According to a recent survey performed by Xerox Canada 55% of organizations still rely on paper for their majority of their business processes. The study surveyed 600 IT decision-makers and went on to indicate that about one 30% of the organizations surveyed also indicated that they are still communicating with end customers primarily via paper, rather than email or other automated channels.
Something seems odd that we live in a world with drones, self-driving cars, and….yes, paper forms and processes? Something is wrong with this picture. How could it possibly be so difficult for organizations to get rid of their paper-based processes? Do most organizations not see a problem with paper? If this were a survey of small businesses in Guatemala, then I would understand why there were still so many processes that involve paper. However, this survey focused on large organizations in major economies. So, these numbers are certainly a bit surprising.
Apparently, the organizations surveyed do see a problem with their continued usage of paper-based business processes. According to the report, the main concern with processes that still run on paper was with respect to security and cost. 42% of organizations said they want to get rid of paper processes because of security and cost concerns.
As the saying goes, you can’t fix a problem until you admit that you have a problem. In that sense, the good news is that these organizations do seem to recognize that they have a problem worth fixing. In fact, the story gets a little better. 45% of all Canadian businesses will automate their paper processes in the next 2 years. In other words, there is going to be a big push in a very short amount of time to go paperless in lots of companies in the next couple of years. This certainly seems to suggest that the organizations do realize there is a problem, and they believe that it is one that is worth fixing in the relatively short term.
“The survey showed that Canadian companies are generally ahead of their global counterparts in digitizing processes in the areas of invoicing, contracts, customer engagement, HR onboarding, new product development, and vertical and operational processes. 44 percent of Canadian respondents said they will have all seven digitized in two years – the highest across all countries surveyed.”
Additionally, according to the article, “When it comes to automating processes, almost three-quarters of respondents said they already have identified areas for automation. More specifically, they cite accounting (38 percent), expense reporting (37 percent), accounts payable (36 percent) and customer care (35 percent) as the most likely functions to become fully automated within the enterprise.”
Another interesting statistic in the report shows that 40% of organizations have not yet implemented any type of mobile workforce solution.
In summary, it seems like there are good opportunities in Canada for implementing process reengineering and Business Process Management Software in order to improve business outcomes. We need to remember that for something like BPM to be successful, there must be a need, but there also must be a level of sophistication in the customer so that a successful outcome is possible.