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Service Providers: Deliver Long-term Business Success with Document Management

4 Sep, 2014 By: Don Dixon, Xerox

According to a recent IDC report, the digital universe doubles every two years and is expected to reach 44,000 zettabytes (44 trillion gigabytes) by 2020. (EMC Digital Universe Study, with research and analysis by IDC, April 2014)  To put that in perspective, a single exabyte of storage can contain 50,000 years' worth of DVD-quality videos.  And that’s just the digital universe.  A 2013 report from Smithers Pira, a print industry research organization, states that nearly 50 trillion pages are printed in the world annually. (The Future of Global Printing to 2018, published by Smithers Pira, the worldwide authority on the Packaging, Paper and Print industry supply chain).  It all adds up to a content explosion:  there’s more data, both structured and unstructured, than ever before.

Much of the data is chockfull of vital information about customers, products, services and processes that shapes what a company stands for, what it offers and why people want to buy its products.  For all intents and purposes, this information is the new currency of business.

With that in mind, companies are trying to figure out how to make sense of it all – how do they unlock value from the information they have?  And how can companies guarantee they are securely managing it, and delivering it to the right employees, in the right place at the right time?  It’s an important question, and the answer is by implementing good document management practices.

What’s the Real Cost of Document Process Failure?                                                  

Anyone doubting that document management is critical to business productivity and success should consider that the overall cost of document-driven failures is exponentially more than the out-of-pocket costs of rework and process reviews, along with lost business opportunities and clients.

Ultimately, the mismanagement of a company’s information can lead to:

  • Drain on productivity
  • Costly workflow disruptions
  • Loss of irreplaceable intellectual property
  • Significant liability resulting in fines and lawsuits that can amount to millions of dollars.

To put it plainly, proper management of print and digital documents and associated processes is more than a back-office cost and efficiency issue. Consequently, decision-makers are increasingly receptive to technology partner solutions that address the way print and digital documents are created, shared, managed and destroyed.

Real Opportunity for Prepared Providers

Managed document service providers have an opportunity to take advantage of this heightened risk and demand for partners by meeting the document-driven business process challenges in every industry; here’s how:

  • Address business risks in industry-specific verticals:  Nearly every business, no matter the size, geography or vertical, experiences inadequate document processes and procedures. With three of every four companies reporting significant, costly risk and compliance issues because of broken document processes, services providers have a ripe opportunity to demonstrate real business value beyond traditional cost savings. Initial document management assessments should be crafted to address both general risk mitigation and industry-specific regulatory requirements.

For example, healthcare organizations have a massive amount of data that needs to be securely managed, and systems have grown chaotically; therefore there is a need to consolidate systems to increase efficiencies. 76 percent of healthcare organizations say they outsource technology services rather than hiring directly — and 93 percent have plans to outsource at least one area of their IT in the next year. To capitalize on this opportunity, providers need to showcase how their technology can address industry pain points to help optimize an organization’s document environments. Identifying a problem and attaching technology to the solution will help providers sell to any vertical.

  • Be an agent for change:  As with any process overhaul, buy-in from the total organization is important to success. Many businesses discover their broken document process situations through delegation of document management responsibilities and unclear jurisdiction regarding document-driven security, risk management and regulatory compliance. Typically, process decisions that affect the organization’s total risk and compliance are often beyond the scope of line-of-business managers. With this knowledge, service providers can be agents of cultural change by attaching the document process and management overhaul to an organizational shift that puts high-priority document-driven business process decisions in the hands of executives with sufficient control. Providers can deliver the best technology, but if it’s applied to broken processes, the system will continue to be inefficient.
  • Become a trusted advisor: Service providers have an opportunity to establish a long-lasting rapport with their customers that goes beyond hardware and software offerings. Document service providers are experts in this arena and can bring an outside perspective to address underlying document process and management issues. Providers will continue to assess and optimize document processes, ensuring changes are implemented. By providing strategic guidance and commitment, providers ultimately become trusted advisors and build long-term relationships with their clients.

Overall, there is a huge opportunity for managed document service providers to add value to any business, in any vertical. Information management is a major business challenge, and document management solutions can help to eliminate this issue and turn risk into reward.

Don Dixon, Senior Vice President, Global Document Outsourcing, Xerox, has 27+ years in the office & production printing markets, with experience in office imaging and printing services, solutions & product arena. At Xerox he leads the Global Document Outsourcing Business Group, driving revenue/profit growth for Xerox’s MPS & Centralized Print Services offerings. Prior to Xerox, he served as HP’s chief strategist for its worldwide MPS business, and 10 years at Gartner as an imaging & printing analyst/research director. For company information visit http://www.xerox.com

About the Author: Don Dixon

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