The digital transformation brings companies further in terms of sustainability: Trees belong in nature – not in the file cabinet. Of course, there is also a bit of an end in itself behind it: Digitalization helps to make business processes more agile, efficient and user-friendly, to reduce risks and to increase competitiveness. Every day, mountains of paper pile up in the company. They join those that already sit in the filing folder. However, it would be easy to reduce the volume of paper and rely on modern applications.
Enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) make it possible to map almost all business processes (orders, delivery notes, invoices, contracts, etc.). Numerous manufacturers offer solutions. It is important to decide: Standard solution including customization or proprietary solution? However, the latter is becoming less and less popular because of the costs for software development and the connection to third-party systems.
Industry solutions are particularly suitable for companies that want to stay in one field of activity and do not plan any service or product expansions. The trend is clearly towards industry-specific and open ERP systems so companies can act more freely.
Unstructured information is added to the structured ERP data on a daily basis: From emails with various attachments to incoming mail, there are different formats and process documents. To manage this, it is advisable to use an enterprise content management system (ECM).
But a powerful scanner is not enough. Immediately after digitization, the challenges start: Where do I store (scanned) documents? Who has access to which content? How can I reduce search efforts? How long do I have to keep which data?
With the implementation of an ECM system, all questions can be defined and answered. A competent partner will support you with the topics of content folder structure, role-based access rights, versioning, indexing and searching, audit-proof archiving and records management as well as incoming invoice processing and workflow design.
Data storage and nDSG
It must be clarified where the data will be kept or hosted. The classic on-premise model (on servers and computers in the company) is still very popular. However, the operation of hardware and software as well as the security must be guaranteed. Another option for data storage is the cloud in a “private managed cloud” (you book a virtual data carrier, but have to take care of the operation) or in a “public cloud”, in a software-as-a-service model.
Data protection and server location play a central role in both cloud options. As a rule, data protection laws are strictest in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, followed by European countries under the EU-DSGVO. Providers from North America are subject to the “Patriot Act” and must make all data available on government order. For companies with particularly sensitive data, we recommend a data protection-compliant data center in the DACH region.
Due to the entry into force of the stricter Swiss Data Protection Act in 2023, companies must pay even more attention to data protection-compliant behaviour and the deletion of documents.
Depending on the type of content, there are different processes that need to be followed. Alone for this reason, it is worth investing into the digitization of your company.