“Some of the easiest digital initiatives can pay off in a time like this.”
Enterprise leaders advocate the importance of digital transformation, regularly referring to hot technologies including AI, blockchain, and big data to make their case. These technologies represent huge potential for enterprises seeking to unlock innovation and new ways of doing business. However, successful digital transformation ultimately depends on the seamless integration of both offline and online capabilities so that products and services can ultimately be provided efficiently, quickly, and better than before.
Many organisations have strong interest in digital transformation, but have often been held back by a lack of funding, strategy or governance. In 2018, support for the Axe the Fax campaign surged when health secretary Matt Hancock mandated the NHS from buying more fax machines and ordered a complete phase-out of the hardware by April 2020. Recent reports have shown that many trusts missed this deadline due to lack of progress.
Recent eFax research shows that whilst most UK IT decision-makers are accelerating the speed of digital transformation as a direct result of disruption to their workforce caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of decision-makers would have accelerated digital transformation sooner if they were aware of the full impact it could make in just a few months.
The findings also found that half of all IT decision-makers believe if more budget had been available, then their organisations would have been encouraged to accelerate digital transformation sooner, and many also believe more buy-in from leadership would also have encouraged their organisation to accelerate digital transformation initiatives sooner too.
Some of the easiest and lowest-cost digital initiatives can pay off in a time like this. Many enterprises have taken the opportunity to accelerate old paper processes to digital formats, similarly, the way we share, and review documents has also been improved.
Fax remains a vital tool for sharing important documents, due to the nature of sending files improving legal authenticity. However, the vast majority of workers do not have fax machines at home. Throughout the lockdown, they have been forced to seek out alternative means to share documents and data without risk. Cloud faxing has stepped in to remove the need for dated fax machines and allow employees to fax from anywhere, increasing workforces’ agility.
Digital faxing is also much safer than its physical counterpart, as fax files are sent directly to the email inbox and sophisticated data encryption is used to increase security and confidentiality. It also saves enterprises money, at a time when reducing costs is vital.
The accelerated digital transformation witnessed in the last six months will continue to benefit companies as restrictions on the workplaces begins to ease. Technology that was adopted during lockdown to solve the problem of teams being away from each other and transition away from legacy systems is unlikely to be dropped when employees return.
The lockdown has enabled many enterprises to get to grips with the need for digital transformation and combine the operational changes needed with digital applications even if prior to the crisis began, they may have previously lacked the required knowledge, expertise, and focus to successfully achieve a change of this scale.
Director of Service