This article appears in the Winter 2018 digital issue of DOCUMENT Strategy. Subscribe.

Image by: bowie15, ©2018 Getty Images

With the new year upon us, leaders should take stock of their digital journey and craft plans for attacking their digitalization goals for the year to come. For most, our digital scorecards will reveal good progress and even greater opportunities.

According to a recent report titled "Digitalization at Work," less than 50% of information technology (IT) decision-makers indicate that their processes are mostly or fully digitalized, and only 10% say they are digitized across the board. Yet, in the same study, 71% of respondents have identified processes within their organizations that would benefit from automation. In addition, almost two-thirds of the individuals polled expect to work in a digital enterprise by the end of 2018. That puts a lot of pressure on the year ahead. To help meet your digital milestones, here are five steps to turn your goals into a reality.

1. Look at Paper Workflows from a Bird's-Eye View

According to research, 55% of organizations have not analyzed the current state of their paper processes. Using print assessment tools, IT leaders can get an informative bird's-eye view of how current workflows are running. They can then apply these insights to address issues and strengthen their document management foundation.

2. Dive into the Data

A crucial step to achieving the real benefits of digitalization is getting an accurate look at your company's data through the use of analytics. Auditing, tracking, measuring, and analyzing how documents are used allows an organization to identify where they would benefit most from digitalization. These insights will help foster a greater understanding of the vulnerabilities in your document management landscape.

3. Build Buy-In Across the Business

Once you have assessed the current state of your document processes and have embarked on your digital journey, it is more important than ever to share real-time updates on your progress with the organization. Your leadership team will be on the lookout for payoffs in cost, security, and agility. By installing checkpoints that track progress against these goals, you can quantify the results when reporting back to the leadership team.

4. Scale Out with Automation

As companies add more tools to their digital arsenal, one of the greatest benefits of digitalization is the capability to scale more efficiently. By reallocating a portion of the existing work to new automated processes, valuable employee time is freed up, allowing the team to take on more projects, invest more in innovation, and expand the capacity of the IT department as a whole.

5. Play to Your Strengths

While workflow automation is a key element of digitalization, it certainly isn't synonymous with a reduction of the workforce. Instead, companies should leverage the strengths of their employees, placing them in roles that play to those strengths, and then automate processes to complement those capabilities and to fill gaps. The goal is to end up in a place where employees and automated technologies work together seamlessly, driving positive change for the organization and its customers.

Ted Dezvane is the Senior Vice President of Managed Document Services at Xerox. Prior to this, Ted held numerous roles within the company, such as Chief Strategy Officer, Vice President of Strategy & Portfolio (for Xerox Services, now Conduent, Inc.), and Director of Corporate Business Strategy. For more information, visit
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