We live in an increasingly connected economy. Customers, colleagues and suppliers are spread across the globe — all connected through information. Tied to this connectivity is an increasing demand for mobility and growing amounts of business information that needs to be shared, processed, stored, indexed and searched. As such, nearly 80 per cent of companies are looking at using less paper and digitising parts (or even all) of their business.
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Kevin Corne is the director and leader of Lexmark's Global Services Division in the UK
Of course, digital transformation does not happen overnight. The larger the scale of the project and the size of the company, the more complex it is.
With so much investment required, it's imperative that these projects are a success, and that relies on end-user adoption. When implementing a new system that fundamentally changes the most common procedures and processes within the business, it's natural that there will be a learning curve for employees, some of whom may be resistant to change.
There are some key things that can be done to ensure that the investment in digitising the office does not fall on deaf ears:
Highlight user benefits
The transformation towards the digitisation of the office can bring tremendous benefits to the business, and it can also make life easier for employees. It's important to educate the end users on the benefits they'll get from such a process, including less time on repetitive manual tasks, more productivity and easier finding of information and reporting.
Involve users at all stages, right from the start
Encouraging adoption isn't just about showing users how they'll benefit, but also making them feel like they've been part of the decision making process. When scoping out any digitisation project, it's imperative to get the input from key users who can shed light on the current challenges and the best processes and workflows to overcome them.
Choose user advocates at all levels of the business
There will always be those users that will embrace change and it's vital to get the buy-in from these employees early on. These people exist at all levels within the organisation and will be instrumental in encouraging and educating others in the adoption of new systems and processes.
Many businesses struggle with data and content that spans departments. Digitisation projects can be a great way of breaking down the walls between departmental siloes. Encouraging user interaction and reinforcing the links between workflows that exist between departments can be a great way to reinforce the potential benefits beyond just that user's area of responsibility.
Offer as much choice as possible
Any project that seeks to create a more digital office will include an element of hardware and software choices. These can include multi-function devices, content management systems, mobile access platforms and others. Rather than picking one and enforcing it dogmatically, where possible, users will respond much better if they are offered a choice of platforms. Choosing an underlying platform that can support and connect to different applications and hardware types will give users a sense of choice and freedom.
The benefits of a more digital office are plentiful – including less paper, greater efficiency and higher productivity as well as cost savings and better data security. But even the best system in the world is worthless if it isn't used properly – or at all. By making sure that end users fully understand how these projects benefit themselves and the larger organisation, and making them part of the process will ensure that the maximum rewards can be reaped."
This article first appeared on Lifehacker UK