Digitisation in simple terms is the process of converting information into digital, computer-readable format. Collectively, digitisation means a number of different processes where information is converted or managed, whether it be through automating manual operations, leveraging the internet for communication, or enhancing document management through digital file storage.
With that said, digitisation is no longer just a “hot trend” in this digital age, but an increasingly important part of any business who wants to survive and thrive in this new economy. Some industry leaders even say that digitisation is no longer optional but a necessity.
We see more and more businesses transitioning their marketing, project management, documentation, and communication online. We hear of organizations going “paperless”, and companies taking their operations to the “cloud”.
Digitisation is a way to future-proof your business.
Many organisations shift to digital for several reasons such as:
This can be done through the use of web or network-based project management systems, or HR and payroll software, or the use of email or chat for communication. This can also mean utilising electronic gadgets to gather data and capture information as in the case of using tablets when filling up forms.
With the “Internet of things” becoming the norm in the workplace and outside of it, the use of gadgets in everyday operations is a natural step to take. Virtually every aspect of life can now be captured and stored in some digital form, which gives companies every reason to move towards the path of digitisation.
Manual processes are prone to many errors that technology can easily eliminate. More so, automating repeatable processes can save companies a lot of time and make their overall operations more efficient.
Startups that are established in this digital age are more likely to have set up automated digital systems from the get-go. But older companies who are used to analog processes and paper-based documentation are likely to find the transition more challenging.
Many businesses decide to go paperless for convenience and to save space. For obvious reasons, digital data can be stored more efficiently than having stacks of paper dumped into filing cabinets. Digitisation makes files a lot more feasible to archive and access.
Where once an office space is occupied with filing cabinets from wall to wall, now these documents can be stored in virtual folders accessible by any computer or mobile device.
Although in some cases, hard copy documents are still important (as in the case of legacy documents, contracts, invoices, among others) making digital copies of this information preserves them for the future.
Not only does it eliminate the use of physical space, but digital data is also highly searchable and can easily be transferred through computer networks or the cloud; and can be accessed through whatever device you prefer–smartphone, tablet, computer, laptop.
Security is also an important aspect of digitisation. Because of the nature of digital data, creating back-ups is as easy as one click, ensuring that your files will always be secured. Needless to say, having multiple copies of important documents stored in your computer network and in the cloud secures them in a way photocopied documents never would.
This digital age is changing the way businesses operate.
While digitisation is an investment in itself, it ultimately saves more time, space, and money, and makes your documentation and business processes future-proof.
Through the use of technology, businesses are able to operate with more ease and efficiency, scale their operations, and expand their customer base in ways that have never been done before.
The world is becoming more connected and mobile, and whatever industry you’re in, your customer is going digital too. Businesses are therefore expected to adapt and to meet this ever-evolving digital landscape not only to survive but to thrive.