More than a question of minutes and euros, paperless processes question the very foundations of how people work to the point of profoundly modifying how final decisions are made.
According to a study conducted by Xerfi-Precepta, the French market for dematerialisation of documents should reach 7.7 billion Euros by 2020. However, if this is synonymous with saving time and budgetary gains praised by all stakeholders, it must not be limited to these benefits alone. More than a question of minutes and euros, digital transformation challenges the very foundations of how people work to the point of profoundly modifying how final decisions are made.
Going paperless: a “way to work” under construction
The benefits of going paperless are obvious. On the one hand, it saves a considerable amount of time on tasks that usually require mailings like, for example, contracts to be signed. On the other hand, it offers the possibility of reducing the time meant for daily tasks, both for employees, as well as, for the executive team, continually asked to attend meetings and establish administrative formalities.
In the long run, going paperless is a first step towards another way of working. Tomorrow, digitalisation will be yesterday’s fax machine: massively adopted, already obsolete. For it is more than just a process to maximise time and organise work, it announces a new way of working, a 100% digital way of working in which the human role is not forgotten.
It is thus crucial for companies: in order to remain competitive, this will give their teams the necessary methods for effective collaboration so they can be the most efficient possible, improve “teamwork”, as well as, collect and share ideas. In short, set up the most optimal workflow possible in order to facilitate and improve decision-making. The more these processes are simplified and clear, the faster decision-making will be, and the lower the margin for errors. A genuine need for many companies where contracts, validated orally, are only actually signed much later due to laborious administrative procedures.
Stand out thanks to digitalisation
First of all, it is important to make sure that companies remain compliant. Paperless processes make it possible to get a better overview of the work conducted by teams, and therefore, more control in terms of information that could, potentially, harm it. In particular, this occurs through better traceability: it is now possible to know who has access to what information.
Better understanding one’s market is also an asset. Many digital tools facilitate the precise monitoring of markets and competitors. Data analysis, media monitoring, etc.: data-driven marketing now makes it possible to better perceive the sometimes very rapid changes in the market, listen to consumer needs, as well as, the work conducted by its competitors in order to take inspiration from this... and better stand out.
Lastly, companies can facilitate the management of their internal policies. In a large company, it is often necessary to circulate one unique information to a large number of employees. In order to do this, digital is essential: it makes it possible to circulate a message faster, easier and more clearly. Nevertheless, not everything is paperless in leadership. Even today, many things are still discussed around the coffee machine: maintaining human connections is essential.
Saving time in order to make more thoughtful decisions
Time is a crucial element when making good decisions. In order to establish a good strategy and have good leadership, it is necessary to take a step back, take the time to think and relax: a bad decision could have direct repercussions on the company’s business. This process of reflection is only possible if executives are not absorbed by daily business. Let’s take the example of Warren Buffet: this American businessman dedicates several hours and even several days a week to thinking.
Every good and self-respecting executive must understand their market, their competitors, as well as, send the right messages to a greater number of people and know more about their clients. Digitalisation, thus makes it possible to maximise all these tasks and becomes the essential channel in order to do more things more effectively.
There are only 24 hours in a day. For executives, the challenge is this: knowing how to go beyond daily problems in order to acquire a macro-vision of the company and find the time to think about their strategy in order to make the most appropriate decisions. Therein, digitalisation is capital. Despite all this, many heads of companies still remain cautious faced with this transformation that they have difficulty understanding.
However, companies have every interest in embracing digitalisation in order to reveal their potential. Addressing a larger audience, knowing more about their clients, as well as, their own company, sharing ideas in order to encourage teamwork: digitalisation promises a revolution in working methods as we know them today.
Raffael also wrote about France's Digital Transformation of the C-Suite