Digital engagement is changing the way organizations are doing business. From the retail sector to financial institutions and government agencies, organizations are under pressure like never before to reduce costs by streamlining processes, improving operations and eliminating inefficiencies. These same organizations are also challenged with improving how they connect to their customers by engaging them how and where they prefer. And all of this is taking place in an environment where business leaders must also ensure their organizations are meeting incredibly stringent and difficult regulations and policies around managing data.
It is an extremely tough environment to pilot, especially as more documents are being created and distributed than ever before. In fact, a recent study by the BPI Network, a San Jose-based market research agency, found that 91 percent of business professionals said the pace of document creation would either increase or stay the same within their organizations. That same report also found that 83 percent of respondents agreed that the accelerated pace and connectivity of business will require them to produce, share and manage more documents in the coming years.
And those documents have become wild cards. Organizations may store their documents on a secure enterprise collaboration system, but what happens when an employee downloads one to a laptop? And what happens if that employee leaves your organization? Businesses need to have full control at the document level in order to revoke access, monitor where their documents travel and control how often those documents are distributed and how many versions are created.
In this challenging climate, organizations need to move on from legacy systems and start adopting, new intelligent document solutions. In this transition from paper to digital, one of the tools leading the charge is the Portable Document Format (PDF). Since it has been around for two decades, this might surprise you, but a recent surge in PDF innovation has made it a key tool for organizations looking to meet these challenges.
PDF can alleviate the pains of the paper jungle in two ways: first, by converting all that overwhelming paper into digital and, secondly, by giving organizations the ability to create forms electronically in the first place. PDF provides organizations with a single format for archiving data, irrespective of whether the data was originally in a hardcopy format or an electronic one. This makes the retrieval of data from an archive easier and more robust too.
PDF is also enabling organizations to transform from a paper chase to a streamlined, mobile, anywhere and anytime, industry. New tools are making it easy for customers to submit forms, signatures, inquiries and so on, through the web and mobile apps. Not only does this eliminate paper clutter, it also enables the interactions companies have with their customers to be more convenient and mutually productive.
The move to innovative PDF tools embedded with intelligence enable a wide range of capabilities, including document usage tracking, file update notifications, shared and synchronized reviews, remote file protection, data collection and more. The benefits of these new capabilities are made even more impactful as they are available without the use of costly, complex, legacy document management systems. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, many of these new capabilities are leveraging all of the benefits of the cloud.
Looking ahead, we can expect to see a continuation of the trend of putting more PDF functionality and tools available in the cloud. Already, for example, all of the functionality associated with a PDF editor is available in the cloud and accessible through web browsers. Soon, the ability to create customized PDF-based applications will be added to the cloud, enabling developers to create new and unique experiences for users. We will also see other PDF become available through the cloud, including the ability to scan, compress and archive documents at scale.
Businesses can, therefore, look at the transition to digital as an opportunity, not a hurdle. By embracing these PDF innovations, business leaders have the ability to improve their company’s interaction with customers while at the same time streamlining internal processes. It’s an exciting time and organizations looking to thrive, not just survive, need to move on from legacy systems and start adopting new intelligent document solutions.