Caribbean organizations can maximize the transformative benefits of deploying and operating an ECM platform by taking these three pieces of advice to heart.
Tip #1: It’s all about process. Focus on defining what your future-state process needs to be. It’s not just about capturing information digitally; it’s about what you want to do with that information. How will you use the information? How does it need to be integrated? How will you interact with it? Will it be on a mobile device? Will it be on email? Will it be available to you remotely?
Tip #2: Don’t just deploy tech for tech’s sake. Make sure that you’re not just replicating your manual process in a digital environment without adding value. In many cases, this just adds waste to the process.
Take, for example, an invoice approval process: typically, prior to being paid, an invoice needs to be reviewed, appropriately coded, and signed. If this were currently a manual process in an organization, and that organization adopted a “scan-store-retrieve” technology to digitize only the first two steps, the final person in the process would still have to print out the invoice to manually sign it; and the document would need to be scanned again. This would be an example of adopting technology for technology’s sake: you’re actually adding steps to the process!
Instead, the process needs to be viewed end-to-end. The process can be re-engineered by adding electronic signature technology. This enhancement would mean you no longer would need to have a physical piece of paper to sign. By looking at the whole process end-to-end, the organization can streamline the process, provide convenience to internal customers, and maintain canonical records.
The key is knowing when to deploy technology to your benefit, and when it’s overkill. Not every process needs to be re-engineered with technology. In fact, if you insert additional layers or additional touch points of technology where they’re not needed, it will turn people off, and they eventually will just stray away and not use it.
Whatever is implemented needs to be so seamless and so effortless, that you might notice it the first time you use it, but then you’ll quickly integrate it and adopt it into your day-to-day activities. Soon, you’ll no long notice that the technology is there making your life easier; rather, you will notice when the technology is not there. That’s evidence of transformation.
Tip #3: Tap into and contribute to the momentum in the region. There’s a great deal of momentum and support for modernizing the technology infrastructure in the Caribbean region. Several organizations—such as CARICOM, CARTAC and IADB—are stepping up to offer strategic vision, practical guidance, informational resources and funding. It’s in the best interest of all Caribbean organizations to contribute to these collaborative efforts.
Authored by DeAnn Zufall