Going Digital: An overview

There has been a ‘promise’ of getting rid of paper altogether in organisations or for persons in general. Unfortunately that day is still some time away for most of us and may not come until all the sources of paper have been used.

In this series of posts I am exploring the current technological capabilities that are available today. The reason for me to explore this topic is that the business benefits can be quite significant for an organisation, such as:

  • Information can be accessed anywhere and anytime, especially if you have multiple locations
  • Information can be processed more efficiently, especially when multiple persons are involved
  • Compliance needs can be addressed at the very beginning, when information enters and/or leaves the organisation
  • Business continuity concerns can be addressed by reducing risks of information loss
  • The required office space can be reduced

High level there are three views that I would like to explore as depicted in the figure below.

There is the incoming communications of which a significant part is already electronic such as e-mail. However there is still phyisical mail that is being sent to an organisation, for example signed contracts with clients or complaints. This is a part which is difficult to control.

The use of paper within your organisation is something which you can control much better. And then there is the outgoing communications to your shareholders, clients, government agencies, etc.

In order for an organisation to have the capability to become digital this means that there are a number of key (IT) capabilities have to be part of your IT’s infrastructure. For example scanning facilities, indexing services, software that allows users to annotate PDFs, workflow / routing, digital signatures and records management.

A first blog about digital signatures can be found here.