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Expanding Your Digital Footprint – Finding Your Next Move

Digital transformation has been happening for some time, but when the pandemic took hold, its progress accelerated by several years. Were there growing pains? Absolutely. But organizations had no choice but to adapt quickly to keep up. At this point, it’s no longer a question of if you’ll start on the digital transformation path; it’s a question of how you’ll continue the journey.  


As you consider the next best move to expand your digital footprint, a prime opportunity is automating processes that rely heavily on people and paper. Improving processes through automation can give you a competitive advantage, streamline workflows, and get you ahead of what’s coming next.  

Stop shuffling paper and mind-numbing tasks  

Your organization runs on processes every day. Documents need to be routed, signed, and tracked — and all of this “shuffling” takes up valuable time. And, of course, you need to provide an audit trail to prove compliance.  


Automation helps eliminate paper shuffling so employees can redirect their energy to higher-value work. In addition, automated workflows and technology that integrates easily with programs like DocuSign mean that once a document is sent, it’s automatically tracked and managed in one place.  


With automation, one obvious benefit is the time savings, but another benefit is the “mind savings” afforded to your employees. 


With every task an employee manages, there’s a mental load.  

Did I send that document? I’ll check really quick.  

Did that document come back signed? Let me take a look.  


The time spent double-checking that tasks have been completed adds up and wastes employee time and energy.  When you automate this kind of work, you free employees from these small-but-draining tasks that negatively impact employee satisfaction. This makes freeing up mind space critical – especially right now with the “Great Resignation” still in full swing. In departments with open positions, remaining employees often need to pick up the slack and result in burnout. Automating processes helps lighten the load so your team doesn’t get overwhelmed.  

Don’t change the processes; Change the medium 

As you work to expand your digital footprint, keep in mind that doing so doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to change your processes. You may just need to change the medium.  


What does that mean? The right technologies can work with your existing processes. They’ll just streamline and automate them. For example, suppose your current process involves routing documents for signatures and approvals. In that case, automation can follow those existing processes while taking repetitive, manual tasks — like gathering approvals, tracking, and more — off your team’s plate.  


Before having to route materials for signatures and approvals, automation can also help collect the information that populates them. For example, integrating automation into your forms allows you to collect data in a single place and prevents the need to scan documents or manually enter data. Instead, the captured information goes straight into workflows, saving you time and resources.  


Whatever technology you choose, remember that it should “play nicely” with your other tools. If your team uses Outlook, you’ll want the ability to integrate workflows with that application without employees needing to open multiple programs.  


You can always start small, measure productivity gains, and then expand to other processes.  

Move beyond digital ‘growing pains’ 

Expanding your digital footprint is inevitable. Again, it’s not about whether you’ll continue down the path to digital transformation, it’s about identifying your next best move. 


Automating processes helps you transition from being dependent on manual and paper processes to supporting faster, more informed decision making that increases employee productivity. Freeing employee time – and mental drain – also helps increase employee satisfaction. The combination makes you all the more agile and positions you to easily handle whatever curveballs the market serves up next.  



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