From zero to paperless powerhouse in one week: an impossible dream?
Do your eyes glaze over, and your selective hearing kick in when you hear statements about how going paperless is going to save your organization money and make it more efficient? Are you thinking I’ll believe it when I see it? After all, the business community has been talking about going paperless since 1975. If it was going to happen, wouldn’t businesses be paperless by now?
With all the talk about digital transformation, the islands of heavy paper usage still exist. Especially in the financial services and insurance industries.
A lot of core processes still rely on paper, or PDF-based communications, that have for a long time been pronounced “obsolete.” Yet, paper-based processes are alive and kicking.
Businesses aren’t paperless because they chose not to be. There have been untold opportunities to move those paper-based processes paperless. Some companies have, but the majority have not. They exist in a limbo between paper and paperless.
Until recently, a few organizations in the financial services and insurance sectors had external pressures to go paperless. Now as pressure mounts, institutions are struggling to deliver solutions that minimize the use of paper. Going paperless is no longer a question of improving the bottom line. It’s a matter of survival.
Obstacles to digital transformation haven’t disappeared overnight
As external pressures increase, institutions are scrambling to update legacy systems that were never designed to operate in today’s work environment. They’re attempting to create paperless workflows using paper-based templates. Unfortunately, the rush to digitize may result in failure.
According to McKinsey, approximately 70% of all digital transformation initiatives fail. The primary reasons were:
- Failure to engage employees
- Poor cross-functional collaboration
- Little accountability
Even when these weaknesses were addressed, organizations were unable to sustain transformation initiatives because they lacked a digital mindset. Given that the financial services and insurance industries have been slow to transform their core processes, it’s not surprising that many are wrestling with how to digitize paper-based operations.
True digital transformation is customer-focused by definition
Creating a better customer experience should be the focus of any digitizing effort. Eliminating paper-based processes without considering the customer can lead to poorly designed solutions that only frustrate the end-user — and create dissatisfied customers. In today’s market, customer experience has become more important than product quality. That’s why it’s crucial to deliver a well-designed solution from the start.
The right solution also considers employees. Organizations have learned that excellent employee experiences lead to superior customer experiences. According to the Harvard Business Review, a one-star increase in Glassdoor’s employer rating correlates to a 7.8% to 18.9% increase in long-term market valuation. For example, letting customer-service or back-office personnel participate in designing paperless processes addresses employees’ desires to be engaged.
Amplifying limited resources with no-code development
IT personnel must be part of any digitizing effort. At the same time, qualified IT employees are in short supply. The latest statistics show a 12% growth in all computer fields over the next ten years, with some occupations seeing a growth rate of nearly 20%. With many IT jobs going unfilled, managing technical assets is vital to a successful digital transformation.
Not only are IT employees in short supply, but they are also expensive. The average salary for a software developer is about $100,000 per year. When citizen developers create applications, developers are free to work on projects that require more advanced programming skills, which is a better use of valuable resources.
No-code solutions are the new normal
No-code solutions are a way to create paperless experiences for customers and employees without straining IT departments. A no-code platform is a development tool that uses visual elements to create applications. Specifically, no-code solutions include the following:
- Drag-and-drop components or widgets that can be organized to build applications or processes
- Data queries or filters that allow easy customization
- APIs for data integration with other services
Because the solution does not require coding expertise, subject-matter experts become citizen developers who build solutions that meet business needs.
Yes, adding no-code functionality to your organization can save you money and make you more productive, but it can do much more. It has the ability to start a transformation or build on an existing one. No-code platforms can move digital transformation initiatives forward, increase cross-functional collaboration, and contribute to an agile organization.
Not every employee is a developer in hiding, but many users understand what they need to improve internal processes or customer engagement. Finding tools that enable them to create applications instills a sense of ownership. It encourages employees to engage in transforming an organization. Employee engagement is crucial to a successful transformation.
According to Forbes, no-code platforms help foster collaboration among internal departments. As IT and business operations work together to deliver solutions, they develop a better understanding of the requirements. They learn how to model and build functionality together to deliver technically sound solutions that meet business needs.
No-code contributes to a more agile organization that can quickly pivot from paper to paperless operations. Citizen developers using visual no-code tools can quickly deliver applications. According to Forrester, no-code has the potential to deliver applications ten times faster than traditional coding methods. The time to develop, test, and revise applications is significantly reduced, making an organization more agile in its ability to respond to customer demands.
With the right tools, functional experts can design applications that more closely align with business objectives. They can pivot quickly as requirements and customer expectations change. That agility is what enterprises need to survive and thrive.
In today’s world, change can happen in hours not days. Trying to move that quickly requires a shift away from the traditional processes towards digital methods that make for a more agile organization. It requires employees who have the tools and expertise to respond. How many citizen developers does your company have to help you pivot from paper to paperless?