Ask an Expert: What’s Trending in Document and Forms Management?
A lot has changed at a fast pace in the way companies work. As organizations have learned to adapt to challenges, and new ways of working are becoming the norm, we wanted to check in with Greg Schmidt, technical expert at HelpSystems, to take stock of how forms and document management strategies are changing and find out where IT professionals go from here. Here’s our conversation:
Question: With companies changing how they work—whether remote or hybrid—how will this impact their document and forms management strategies?
Greg Schmidt: We all know that the global pandemic will drastically change work environments forever. Some of these changes were already beginning—like the increase in people working remotely—but the pandemic escalated this hybrid environment across organizations much sooner. And with these changes, one primary challenge for companies can be how to manage documents and forms from disparate work locations. Document and forms management plays key roles in aiding remote and hybrid workforces with the ability to access their important documents and data from anywhere.
One potential solution of this new hybrid environment is for companies to use a document automation strategy to enable remote collaboration. Another way automation can enable teams is through automating manual tasks. For example, capturing documents and entering data into your ERP and other systems, and routing documents to users for approval. Adding intelligent forms into this strategy removes the need for paper-based forms and manual routing for review and approvals. the need for paper-based forms and manual routing for review and approvals.
As teams continue to remain in a remote or hybrid environment, an electronic document and forms management system is becoming more important in order to keep up with business in the new world of work environments
How does a document and forms management strategy fit into wider digital transformation efforts?
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that digital transformation must be embraced by all companies and management teams in order to survive. An electronic document and forms management solution helps you adapt and move quickly to meet new and ever-changing requirements for users and executives in your organization, and with the customers and vendors you work directly with as well. Here’s how:
- Provides your organization a centralized repository
- Browser-based document access via your browser or mobile devices
- Provides document level security for document access
- Version and audit controls
- Removes paper-based forms from your organization
- Provides web-based access and easy to fill out forms
- Applies business rules to forms and workflows to help users fill out forms and automate the form workflow process
- Allows workflow enforcement of forms that need review and approval
The pace of deployment for a digital transformation strategy has also increased—but adopting a strategy and integrating it into your business doesn’t happen overnight. It’s important to remember digital transformation is not a destination, but rather it’s a journey that will take you down many paths as your business grows and changes over time. And with the right tools and solutions, you’ll be in for a much smoother ride.
As companies look to future-proof all aspects of their business, what should they look for in a document and forms management solution?
Adaptability is a key part of what digital transformation brings to organizations. Embracing and understanding how adaptable your company is to change not only helps the organization survive but also thrive. Having a document and forms management solution that is adaptable and expandable is critical for helping users successfully adapt to changes.
Look for a solution that has the following capabilities built in or can expand into:
- Workflow enforcement for both documents and forms
- Automated document capture
- Intelligent OCR and classification
- Document security, auditing, and version control
- Capture solutions that are expandable:
- User-based capture
- Interactive capture
- Automated capture
Greg recently hosted a webinar—now available on demand—to share more about the latest trends in document and forms management and how it can help your organization along the digital transformation journey in 2022 and beyond.