My first job as a teenager was at an educational film library that serviced primary and secondary schools within the capital region. They were moving from a small space that happened to be within walking distance from my house to a larger facility in the city that would give teachers plenty of room to roam the stacks and select films for their classes during the next academic period.
I worked with another student and our summer job was to pack up one location and then unpack and stack onto shelves (in an organized fashion) the film cans so they would be ready for the new school year. Along the way, we marked the inventory with Dymo embossed plastic labels, sorted out the film that needed repair, cleaned up some of the dirtier cans and watched during lunch any movie that our boss recommended.
How times have changed. How movies are made today (digitally, on a cell phone!) and how we watch them (on demand or streaming on a mobile device) has been due to a tremendous shift in technology eliminating the threat of damage and loss to a film library and safeguarding the stacks digitally in the cloud. Educators can access films from a centralized digital library and show the films they upload onto their computer by simply plugging a cable into a monitor. Workers (or summer interns) are freed from low-value tasks of checking out films, restacking films and repairing the inventory enabling the organization to redirect those workers to higher-value activities.
Have you freed your staff from low-value tasks or are you still waiting for technology to change in your organization?
More and more, department-level users are driving change, and pushing IT to help transform their operations to be more efficient: exchange the physical inventory for digital assets, reduce paper-based processes with automated workflows, accelerate access to information with a centralized “library” and maintain version control, remedy the unproductive worker doing low-value tasks for the efficient worker of tomorrow, and safeguard information to ensure it will last.
Enterprise Content Management solutions are driving the changes with capture technology to digitize paper and enable retrieval of structured and unstructured data from a safe, centralized repository. Even mobile technology has seeped into the fabric of most organizations with BYOD and field workers able to access documents from their mobile devices instead of carrying paper.
We cannot begin to anticipate what the workplace of tomorrow will be like, but KPMG predicts that once an organization has transformed its core business processes, they will have an organizational structure, governance and risk/controls where the “workflow is dynamic and end to end, allowing the addition and subtraction of vendors or staff.” This gives organizations greater productivity and flexibility. Plus, with the workers of tomorrow using technology to the fullest, they can focus their efforts on high-value tasks.
This is a win-win scenario for any company.
Joanne Novak is a program manager at Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. and is responsible for program development with the company’s Business Intelligence groups, including the Intelligent Information Management (IIM) practice. Her responsibilities are to build sales and customer-facing educational and thought leadership insights as well as strategic initiatives for IIM.