The shift toward cloud and paperless is fast gaining momentum as the new global cohort of millennial customers demand digital and mobile business options. According to Craig Leppan, business development manager at Assimilated Information Systems (AIS), an e4 company, digital document solutions will be fundamental to reaching tomorrow’s customers.

“The majority of large enterprises are still using paper forms and signatures despite the fact that it remains costly, cumbersome and inefficient,” notes Leppan. “Smaller start-ups that recognise their customers are increasingly mobile first and digital only, are disrupting the landscape and eating into the enterprise customer base,” he adds.

Despite the relatively slow uptake overall, Leppan says some larger enterprises are beginning to reap the benefits of cloud and digital document solutions. “Organisations that embrace digital in this way are realising the advantages of being able to quickly adapt business messages, product offerings and updates in order to keep up with market demand. The money and time waste associated with traditional approaches can be eliminated altogether by adopting digital document processes.”

With the support of cloud-based document solutions, integrations via API’s together with digital signatures, digital processes not only offer significant cost and time saving benefits, but also a greatly enhanced and far more convenient customer experience. “Tomorrow’s consumers will expect proficient and immediate service and digital is the best way of achieving this,” he says.

But before making the move to cloud and paperless, Leppan advises organisations to first begin with an understanding of their current IT systems legacy and architecture: “Though not a small undertaking, cloud is an obvious choice to implement new solutions next to some of the legacy systems and to pilot a digital process with a small customer base.”

In addition, some of the biggest organisational concerns in respect of digitisation and document automation can be managed effectively by engaging with the right partner.

“Not only do digital processes dramatically improve efficiencies but they also ensure the careful safeguarding of documents by protecting integrity,” he explains, adding that risks around storage, audits, proof of signatures, contract repudiation and reputational damage can all be mitigated by good IT governance and architecture, and by implementing proven and trusted solutions.

“In a competitive and constantly evolving environment, businesses will need to think carefully about how to attract not only today’s customers but also those of the future. Organisations that implement fast, efficient and responsive business processes, like cloud and digital document solutions, will undoubtedly have an edge over those that don’t,” Leppan concludes.