David Bates, Vice President, Marketing and eCommerce, US Solution Providers
BYOD, big data, mobility and the cloud are all terms that have made their way into our everyday work lives over the past few years. And there’s a new one that is making a large impact on business too – workflow. In fact, Gartner has identified workflow as one of the Top Technology Priorities for CIOs.
What is workflow? It’s a term that describes the tasks, procedural steps, and tools involved in a business process. For example, the way a school might track student documents during the admission process or manage course work by uploading and sharing documents with students digitally. Automating a workflow can help manage the day-to-day business processes as it relates to capturing key information, analyzing the data and storing it for easy retrieval. No matter if employees are scanning documents from the office or securely printing document from their mobile device on the road, workflow solutions simplify the way we work.
Two great examples are Grace Christian School and Concord Hospitality – using the right workflow helps them increase productivity, collaboration, security and efficiency. From scanning solutions and document management and retrieval, to mobile printing and sharing digital documents from anywhere, these solutions can be customized to fit any organization and free up employees to focus on their job, ultimately increasing productivity.
The benefits are obvious; however the success of implementing the right workflow depends on CIOs and business owners. Before investing in any solution, management must analyze the needs of their company to make sure the system fits their business operations. Some things to consider:
- Involve employees. They are the backbone of your business and their productivity depends on the tools and solutions you give them to succeed. Since they are the ones using the technology, ask them what tools would be useful and include them in the research.
- Schedule ongoing trainings. New tools add new layers to business operations and they have the potential to help, and even hinder a business. Employees won’t be able to utilize the solutions until they are trained and understand where they fit into their own workflow.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure to ask for employee feedback along the way. Work with your team to ensure they are getting the most of the technology. And if they aren’t, be sure to tweak the process or technology to meet their needs.
After examining the needs of your organization and identifying a solution – whether it is software, hardware, in-house or third party technology solutions, or a combination of the above– businesses must understand that improving and understanding their workflow is a major piece of the puzzle.
In a recent Xerox event hosted by Gene Marks, SMB expert and nationally recognized New York Times columnist, we gathered IT professionals and small business owners to discuss workflow needs and the technology their employees require to do their job better. Take a look at the Dreaming Discussion video and see what Gene and these professionals think their businesses need to enhance their workflow.
Has your organization made any significant changes to its workflow recently?