We asked Michael Powell, Expert Software Product Management at Kyocera Document Solutions Europe, to give us his perspective on the results of our investigation.
Organisations have to handle enormous amounts of data. It is important to understand that all of this data has some kind of value. One could say that data is the new oil. Companies are starting to see that they have all this information and if they start looking deeper, they could get some real business insight, helping to analyse past and current business activity. This in turn can facilitate future decisions. This is where content management and document management come to play a vital role. Document Management Systems are systems that enable businesses to extract additional value from the content in their organisation.
I would say that they are Enterprise Content Management, Document Management Systems and Content Services. I believe that the more technology a company adds, the better results it can achieve. The first reason to use content management systems is that they allow you to store your content in a structured format in a form of database. Then, a company might start to look at a business intelligence system, such as Document Management Systems or Content Management Solutions, which enable them to get additional data and help to create a foundation of content where professionals can connect additional technology to add further value. More technology can mean more results. However, companies should start off with a strategy defining what exactly they want to achieve. Just investing in a content management system is not automatically going to make a business more efficient. Clear goals have to be defined.
All companies want to save money and become more efficient. This is why it is important to trust a company who can find the optimal solution to minimise the costs and maximise the benefits. Depending on the business model and needs, the investment can be made through capital expenditure or operating expenditure, the latter meaning a monthly or periodic rate is paid. It is crucial to be aware of all of the options and to look for a strong partner that will help a company find the best fit solution.
Yes, 100%. Businesses should be mature enough to realise that simply putting money into technology is not going to help them. However, once the goals are clear, the right technology to achieve the goals can be selected and results will become clear. The adoption of technology and the business strategy should always be coordinated. That is the key.
A good service provider will highlight all the advantages for cutting costs. For example, the reduction of costs for paper storage is worth underlining. Also, time is money, and Content Services and such technologies save businesses a lot of time by making processes more efficient. Valuable hours of work will be used more efficiently and office space will be used differently, all in more productive ways that can save money. Often firms forget to consider all of these invisible costs that play an important role when considering content management technology.
The area where we can usually see the quickest return on investment is where there is a high paper volume. Typically, this involves departments such as legal, logistics, transport, finance and procurement areas, as they usually have a high paper usage.
I think systems such as ECM (Entreprise Content Management) and DMS (Document Management Systems) have a very important part to play, but large amounts of business content are still stored on paper. The next step for companies is to capture information from paper to the business system. Only then can Content Solutions be applied properly, as described earlier. Sadly, paperless is still far away, because even businesses that are very technologically advanced, such as mobile operators, have customers who are perhaps not mature with technology and still prefer paper.
I believe there are two main reasons. Firstly, it is a question of budget, even though hosted cloud technology and similar services are becoming a lot more accessible. Secondly, and this is probably the major factor, companies are often not aware that they have a problem. They do not know that there are solutions that can make their processes a lot easier. This is why it is important for service providers to educate businesses about their possibilities.
I think the lack of education is the main reason. Automation is quite an ambiguous word, as it can be interpreted in many ways. However, if they are given concrete examples, let’s say they will now send their invoices via email, reducing manual work and postage fees, the idea of automation will not sound frightening anymore. It can be difficult to get employees to put their trust into a new system that they are unfamiliar with, but once it is broken down and explained properly, the advantages for everyone should become more evident.
If we talk about survival, I think businesses will survive. However, they eventually have to start looking at ways to improve their work. Businesses that dare to consider new options will become more efficient. Those that don‘t do that will survive for now, but they will lag behind the competition. I feel that it is inevitable to eventually turn to technology.
In the beginning, the major challenge will be to face the lack of knowledge about the systems and a lack of knowledge about companies’ own internal processes. The key is to educate businesses and demonstrate how they can benefit from this technology, and prove that it is accessible. Once the solution is acquired, the next big problem is resistance to change. It is key for companies to go through a proper change management process to highlight why the system is worth it and how it will help in achieving strategic targets and allow the company to be prosperous.
I think a part of the problem is resistance to change. There is a lot of early adoption in large organisations in developed countries. However, the rest of the market will be lagging behind. Also, vendors are often focused on the top end of the market, forgetting to help small and medium sized enterprises as well. I think the answer is a combination of resistance to change, lack of understanding and the belief that the technology is not accessible.
I think it is a combination of technology becoming more accessible and cheaper, and the development of technology itself. Technology is changing. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are making their way to workplaces. Innovations are becoming more accessible and people are showing interest and doing their research. We can observe millennials that grew up with technology entering the workplace, which is also a factor that will drive businesses to adopt more technology.
We will see many early adopters going for the newest business technology, and this will be necessary to stay competitive. There will be more and more monitoring, resulting in an even further increase of business information, which will allow them to make better decisions.
First of all, we are aiming to take away the complexity of the topic. We want the users to understand that our solutions are accessible to them. Of course, we also want to highlight how adopting such solutions can add real value to businesses. We want to show it is a simple solution that can have great results. It can make businesses more efficient, and we want to play a role in helping the users get the benefits out of the systems as you do not have to be an expert to use these solutions.
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