With the sudden explosion of remote work, the disruption to global supply chains, dramatic shifts in consumer behavior, and escalating cyber security threats, organizations have had to fast-track their digital transformation plans. In fact, a recent survey of 137 IT managers found that 73% expect to either accelerate or maintain digital transformation initiatives through the COVID-19 crisis.
At OpenText™, we work with customers around the world to help refine and implement digital transformation strategies. So, what are the common elements of a successful shift to digital?
Go 100% digital – modernize information
One of the first steps on the digital transformation journey is ensuring all information across your organization – that is, your data and content – can be easily captured, stored, shared, and analyzed.
Even in 2020, many organizations still waste significant time every day on manual, paper-based processes. Offices in the U.S. use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper each year, with a range of industries – retail, construction, pharmaceutical, automotive – all relying heavily on pen-to-paper processes and manual data entry. There is a massive opportunity for organizations to standardize and automate the way information is captured and exchanged across all lines of business.
Digitizing all information in your organization – whether through intelligent capture solutions, digital fax or electronic forms – enables previously paper-intensive workflows to be automated. Capture solutions convert paper or images into structured data at incredible scale. And by driving towards a 100% digital workflow, enterprises open a host of additional benefits such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) capabilities, AI-driven automation and greater information insights.
The results are impressive:
- Reduction in human error and information loss through automation of key business processes
- Greater efficiency with finding, collaborating on, and sharing information
- Faster response times and improved customer experience
- Enhanced information security and governance
- Lower environmental impact
Move to cloud at your pace – modernize infrastructure
Moving to a cloud-based information management environment can accelerate a business transformation, and offer wide-ranging benefits during times of disruption. It ensures employees can securely access the information they need to communicate and collaborate; reduces IT costs and frees up IT leaders to focus on broader strategic issues.
You don’t have to move to the cloud all at once either. You can explore options that make it easier and more cost-effective to create new solutions, regardless of where you choose to deploy them.
For example, extending an on-premises solution with integrated SaaS applications or services is a quick way to deliver the unique capabilities your users require, in a hybrid model. In most cases, you have the choice of moving all or select workloads to the cloud in your own way, at your own pace.
If you’re modernizing on the cloud, you’re in good company. Recent IDC research found the pandemic is driving down IT spending worldwide, but cloud spending remains strong. According to the report, enterprises are investing in cloud deployments and migrations to control costs and defer capital spending on upgrades to on-premises infrastructure.
Connect people and process – modernize collaboration
The sudden pivot to remote work understandably caught many organizations off guard. In a snap Gartner poll at the beginning of the pandemic, 54% of HR leaders said poor technology and/or infrastructure was the biggest barrier to effective remote working at their companies.
In my experience, every organization needs a digital collaboration strategy that accomplishes three core goals:
- Connect people and process: To maintain a strong corporate culture and keep employees engaged, collaboration technologies should offer customers, clients, and employees the best possible digital experience to complete a given business process.
- Simplify access to information: When content is centralized, up to date, and easy to access, everyone can stay productive during a crisis. Fast, efficient collaboration is essential, and wasting time searching for information isn’t an option.
- Automate information governance: Automating governance policies, such as the retention and archiving of documents exchanged through messaging applications, helps organizations remain compliant without adding undue workload on remote employees.
A comprehensive business transformation strategy depends, in large part, on empowering remote employees with secure content collaboration, remote access to crucial applications, digital signature solutions and the like, so you can always keep work moving.
Protect your data – modernize cyber resilience
Since the pandemic began, cyber criminals have seized the opportunity to attack all types of organizations and their newly remote workforces. Adopting cyber resilience solutions protects your people and your information from a possible breach.
There are two elements to cyber resilience:
- proactive security to detect threats and keep attackers out,
- and cyber resilience to continue with business as usual as you investigate and respond to incidents.
Information management strategies that build in cyber resiliency (including continuous threat monitoring, remote endpoint protection, detection and response, and automated cloud backup and recovery) empower remote employees and protect valuable data while allowing your organization to prepare for, respond to, and recover from cyberattacks.
Advance, don’t retreat!
Despite the current turmoil, this is not the time to put your digital transformation plans on hold. According to McKinsey, the recessions of 2007-8 taught us that companies that “accelerate out of the downturn” by moving early and decisively in a crisis do best.
While some IT spending will inevitably be curbed in response to the pandemic’s financial blow, aim to preserve and even increase your investments in digital transformation initiatives that foster resilience.
We all understand that the future is digital. Now is the time to ride the digital momentum this pandemic has created and chart your path to digital transformation.
To learn more about Information Management technologies that can increase your organization’s resilience in the pandemic and beyond, download the new whitepaper “The Resilient Organization – COVID-19 and New Ways to Work.”