Why is Getting Rid of Paper Critical to Digital Transformation?
Bob Larrivee

By: Bob Larrivee on June 1st, 2016

Print/Save as PDF

Why is Getting Rid of Paper Critical to Digital Transformation?

process automation  |  business process management  |  business process  |  bpm  |  digital transformation,

Process improvement and workflow are not new; in fact they have been around since the late 1980s.  Yes, they have evolved and continue to do so but as was true of ECM, Business Process Management -- once seen as a nice to have -- is now considered a critical part of business operations.

process improvement and automation

This continued evidence that business organizations have begun to seriously embrace the idea that their operations can survive without paper, and in fact function more effectively when paper is eliminated from their business critical processes. Getting rid of paper is a critical first step dealing with a broader question -- What is the role of content in Digital Transformation?  What we are seeing is Digital Transformation taking hold, not only between the Fortune 500, but also across all business types and sizes.  

New AIIM Process Improvement and Automation survey results released

A few key data points from our new survey (executive summary downloads free -- Process Improvement and Automation 2016):

  1. The majority of respondents see BPM as the combination of a systematic approach to improving business processes (97%) and workflow or BPM technology (79%). 66% see these technologies as "change management."
  2. Forty-eight percent of respondents say they are vaguely familiar or have no clear understanding of BPM. 18% say it is well understood and embraced in their organizations. [Note:  For newbies, you might want to check out our "What is Business Process Management?" page.]
  3. Nearly a third of respondents say there is no one directly responsible for ownership of their processes. 58% say they have process owners.
  4. Fifty-five percent of respondents say BPM is significant (38%) or imperative (17%) for their business. For 14% these technologies have little to no importance.

business process and automation


There is a growing realization that information once born digital, should remain digital and can in fact bring about greater value to the organization when managed and processed quickly and efficiently. There is also a growing realization that designing, automating, and refining operational processes enables business organizations to explore new types of innovation and instill creativity in relation to business process options, rather simply trying to enhance and support their current ways-of-working. Where once the limitation was based on media type or restricted to confinement within the corporate walls, businesses today can extend their processes and interactions beyond the corporate walls – securely.

Process improvement and automation are an essential part of the Digital Transformation of businesses. The more paper is eliminated from processes and digitally born information is created, the greater the dependence upon and need for efficient, effective, and secure digital workflows. When assessing process improvement and automation opportunities, include the identification of and ways various information sets are integrated with the process and remember to look at the end-to-end process rather than just the departmental workflow. What gets changed in the department could have negative impact on other departments feeding this process or that this process feeds.


Some related resources on Business Process Management best practices worth checking out:

Download the FREE Process Improvement and Automation 2016 Executive Summary.

Check out this article on the survey -- AIIM research: more than half of businesses now view Process Management as imperative or significant

FREE white paper -- Business Process Management:  User Perceptions and Expectations

FREE webinar on June 15 with me -- No Longer a Luxury, BPM Is Imperative to Business Operations:  5 Steps to Learn How It Can Work for You.

Sign Me Up 

About Bob Larrivee

Bob is Vice President and Chief Analyst of AIIM Market Intelligence. An internationally recognized Subject Matter Expert and thought leader with over thirty years of experience in the fields of information and process management, Bob is an avid techie with a focus on the application of advanced technologies to enhance business operations.