The advantages of digitization have transformed our world in an unimaginable way just a few decades ago. As we stand in a digital age, it’s evident that the shift from analog to digital technologies has revolutionized nearly every aspect of our lives.
The advantages of digitization are faster access to information, improved customer experience, increased productivity, lower operational costs, improved decision making, improved information security, higher mobility, automation of business processes, agility, and disaster recovery.
The purpose of digitization is to make information more easily accessible, storable, maintainable, and shareable through the use of digital technology. Coupled with digitalization, digital information can we make better informed decisions and get insights into business operations.
What is Digitization?
Digitization is the process of converting information from physical format to a digital format using advanced techniques and technologies such as scanners and OCR tools. The aim is to have a computer known format to be able to automatically extract information and save them into a digital repository.
Digitization is the first step that each organization should take to begin their journey toward digital transformation. Manual extraction of information from paper documents has proven to be expensive, inefficient, and prone to mistake. When information gets digitized, we can start unlocking the full potential of our most valuable asset.
If you want to kick off your digitization process and want to have an estimation about cost of such initiative, check this digitization cost calculator.
I highly recommend checking the below article.
What are the advantages of digitization?
Why digitize your business? The most straightforward answer is – companies that do not digitize, fail. If you want to survive, you should be thinking about digitization.
To become a digital workspace, businesses must convert their analog information to digital and making it available whenever it is required. The ability to deliver information to the appropriate person at the right time and place in order to make educated business decisions is the most essential benefit of digitization.
The advantages of digitization are:
#1- Faster access to information
One of the most important advantages of digitization is the ability to access information as quickly as possible without any burden. This has proven critical specially when the COVID19 pandemic has hit us, and most organizations found the urge need to access information from anywhere.
Maintaining digital documents allow us to have a digital repository of our digital assets and control their access in one single platform which enable us to serve employees regardless of their work location (at the office or at home). This also makes it lots easier to collaborate effectively.
Data communication (internal and external) is also simplified. The speed and convenience with which information may be exchanged is a significant benefit of digitization.
#2- Improved customer experience
From user-friendly websites and mobile apps that offer easy access to information and services to AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants that deliver instant assistance, digitization has streamlined customer interactions.
Through digital existence, we can create a personalized experience for our customers and that couldn’t happen if digitization wasn’t done properly and across all departments.
#3- Increased productivity
One of the most important advantages of digitization is the increase of employees’ productivity that will help organizations operate faster. They will be able to search for information and locate the necessary document in a fast manner using proper document management strategies and a robust document control software.
In addition to having the ability to organize and categorize the documents based on metadata or folder structure. These techniques have proven to play a critical role in facilitating maintaining digital documents and collaborating on them.
UK employees spend over one million hours a week searching for misplaced documents at a cost of £20 million a year to their businesses
Not only that, but these electronic documents may be shared, exchanged, or collaborated on, increasing corporate efficiency.
This significantly minimizes the amount of time required to work with information and allows staff to focus on more vital activities, which will have a favorable influence on your business’s operations.
THE TYPICAL ENTERPRISE WITH 1,000 WORKERS WASTES $2.5M TO $3.5M/YEAR searching for nonexistent information, failing to find existing information, or recreating information that can’t be foundSource: IDC
#4- Lower operational costs
Storing, preserving, and printing paper documents has negative impact on your financials, productivity, and efficiency. In addition, paper documents can be completely lost in the event of a natural disaster such as fire and flood and couldn’t be recovered unless they have been recreated.
Going digital will significantly lower the cost of document maintenance while also reducing or eliminating the expense of printing and exchanging them. Digital storage is far less expensive than physical cabinets and provides a better and more cost-effective method of backup and recovery.
#5- Improved decision making
We, as document management experts, need to make sure that employees have direct access to information at the right time and the right place without having to be physically available in the office to enable informed business decisions based on accurate data. That can only be achieved when information is digitized, and processes are automated.
Furthermore, by utilizing comprehensive reporting tools, these managers may monitor how the organization is operating at any given time and make modifications as needed.
Knowledge workers spend 30% of the workday searching for information.Source: IDC
#6- Improved security
Paper documents may easily fall into the wrong hands which can expose sensitive information to the public resulting in loss of trust in our brand. Personally, I always find forgotten documents on the printers specially from the accounting or HR department. What would happen when this information is exposed internally also?
Securing digital documents is way easier as the responsible technologies always come with a robust access control, audit trails, and encryption which will minimize data breaches.
I strongly advise you to read the article linked below for further details.
#7- Higher mobility
If the COVID19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of having information available from everywhere, not just the workplace. Unfortunately, many organizations were unable to operate during the lockdown since they were still depending on paper and couldn’t access it from outside their companies’ borders.
Digital documents, when combined with the correct technology, will allow your staff to access business information from nearly any location in the globe, allowing them to work and finish business transactions in the event of future pandemics and lockdowns.
#8- Automation of business processes
Any company that wishes to run more effectively and smoothly must automate its business processes. Information must be digitized before any digitalization initiatives can begin!
By far the most essential advantage of digitization is the opportunity to begin automating manual business processes, allowing businesses to achieve their goals in the most efficient manner possible.
Usually, this step comes with reviewing the complete list of manual processes which allow us to identify bottlenecks, remove unneeded steps, and reduce bureaucracy.
#9- Environmentally friendly
Going green is the most important benefits of digitization that will help us save our planet earth.
With each printed document, we contribute to deforestation, increasing the harm done to our mother planet.
In terms of sustainability and natural resources, each corporation owes a commitment to present and future generations.
Go green with digitization!
THE AVERAGE DOCUMENT GETS COPIED 19 timesSource: Coopers and Lybrand
#10- Disaster Recovery
One of the most great benefits of digitization is the possibility to recover information and data that has been lost due to natural catastrophes or other events.
In the event of a disaster, digital information and documents may be readily backed up and restored. As a result, your most precious asset will always be available and ready to support your business operations.
Consider what would happen if you suddenly lost your ability to see any document due to a natural disaster. How will this affect your company?
What is the disadvantage of digitization?
Digitization has its disadvantages, but it also has its advantages. Some people think that digitization is a disadvantage because of the loss of human touch and instant feedback. But on the other hand, digitization provides an efficient way to communicate and share information.
The world has been transformed by the rise of technology and digital data, which has led to a new industrial revolution. This revolution is characterized by the shift from an economy based on manufacturing to one based on information.