By Lisa Croft
Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe System
Special to The Nation
Many of the common barriers to undergoing digital transformation fall under a unifying category: resources. Whether it’s because they lack the budget to invest in the necessary technologies or lack the expertise to connect the technologies, organizations are hesitant to take on more if they feel as though they don’t have the resources to support the endeavor.
Documents are a Byproduct of Work
Electronic documents are a major part of digital transformation for a couple of reasons: 1) they are a byproduct of normal work processes and projects, and 2) most business inefficiencies can be traced back to poor processes regarding paper documentation. In a recent Adobe survey of European organizations, researchers found that printing and emailing documents are the most time-intensive tasks, and that 75 percent of workers say the processes are boring, time-consuming, and challenging.
But all too often, documents are the last piece of the digital puzzle that executives think to look at. They’ve integrated Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) to manage their sales, Microsoft Office 365 to handle email and scheduling, and maybe even a document storage service such as Dropbox. But it stops there.
Now that they have these services, they aren’t sure where to go next or how they can work together to improve efficiencies even more, so it’s difficult for them to throw more money at digital products. But this is where it’s critical to take a step back and look at the big picture and gain an understanding of how to best use what’s already available to you.
Your Hidden Assets
Looking at the cost of digital transformation can be daunting. Without clear information available, it’s difficult for leadership to understand which products they need, which they don’t, and how each one will contribute to an improved experience for both internal and external stakeholders.
A common lament I hear from executives is that they feel they’ve already sunk enough capital into digital software. And they have a difficult time justifying spending more for services they don’t even completely understand or may not take full advantage of. For example, we may talk about Adobe Document Cloud, and they instantly believe that, while it’s a service they could benefit from, they don’t have the resources to change systems or add new, disparate ones.
But take a deeper look, and you discover that the answer is not in changing systems or simply adding to your growing technology stack. The answer is integration. And not integration that requires a full IT department to make all your software work together. I’m talking about integration that exists within the products that organizations are already using, day in and day out.
Leveraging Existing Systems
Leveraging your existing systems to improve your electronic document efficiency, security, and storage is the best way to implement process and systems that have a low cost of implementation—both financially and with human resources.
For example, if you use Salesforce as your CRM, you can easily integrate Adobe Sign to manage and track documents, contracts, and requirements. The integration is built right on the Salesforce platform. By adding a layer of document functionality to your existing CRM, you fully leverage the capabilities that are already in front of you. We recently announced Adobe Sign’s latest integration with Salesforce CPQ.
Need an easy way to store and review documents across multiple teams and platforms? You can integrate your Adobe Acrobat Reader mobile app with the Dropbox mobile app—or even another storage service such as Box—to make that happen. Once you connect your accounts, you’re up and running—without the hassle of adding new technologies or going through a long IT process to get everyone onboarded.
But digital transformation is about so much more than just having a way to read documents. It’s about implementing a digital document process that can enable more efficient business processes through document creation, reuse, e-signatures, and collaboration. You can add Adobe Document Cloud solutions to the systems, processes, and applications your organization already uses to streamline document workflows or speed up business processes. Even if you’re already using a form of document workflow via SharePoint or other Microsoft products, you can create more robust digital document processes by integrating with Adobe Document Cloud.
Bigger than the Software Itself
At the end of the day, it’s not about the specific tools or software. By looking past the surface for the tools you already have, and learning more about how to leverage their capabilities to enhance and complete your digital document processes, you can advance your digital transformation to the next stage of the process. If documents are the necessary byproduct of standard work, then using available digital tools to maximize efficiency with those documents is the best way to unleash their true power and truly improve how we all do business.