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Disrupting Paper

An introduction to the digital transformation journey

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Digital is no longer new, it’s the norm. Our culture has ensured that we shift towards a digital world in which everything from train and plane tickets to recipes are digital.

It’s not been a quick transition but as the Internet has developed and devices have become smarter and more portable, the inevitable switch to digital has taken place.

Despite this, the adoption of fully digitised business processes isn’t the norm. It’s a challenge that many organisations face and success is dependent on how well the business adopts digital technology and processes.

There are 4 key elements of digital transformation; social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC).

It’s possible that not all the elements align with the business processes you need to digitise but it’s likely that at least a couple will.

When you consider the future of business, there is more and more evidence to say that remote working will become increasingly popular meaning business processes need to include the cloud and potentially mobile and social elements of digital transformation. Analytics is also increasingly important as more companies realise that better results come from analysing the data they have (data driven processes).

People should have access to the information they need, where and when they need it.

This helps them make informed decisions more quickly, which lets them work in a responsive, customer-centric way. Meanwhile, your operating environment is orderly, optimised and lean.

That future is closer than you think. And much of it starts with paper-to-digital transformation. Challenge the way you work so you’re less dependent on paper, and you free your organisation to focus on high-value activities that drive customer satisfaction and top-line performance.

Digital transformation shouldn’t start with technology. Change management needs to come before technology and technology should then be based on business needs in order to add business value - start with processes, not technology.

What’s the point in transforming paper processes to digital processes?

Do you still have a phone that can only call, text and only lets you have 25 contacts? Probably not.

The world moved on and technology got smarter - the same thing is happening with paper to digital, yet 55% of businesses still largely rely on paper.

The point in transforming paper processes to digital isn’t to create more work, but rather reduce it along with reduced cost, better security and less waste. Here are some of the most common reasons for going from paper to digital:

storage Data Volume keyboard_arrow_down

If your business processes are creating a lot of data and information, it’s important that this data is easily accessible and not just filed away, or worse, thrown in the bin. Digitisation allows for all of the documents and data to be kept on the cloud where it’s easy to store and easy to access.

trending_up Efficiency keyboard_arrow_down

Paper processes are slow and when errors arise, take time to amend and reprint. Digital processes are much faster and can easily be amended if errors occur.

monetization_on Cost Savings keyboard_arrow_down

Printing isn’t cheap. Especially if your print processes aren’t optimised. Removing printing from your main business processes can reduce costs.

mood Customer Service keyboard_arrow_down

The faster and smarter you work, the better the service you deliver to customers. And by lowering your back-end printing and infrastructure costs, you free up funds and resources for front-of-house operations like marketing and customer service.

security Security keyboard_arrow_down

Paper is inherently insecure. A printed sheet of customer data can go just about anywhere, anytime, with anyone. Under the new GDPR rules coming into place in May 2018, this can lead to hefty fines. Keep it digital and you have far more control over who can access what. More importantly, you establish a full audit trail that shows your document’s chain of custody over its lifecycle.

assignment Regulations keyboard_arrow_down

Complying with privacy legislation is a lot easier when you know exactly where and how your records are stored, who has accessed them (and when), and what they’ve done with the document or record. Digital processes can help you create audit trails that even allow you to see who’s edited a document and what the edit was.

delete Sustainability and Waste keyboard_arrow_down

Around 50% of printed pages get thrown away. Using paper inevitably expands your carbon footprint and consumes more energy. Going digital means cutting out waste and going greener.


Start assignment one keyboard_arrow_right

Why start with digitising paper processes?

Paper processes most likely exist throughout your business, from HR and payroll to sales and marketing. Traditionally, paper was the way to do business but over time, the inefficiencies of paper processes have been revealed by digital.

Paper-based workflows involve information being shared with different people, updates being made to documents, but not always collaboratively, meaning there is often never one up-to-date master document, instead there are lots of edited versions of the same document.

With the rise of digital, many feel the issues have been solved, but currently, nothing could be further from the truth.

Printing and paper may seem marginal in operational terms, but many essential documents are still managed and processed this way. In fact, almost half of all business information is still held in hard copy. That’s why changes driven by MPS have so much potential to transform the way you work.

If you have an MPS contract, the basics are in place, and much of the data you need is already in your hands. The chances of success are much greater because you can work bottom-up, breaking down the problem into bite-sized chunks, and deliver solutions that are based on your data. A measured pace of change allows your company to move at a rate you can manage.

Positive changes achieved through MPS can become powerful success stories that show what digital transformation, in the widest sense, could deliver.

Improvement grows organically from the inside out, as the benefits of going digital can “ripple through” the whole organisation – particularly when IT professionals team up with business and financial managers to pursue wide-ranging projects.

The path to digital transformation

The path to digital transformation can be split up into 3 stages: Understand, Execute and Improve


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Assignment One:

Are you ready for paper-to-digital transformation?

Review the following statements and see how many you agree with to get an idea of whether you're ready for digital transformation.

We’ve realised some benefits from MPS, but we believe we could do much more.

Key information moves into, out of and around the organization on paper.

People print documents for one-off occasions.

People print the same documents over and over again.

People spend a lot of their time transferring information to and from paper.

We have too much space dedicated to storing paper documents.

We’re not sure what archives we hold, or where specific records can be found.

We use paper purely because "that’s the way we've always done it."

We use paper to support traditional physical processes such as adding wet-ink signatures to documents.

How ready are you?
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