Workplaces, management styles and the very definition of “work” have changed as technology has evolved. Has your organization kept up with the times?
Most businesses have gone digital and most have some form of document management system to handle the thousands and thousands of “born digital” documents. Many have digitized older paper records for security and ease of access. Some have begun to take advantage of newer technologies that automate business processes. Where is your organization on the continuum? Take our quick technology test:
1. Does Your Organization Have an ECM?
ECM (Enterprise Content Management) is the most current version of what used to be called document management and differs from document management in this way: A Document Management System (DMS) manages structured data and is focused on documents in the traditional sense -- Word, PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. A Content Management System handles both structured data and unstructured data. Unstructured data includes HTML files and digital assets (images and audio and video files).
10 if you have ECM
5 if you’re still using DMS
-5 f you’re have DMS and still have paper files
-10 if you’re not digital
2. How is Your Organizational Mail Handled?
Is your business overloaded with incoming mail? Is postal mail delivered by hand into an In-box on your desk? Even as electronic content, such as email and PDFs, displace paper documents and mail, mailroom operations and hand-delivered mail continue to be a labor-intensive and costly service in many organizations. Digital Mailrooms replace this old mailroom system by providing a cost-effective, paperless alternative. Incoming mail is scanned and delivered electronically, reducing labor costs and mis-directed mail, while saving time.
10 if you have a Digital Mailroom
5 if you scan important incoming documents at your desk
-5 if you scan, but still file paper original
-10 if you’re all paper
3. How Are Business Processes and Workflows Handled?
A Business Process is a sequence of activities (broken into individual tasks) designed to deliver a result or product. Workflow describes the way the tasks in a sequence are handled. Workflow can be manual or automated. When a business uses manual workflows, employees physically hand deliver documents, sort through files, and notify people of tasks they need to complete via email, notes and meetings. While the process is defined through workflow, it involves a ton of paper and manual work. Automated workflows on the other hand, make use of technology to deliver documents, sort through files and notify people of their tasks.
10 if your office workflows are automated
5 if some (but not all) workflows are fully automated with more automation expected
-5 if workflows are a semi-automated (some paper, some automatic notifications and a lot of confusion)
-10 if your office workflows are manual
4. Do you use RPA?
RPA (Robotic Process Automation) removes the manual and repetitive work, by using software robots (‘bots) to automate individual tasks within the workflow. Rather than getting a notification that a task needs to be done, the human worker gets a notification that it has been completed by the ‘bot, is ready to be reviewed and sent to the next person or ‘bot for the next task in the workflow. In this way, the human worker becomes the manager and coordinator of the tasks, rather than the doer. RPA ‘bots automate individual tasks; they lack the capabilities to easily connect those tasks together to streamline the flow of work.
10 if your business has implemented RPA
5 if some (but not all) tasks are being handled by ‘bots and RPA
0 if RPA is under consideration
-5 if you’d rather do the tasks manually to protect jobs
5. Do you use AI?
AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a broad and general term that refers to computer software that engages in human-like activities such as learning, planning and problem-solving. According to Business News Daily, Machine learning is one of the most common types of artificial intelligence used in business today. Machine learning can process huge amount of data quickly, using algorithms that "learn" over time, getting better at what they do the more often they do it. Machine learning is useful for putting vast troves of data – increasingly captured by businesses– into a digestible context for human workers and managers.
20 if your business has implemented and regularly makes use of AI
10 if AI will be implemented in the next year
5 if AI is under consideration
-10 if AI I not even on your company’s radar
What Your Score Means
A score of 50 – 60 means your organization is making use of the most current technology
A score of 30 – 50 means it’s time to start checking out the benefits of newer technologies
A score of 20 – 30 means you’re falling behind
A score of 0-20 means you have a lot of catching up to do
A negative score – are you still in business?
If your organization scored high, congratulations. Technology will continue to advance. To stay relevant, especially when it comes to technology, means keeping up with technology in your industry and knowing the extent of your competitor’s technological expertise and stay on pace with them.
Lower scores should be taken as a wake-up call. Companies that resist progress and function in a disorganized fashion don’t stand a chance of competing at the same level as other companies that embrace technology. If an organization continues to resist progress and decides not to keep up with technology, they are likely to fade away into obscurity.