Three Ways Digitization Can Help Your Business
Chances are you’ve heard about “digitization” for your business, but what does this actually mean? Digitization is simply the transformation of analog data to a digital format. From a business perspective, this centers around the idea of transforming the processes and behaviors that produce valuable business data from its antiquated analog system to a digital […]
Chances are you’ve heard about “digitization” for your business, but what does this actually mean? Digitization is simply the transformation of analog data to a digital format. From a business perspective, this centers around the idea of transforming the processes and behaviors that produce valuable business data from its antiquated analog system to a digital one. The most well-known example is the concept of “the paperless office” (or maybe this is just a well-known goal, have you ever actually seen a paperless office?). More broadly, the goal of digitization is to get information into a format in which we can utilize the staggering computational power of modern silicon (i.e. your laptop and perhaps a server in the cloud… or ten). There are many reasons we recommend digitization; the most basic principles are very straightforward:
- Leverage Data Validation to Reduce Errors
Data validation might be the most obvious benefit of digitization. Validation rules for data entry can be low-risk, simple to implement, and provide massive payoff. All processes have some form of data ingestion: from the classics like billing, inventory, and customer contact, to the more unique items such visual design, cross-referencing metadata, and adherence to the rules of the business domain.
- One System of Record
Sometimes getting information to the right place is half the battle. With a digital system, routing and delivering documents or other information becomes a complete non-event. By replacing a multi-step analog process with a single integrated digital system, there’s far less chance of losing track of important details or having individuals working at cross purposes because they don’t all have the latest info on the job at hand. A single “system of record” means that the latest data is available to employees at all times, enabling more cross-functional work and reducing confusion. Especially when coupled with data validation, this upgrade can eliminate a lot of needless games of telephone, including, in some cases, literal telephone calls between parties to confirm information that should have already been available.
- Gain Data-Driven Insights into Process Performance
Don’t make the mistake of believing that data crunching is exclusive to large corporations. There are a number of easy steps that even small businesses can take to start getting insights from the data they have without massive investment in statistical analysis and machine learning models (those can be great, but shouldn’t be seen as the price of entry into the realm of data analytics.) The biggest step forward a small company can take is identifying some key metrics, then automating their measurement and reporting in a highly visible way. This is enabled by digitization because collecting historical information is tedious with analog processes. Digitization of these records means that trends, deviations, and any other kind of aggregation or comparison is far easier to track. This kind of reporting can help identify the weak links in processes and get resources focused on the parts of the business that are at highest risk of failure before problems become insurmountable.
Once you’ve taken the first step, digitization is a process that fuels further growth. Yet taking that first step can be the hardest; it’s the largest deviance from the familiar and the risk seems high. But once the dividends start rolling in, it frees up effort for focusing on the core business needs instead of tedium. Computers are really only good at two things: recording and calculating. However, they are extremely good at those things, so it makes sense to leverage them as much as possible.
Exelaration makes digitization painless by guiding the process and helping ensure your team is best leveraging the available digital tools. Learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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