By: Max Ertl, President, DocuWare
The past year has forced most businesses around the world to accelerate digital transformation programmes faster than they anticipated. Adapted processes, new technologies, virtual communication, transformed office environments: the workforce is unrecognisable compared to before the pandemic.
Many employers are choosing a hybrid working model, offering greater trust and flexibility to workers. In fact, research has shown that those with flexible hours are more likely to be engaged, potentially improving work performance by 20% and potentially generating 43% more revenue.
A distributed working model changes how organisations think about their tech stack. To run seamlessly with democratic information sharing and collaboration, cloud and security are at the forefront of every investment decision. By recognising and addressing these requirements head-on, business leaders can remain confident in the productivity and happiness of their workforce and in the security of their business.
Trusting in the cloud
Developing a system that enables employees to collaborate seamlessly and securely from anywhere is essential to a successful hybrid workforce.
Cloud-based document management solutions and automation technologies are a significant contributor to ensuring ‘business as usual’. They enable the very transactions and “source of truth” documents to remain available and usable no matter the shape of the workforce. This prioritises minimal disruption to employees during unstable and stressful times.
Moving on-premises systems to the cloud has been part of global digital transformation across all industries. Organisations have never been more reliant on new technologies for business continuity. This has exposed a digital skill gap in the workforce that business leaders can’t ignore. When selecting a document management solution, leaders must consider a technology that requires minimal – if any – IT resources, one that can be easily learned by users, and one that integrates into the software already in place. This is especially important for accounting and HR professionals.
Choosing the right tools for your workforce
When introducing new document management solutions into a business, it’s important to choose the right software tools for your employees to ensure a happier, productive, and more collaborative workforce. Automated workflows are critical here because a hybrid workforce practices virtual teamwork.
Business users need to be able to revise documents in real-time with multiple colleagues who may be based in different locations. These documents then need to enter the workflow so business process can continue uninterrupted. Cloud-based preconfigured solutions enable collaboration and shareable workflows, as they would have in the office – essential to all businesses with the hybrid model.
A geographically distributed workforce looks to be the model for the foreseeable future. With an uncertain future, companies need to have tools and services in place that enable employees to work from any location with minimal disruption. This empowers a workforce to swiftly adapt to external forces. And with continual digital transformation, businesses can achieve even more than they thought possible before the pandemic hit.
Creating a compliant and secure environment
Organisations are valued and retain trust based on the security of their data. Reliable document management tools to store this data have never been more essential to safeguarding business, employee, and customer information. Because the hybrid working model comes with additional security risks involved with employees importing, sharing, approving and collaborating on documents, a document management system must be judged by how securely data as accessed and archived. Continuous assessment of protocols, from corporate to employee level is critical to protect against security breaches and remain compliant.
Business leaders of all size enterprises must keep cybersecurity top of mind, executing regular checks and updates of management tools and systems. With data at the core of every company, providing access to digital documents with single-sign-on for secure login offers better authentication processes for on-premise and cloud-based solutions. Businesses need to be prepared with the right investments and approaches, implementing security solutions before a problem arises.
It’s also important to communicate with employees about security to ensure that they understand not only the risks of home-working and sharing data, but also their own needs so that they can freely access the necessary information to fulfil their duties. This will not only improve protection but also provide clarity and reassurance at every level.
Moving forward with hybrid
Hybrid working provides companies with boundless opportunities to digitally transform outdated processes and make significant changes to shape the future of their business. Ensuring that they are prepared for any challenges that may arise, be that in the office or at home, by implementing the right type of technology will be key for making positive changes to the way they work.
Software tools for this new hybrid setting should provide at the very least a collaborative platform, security and automated workflows in order to ensure a productive and satisfied team. Ultimately, with business leaders and employees coming together to overcome obstacles, this will not only improve internal relationships and transform that all-important external customer experience.