides, physical documents are potential vectors for the coronavirus.
Compliance requirements and contractual agreements typically involve traditional paperwork. For instance, the due diligence process requires that regulators or legal departments go through filings and reports. Meanwhile, partners, vendors, or investors also need to sign contracts and term sheets. However, digitalization already enables paperwork reduction in these scenarios.
For example, by using a digital governance solution like ContractZen, digital documents can be signed with e-signatures to prevent tampering. Its virtual data room will also be useful in organizational governance, as it keeps a record of access and the changes made in them. Documents become easier to store and retrieve as they can be metadata-infused and subjected to visual tagging, which significantly improves sorting and searching.
Effective digital management solutions come with advanced features that help in decluttering. Features like contract management and virtual data rooms don’t only convert documents into digital format. They also improve the business process by organizing and protecting critical files while making them available securely for business proposals, top-level meetings, and merger and acquisition negotiations. Sensitive digital files can be encrypted to make sure that only the intended users get to access them.
2. More organized handling of business information
Businesses deal with a plethora of information every day. Paper-based notes and memos do not provide an easy way to index, search, and cross-reference with other documents. Physical note-taking — such as with sticky notes, notepads and notebooks — only add to the clutter.
Note-taking becomes more efficient and convenient with web-connected and mobile digital tools like Evernote and Dropbox Paper. Such cloud-based note-taking apps are not only easy to use, but they can also be synced across multiple devices. Notes taken on a smartphone can be accessed on the desktop version of the same app nearly instantaneously.
It’s also worth pointing out how software has improved over the years. It is no longer necessary to install software on your device to use it.
Web-based applications take decluttering a step further by reducing software clutter. Most digitalized business applications can be accessed from a web browser.
Google’s G Suite is one example of a browser-based solution that can reduce business clutter by providing tools for document, spreadsheet, and file management right on the web browser.
3. Reining in over digital resources
Businesses that do not have a standardized set of digital tools might get fragmentation over time — this can be due to the use of multiple platforms which is likely to occur due to the recent shift to remote work. Over time, this results in software clutter.
It’s particularly tempting to subscribe to many unnecessary web services especially when you don’t have to install anything and there is no maintenance or updating to worry about. This will eventually be costly even when it’s on a subscription or even a freemium basis. Software clutter happens even with software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, and even for apps that are not utilized to the fullest.
To handle this issue, you can use a SaaS management platform like Intello, which can help your business monitor and rationalize cloud service spending. With a clear picture of your SaaS usage, you can focus only on the solutions that matter, which will result in savings from unused licenses or subscriptions, consolidation of vendor information, and monitoring of resource usage.
One useful advice is for businesses to start with a digital-first approach so that the company can already choose the most viable platform for digital productivity. This prevents fragmentation and the cluttered use of apps that might turn out to be unnecessary in the end.
Digitalization enables decluttering as it allows organizations to minimize paperwork, improve the organization of information, and take control over digital resources. This will significantly enhance productivity, although it also requires a paradigm shift toward using digital processes and not just digital versions of non-digital processes. If used wisely, digitalization will provide the benefits of greater efficiency, cost reduction, and convenience.