While many firms have been shifting from paper to digital workflows slowly over the past few years, the pandemic has forced organisations to relook the new realities of virtual work in 2020. Employees and customers are now forced to adapt to new ways of working, sharing documents, and collaborating on workflows.

To better understand how digital document processes have evolved this year and how it can facilitate recovery in the long run, Adobe has commissioned Forrester Consulting to interview 450 senior IT and business decision makers. The “How Digital Document Processes Are Shifting From Best Practice to Business Necessity” report uncovered the following findings, among many others:

  • Adopting digital document processes supports business resiliency
    Remote work has created a host of new challenges around how people work with documents. According to the Adobe/Forrester research, 97% of organizations with minimal digital document processes reported a negative impact on employee productivity – more than five times the number of digitally advanced organizations that said the same.
  • Digital document solutions are the currency of business productivity

Nearly a third of organizations have not yet provided tools to assist or improve virtual work, but 60% of respondents say they plan to provide such tools within the next 12 months. The report also predicted that spending on digital document processes and tools will increase by 55% on average.

Adopting digital document solutions will remain crucial throughout the COVID-19 recovery phase and beyond. In fact, 71% of organizations that considered digital document solutions mere “nice-to-have” operational tools before the pandemic are now planning to retain them as standard post-pandemic protocols.

  • Digitizing document processes deliver secure, efficient experiences that paper can’t

An impressive 82% of organizations that use digital documents exclusively report that digital processes and tools have ensured their businesses will keep going. In sharp contrast, organizations with no digital document processes are reporting 10 times more at-risk customers and twice as much at-risk revenue.

By removing the manual processes of verifying physical paperwork, businesses will save cost and manpower. Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) noted that digital signatures will be increasingly useful as more online transactions are being conducted. This comes with the launch of the new “Sign with SingPass” feature in early November in collaboration with eight leading digital signing application providers including Adobe. With the current enforcement of COVID-19 safe management measures that has made physical signing of documents challenging, digital document processes will be helpful for organisations in delivering secure transactions.

  • Digital document processes reimagine how work gets done in the future

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of organizations report that digital document processes enable them to better serve their customers and meet their expectations. And on the employee experience side, 66% of employees say they also want more digital alternatives to perform their day-to-day work – both today and going forward.

It’s clear that the adoption of digital processes and workflows will continue to speed up, especially when the continued uncertainty of when we can safely enter the offices once again. As we hopefully get closer to that light at the end of the tunnel, the research suggests that companies will see digitalization as the standard procedure ahead, to delight customers and build a modern workplace.