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Accelerating digital transformation in finance

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 causing many physical processes to become impractical and unpopular, accelerating digital transformation is key.

Agile businesses

Digital transformation is not a new concept for finance sector executives, 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 recent weeks, some nimble businesses already have the tools in place 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 within the finance sector has enabled many organisations to operate as normal, even though employees are not in their usual shared working space.

Modern solutions

Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson

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. Improvements to online connectivity provide workers with the ability to communicate with colleagues 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 removes the need for dated fax machines, thereby increasing the agility of the workforce i.e. staff can fax 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. Sophisticated data encryption is used to increase security and confidentiality. It also saves companies money, especially at a time when economies across the world face years of recovery 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.

A look to the future

As restrictions on both social and working life are eased, thoughts turn to how finance sector leaders will reopen their doors and reintegrate staff to their working environment. For the foreseeable future most offices will remain at minimal capacity, and 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. Executives must reflect and consider the changes that are successful since working from home is now common practice, accelerating 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 removed. Now is the 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 many industries, not just banking and finance, 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 separated from each other and legacy systems should not be dropped when employees return to offices. This is the perfect time for finance sector executives to have a new perspective on the workplace. Old physical processes are easily improvable with the adoption of new digital ways of working, allowing businesses to be agile and ready for difficult times that lay ahead.