Blog: How technology is the problem and solution for your business

Technology has transformed our ability to communicate. We can work together. We can work apart. We can traverse both worlds.

But what does this mean for our office culture and perhaps more importantly, for our productivity? Has remote working technology made us more productive, or have we plateaued? Have we become slaves to our inboxes, timesheets, record keeping, travel, video calls and our calendars?

Despite technological advances, much of our workflows and processes are manual in nature. Research has found that we spend a quarter of our working day reading, answering and worrying about our inbox. We have become notification obsessed and natural hoarders of messages, documents and data.

We are easily engulfed by processes, workflows and systems that very often don’t cooperate with one another. While there are workarounds in almost all other aspects of an organisation, the solutions are less clear when it comes to document management.

Inefficiency, spiralling costs and poor governance, borne from too much documentation and too little control, reflects back at us, the issue. We have too much of a good thing. Too much operational freedom, too much technology, too much hardware and too much data.

So how do businesses get a better handle on documents, data and workflows? The simple but sometimes overwhelming answer is to invest in a solution that brings together multiple workflow processes and services into a single view of your business. In the IT industry, these are referred to as Content Services Platforms (CSP’s). Here are seven things to look for when specifying one:

1. Activate services as required: You should expect to be able to scale the platform to address business requirements as they develop. No need to procure siloed, on-premise solutions that extend time to value by 12 months or more

2. Compliance is king: Solutions should meet both internal and external compliance requirements with no heavy lifting

3. No rip and replace: Your existing systems and solutions should integrate easily with the platform. This includes such solutions as SharePoint, Microsoft 365 and SAGE. This should happen without having to rip and replace your current tech stack and suffer disruption to business-as-usual

4. Minimal set-up & activation: Annual licence fees and lengthy set-up schedules are a commonplace for business systems. Your platform should be purchased on a consumption-only basis and once activated, permit immediate activation on your network

5. Unified view: Your platform should provide a single, unified view that combines and streamlines business processes. It will allow you to manage information in real-time and assist with compliance across all your business systems

7. Doesn’t push the risk externally: Many content services platforms (CSP’s) use third party applications to provide many of the features and benefits on offer. However, they will also ‘push the risk’ to those external parties if bugs and integration errors occur – causing disruption to your business

7. Accelerated cost savings and ROI: You do not want to wait 12 months before benefits realisation. You should expect your platform to be up and running almost instantly and returning value to the business within weeks

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