Digital transformation is now considered a major part of every organisation’s overall strategy.

According to IDC, worldwide spending on the services and technologies that enable DX is forecast to reach $2.3 trillion by 2023. Despite this, most organisations fail to consider all avenues of their transformation.

The primary goal of DX is connectedness. In order to achieve this, companies require complete system integration with the streamlining of data and the automation of basic processes. However, business leaders never consider documents as part of their DX strategy.

While documents are essential to business, companies tend to manage their files and data the same way they did in the 90s – with content-centric workflows remaining largely paper-based, or the processes themselves highly manual.

Considering the entire life cycle of a document – from first proposal, drafting an initial contract, any last-minute additions and even final sign-off – these manual workflows leave business disconnected.

Without complete visibility, critical business data remains locked, preventing the analysis and insight that drive meaningful change and generate results. As data points are filled manually – legal contracts await multiple signatures, spreadsheets are yet to be populated, or, even worse, important files are left to float endlessly through email chains – mistakes are bound to occur.

Manual processes leave data unstructured and often difficult to track and share. Most importantly, it remains disconnected from the vital data stored in customer relationship management systems, meaning it cannot be acted upon and leading to further costs and delays in the long-run.

Organisations are gradually realising the importance of automation, particularly when it comes to document management. Our research has revealed that 74 per cent of companies have current initiatives aiming to automate manual processes, whilst 60 per cent believe AI is critical for transforming their organisation.

This study indicates that companies that are investing in automation are looking to change how they operate, with the ultimate aim to overcome the practices that limit productivity and accelerate revenue. However, while businesses often seek immediate results, the reality is that there is no quick fix.

Businesses must invest in long term transformational strategies and prepare for the disruptive technologies that will be increasingly prevalent in the future. Automation is inevitable, but companies need to recognise when it works and how best to implement it within their operations.

According to McKinsey, one of the main reasons DX initiatives fail is due to the fact that organisations do not fully understand what DX is or means, or how to integrate it within their existing operating model.

When businesses devise a successful DX strategy, one that includes the most basic elements of their operations – which are the processes around their documents – they are proven to succeed. Our research indicates that 60 per cent of those that have multiple types of digital document transformation are reported to be gaining speed, as they can execute more efficient workflows and experience better integration as there are fewer errors with regards to their data. 

With the careful integration of AI and by incorporating processes within their digital transformation strategy, companies can execute more efficient workflows and streamline integrated business cycles.

In doing so, businesses can ensure their entire operations are fully connected and data fully accounted for – an experience that will also be shared by their customers.