By Scott Wilson Director of service at eFax
Technological advancements have always played a key role in pushing boundaries and growing capabilities for businesses. The finance sector has benefited greatly from digital technology with improvements to tracking, planning, and security, to name a few. With the current limitations placed on usual working environments, many physical processes become impractical and fall heavily out of favour, so accelerating digital transformation is key.
Digital transformation is not a new concept for most businesses but the pace of change has rapidly increased over the last 20 years. While huge digital transformation projects can, in some cases, be costly, requiring a significant financial investment and also a complete cultural change within the business, smart and agile businesses are undertaking smaller projects all the time. As we’ve witnessed over the last few weeks, some nimble businesses already have in place the tools to provide access to remote working and have adapted to the ‘new normal’ with relative ease. As many employees are currently working from home, other businesses have been forced to adopt digital transformation practices at a far greater pace. The acceleration of transformation has enabled many organisations to operate as normal, even though employees are not in their usual shared working space.
Thanks to modern technology, office interactions are now taking place at home and video conferencing has been adopted (globally) as the new norm for communicating with colleagues. Advances in online connectivity provide workers with the ability to communicate with one another with minimal delay in sound and a clear image. Just as communication has been aided with technological advancement, so has the method of sharing and reviewing documents. In finance, fax remains a vital tool for sharing important documents as its core properties validate legal authenticity and make it more secure than other forms of transfer.
However, the vast majority of people do not have fax machines at home. They are 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, thereby increasing a workforce’s ability to be agile since they can fax from anywhere via their mobile devices. Digital faxing is also much safer than its physical counterpart, as fax files can be sent directly to an email inbox and sophisticated data encryption is used to increase security and confidentiality. It also saves companies money, at a time when the economy has taken a hit and finance teams have a keener eye on reducing costs. Digital faxing is much quicker and cheaper, saving costs of line rental, maintenance and toner. Cutting costs for businesses is appreciated more when performance is not compromised.
As restrictions on the movement and number of interactions of people begin to lift, thoughts turn to how offices will eventually reopen their doors. Although for the foreseeable future most offices will remain closed, or at most at minimal capacity, business owners must determine how to keep their employees safe and plan for the new normal in the workplace. We must not forget the lessons learnt about how we work. Now is a good time for financial sector executive leaders to reflect and consider the changes that are working well since working from home is now common practice, ushering in their digital transformation journey. The digital implementations that were vital to the success of the business must be taken back to the office and old physical processes left behind. It is a time for refreshing the workplace and questioning old habits, asking if it is time to permanently replace them with modern solutions.
The accelerated digital transformation we have witnessed in the last few months has changed the landscape of the finance sector and will continue to benefit companies that keep innovating in all areas of business. Technology that was adopted during lockdown to solve the issue of teams being away from each other and away from legacy systems should not be dropped when employees return to offices. This is the perfect time for finance sector leaders to have a new perspective on the workplace. Old physical processes are easily improved with the adoption of new digital ways of working, allowing businesses to be as nimble and agile as they need to be.