Digitisation: Don’t Forget the People in Your Company

The potential offered by digitisation has been been clear to administrators and companies for quite some time, in particular in the form of E-files, digital workflows, and mobile applications. These new technologies have huge potential. To take advantage of this potential, it is important to think of people, not just technology.

The federal capital, for instance, plans to switch its administrative processes over to operating on E-files by 2022, a change that promises great rewards – including five to ten percent shorter wait times at administrative and civil offices. That’s a major benefit. However, besides the heterogeneity of IT and hardware in the various divisions, one aspect could emerge as a hindrance and is often underestimated – and not just in Berlin, no matter how much we like to chide the capital.


People Tend Towards Scepticism

A Berlin State Secretary recently acknowledged to the dpa that the lack of acceptance by official employees is a general problem related to digitisation in public administration. They’re right about that – and not just in administration. People tend to be creatures of habit. They like to stay with what they know. Trust brings security. Some people might also worry about keeping up with the machines.

The same office also acknowledged that digitisation is like a revolution for many official employees; after all, they’ve been working entirely on a paper-based system for hundreds of years. It’s part of the unique reputation of official agencies. However, private companies tend to have a certain amount of inertia. They might have reservations about new things, that’s part of the “human factor” at companies, as well as a fear of changing habits or greater pressure at work.


Inform and Convince Early On

That’s why anyone who wants to introduce a new ECM solution would be well advised to think of their employees early in the process. That starts when the solution is selected – it shouldn’t create any initial hurdles for new or untrained users. It’s also important to inform users of the advantages of the technology early on – and head off reservations. One thing’s for sure: The only way to generate true, long-term benefit is for the people who will be working with the solution to be involved in the process.