Why digital transformation is so much more than just removing paper

May 17, 2022
Why digital transformation is so much more than just removing paper

"Going digital" is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in business settings. It's an easy catchphrase to trot out, but when it comes down to execution, digital transformation projects can be more challenging than expected!

Changing processes and technologies involves multiple departments, buy-in from leadership, and sometimes even cultural shifts within the company. The end result is usually one of the larger investments an organisation will make in terms of time and money. So why go through it?

Digital transformation is hard, but necessary.

This is a big change. And that's okay, because it has to be a big change—everyone knows that the world is changing and so are we, but who can put their finger on what exactly needs to be changed?

It's hard because it involves many different parts of the organisation. It's not just about removing paper from your office or getting new software. It's about taking the time to reflect on how things are done, how people work together and communicate, what needs updating and where those updates could lead us in terms of our goals as an organisation—and embracing them wholeheartedly (if they're good).

And finally: digital transformation is hard because it involves change! Change means taking risks, making mistakes along the way (especially if you’re not sure where exactly you're going), having miscommunication between teams at times… But these challenges only make us stronger!

It's important to understand the different pieces of digital transformation.

Digital transformation is all about removing the barriers that stand between your organisation and what you want to achieve.

To understand how digital transformation will impact your business, you need to understand the different pieces of the puzzle:

  • Digitising – getting rid of paper-based processes, documents and systems. This includes things like storing information in an electronic format, using tablets instead of paper files, moving to a system where everything happens online instead of having physical records stored away somewhere.
  • Automating – doing tasks automatically so people don't have to do them manually anymore. This could mean setting up workflows so that certain actions happen automatically when something specific happens, for example if someone needs approval for something then send them an email request.

Organisations need to start with the basics.

The first step in your digital transformation journey is to start with the basics. We know, that sounds really boring and obvious. But it's important because if you skip this step, you'll end up starting with the wrong problem or solution and then your entire project will go off the rails.

When we say "start with the basics," we mean focus on your customer and have a clear understanding of their problem(s). Then figure out how those problems relate to what they do as part of their jobs or daily lives—and whether there are any other problems that may be related, for example: maybe they have some pending deadlines but then have trouble accessing information. Once you've got all these details together, it's time to consider solutions—and here's where things get interesting!

Cloud technology is the foundation of digital transformation.

Once upon a time, when you were still just a kid and your parents bought you that fancy new bike, you likely didn't think about the enormous impact it would have on your life. But it did—you remained active, fit and healthy for years to come (hopefully).

Like that bike, cloud technology is one of those things that we take for granted until we stop using it. Then suddenly we realise just how important it is to our ability to work efficiently and securely. The power of cloud computing lies in its foundation of shared resources; resources that can be used by multiple people at once without compromising security or quality of service. If a server goes down because too many people are trying to access it at once, a phenomenon known as "overload", then there's another server ready in the wings waiting for its chance to shine!

A single source of truth enables collaboration and visibility between all parties involved.

Your single source of truth is the database that contains all the information about your project. It should be accessible to all stakeholders, so they can collaborate on it and provide updates as necessary. The database should also be accessible from any device, location and time—including mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

User experience and user interface are important.

User experience and user interface are important. User experience is the way users interact with a product or service, while user interface is the visual design and interaction of the product or service. A good user experience should be easy to use, intuitive to interact with and provide immediate feedback on how it's operating. Good user interfaces should be clear, consistent across devices and platforms (if applicable) and allow for quick navigation throughout your product or service.

The reason why these two things are so important when designing for digital transformation is because they can turn something that was previously only used by tech-savvy professionals into something accessible to everyone — which means you'll likely have an easier time getting people interested in leveraging technology than ever before!

If you would like to learn more about the 5 Reasons why User Experience is key to construction technology adoption, click here to read our blog.

Digital transformation means change.

Digital transformation is not just about removing paper from your business, it's about changing the way you do things. It’s about making sure that all employees are empowered to use technology to improve their work and efficiency. This means that a digital transformation isn't something you can simply push down from above; it's something that every member of your team needs to own as well.

If you want to see your office flourish into a paperless wonderland, then it's time for everyone involved in the process—from executives through front-line staff—to take ownership of this change as well.

How do we face the challenge head on?

Digital Transformation is hard. It’s time-consuming, it’s challenging, and if you don’t have the right attitude towards it, you can wind up in a lot of trouble. There are plenty of companies out there who think that digital transformation means getting rid of paper so they can save money on printing costs alone—but this isn’t true!

Digital transformation means a whole lot more than just removing paper from your company; it means transforming your business into one that is agile enough to compete with any other business in the world. It takes careful planning, an open mind when it comes to change, both internal and external, and willingness to listen to employees—all things that many companies struggle with or even downright refuse!

At Raildiary, we understand that digital transformation can be an extremely daunting process for many of our clients, therefore we’ve taken every step to focus on providing a superior user experience to ensure the transition to digitalisation is as simple and streamlined as possible. If you’d like to find out more about how switching to a digital process can help you to unlock long term efficiencies, book a quick call with one of our product experts here.

Will Doyle


I am an experienced RICS chartered Quantity Surveyor​ with first-hand experience of how the consistent capture and analysis of data can transform global project delivery.

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