Digitization - How companies choose the right software

Jan Schäfer

Digital transformation in companies has long involved more than email marketing programs and video conferencing tools. Companies use software in almost all areas to drive digitization forward and thus make processes more efficient.

The challenge here is on two levels: First, companies must choose the right programs. That is, they must choose the tools that will enable them to automate processes and make more informed decisions. Second, companies must not integrate too many programs into their processes. Because: That quickly leads to problems of compatibility and overview.

However, numerous companies make this mistake. For example, companies with around 1000 employees quickly have more than 200 to 400 different programs - from the free open source license to the comprehensive ERP system (Sven Lackinger, Sastrify, 2023). We show you how you can tackle this better. To do this, we explain in which areas of your company you can efficiently automate processes and how to choose the right software for digitization.

The most Important in a Nutshell

  • Software enables comprehensive digitization and automation, making companies more efficient, customer-friendly, flexible and competitive.
  • Companies should focus on their challenges when choosing the right software and implement selected applications after extensive testing.
  • Suitable work areas for starting digitization with software are accounting, production, HR, data processing, sales and project management and many more.
digitization software benefits

Benefits of Digitization with Software

Before we turn to concrete practice, let's first take a look at the benefits you achieve through holistic digitization via software. In short: companies work more efficiently, are more customer-friendly and are thus more competitive. What does that look like in detail?

Efficiency increase

By automating processes, companies complete tasks faster and more accurately. For this, companies can use an OCR Software. With it, they can classify incoming invoices without manual intervention, and read, extract and evaluate relevant information and handwritten notes. Finally, the software passes the evaluated data to connected workflows. 

A good practical application example is the automation of processes for delivery bills.

The delivery bill is first transmitted to the API via a mobile app, email, FTP or web application. The OCR technology then extracts text and data from the delivery bill, converts it into a digital format, and inserts it into the appropriate fields in a digital database or system. Finally, the technology automatically routes delivery bills to the appropriate people or departments for review and approval. This automation saves companies time, reduces errors and makes their processes more efficient.

Cost reduction

Using software to manage resources enables companies to reduce costs. So in practice, for example, a retailer uses inventory management software to monitor its stock in a digitalized way. This involves first entering all items into the system, recording relevant information such as item number, description, price and quantity. For each item, the software then generates a label with a barcode that allows for quick and accurate identification. The current inventory of each item ends up in the system, allowing the retailer to monitor inventory in real time. In doing so, the software performs periodic counts to verify the accuracy of the inventory. 

Improved customer experience 

Implementing digital solutions such as an app enables customers to access services more easily. One example is an airline that offers a user-friendly mobile app that passengers can use to book their flights, reserve seats, and check in online. This offers customers convenience and flexibility - increasing their satisfaction.

Another use case is the integration of chatbots in customer service, as undertaken by the airline KLM.

It has launched a chatbot called "BlueBot" (BB). BB is an AI-driven service that helps customers book flights and answer questions. Technically, BB uses machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to understand and respond to human speech. For example, when a customer asks, "When is my flight?", BB analyzes the question, accesses the relevant data, and provides an accurate answer. In addition, BB also handles complex tasks such as booking a flight. The customer simply enters his or her travel data, and BB searches the airline's database for available flights that match the specified criteria and then books the flight.

Faster decision making

Data analytics tools enable organizations to process large volumes of data in real time. This helps executives make quick and informed decisions. So in practice, for example, a financial company uses tools to analyze Big Data. Big Data refers to extremely large amounts of data that come from various sources and cannot be analyzed using traditional methods. The company therefore uses programs that identify patterns, trends and correlations in the large volumes of data. As a result, it analyzes transaction data in real time. This makes it possible to react immediately to market changes and implement profitable trading strategies.

Better data security

The use of encryption software and other security measures protects corporate data and prevents data leaks. A practical example is a hospital that uses encryption software to protect patient data from unauthorized access. To do this, the application first enters all patient data into the system, capturing relevant information such as name, age, gender, medical history and other medical data. It then creates a unique identifier for each patient, allowing for quick and accurate identification. The software then uses an encryption algorithm to convert the patient data into a format that can only be read with a special key. This key is stored securely and made available only to authorized persons. This means that patient data is safe even if it falls into the wrong hands. 

Flexibility and scalability

Through cloud computing, companies are able to expand or reduce their IT resources as needed without building expensive physical infrastructures. Companies can think of cloud computing as a giant online hard drive. Instead of storing files on their computers, companies store them online in the cloud. This means they can access files and applications from anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection. This also means that companies are much more flexible and scalable. In practice, startups, for example, use cloud computing services to host their website and applications. As user numbers grow, they simply increase resources in the cloud to meet the increased demand without having to purchase expensive server infrastructures.

Better collaboration

Collaboration tools promote communication and collaboration - regardless of where employees are located. This improves productivity. This form of software for digitization is now common in almost all companies. For example, companies are turning to programs like Microsoft Teams to connect employees and departments in different countries. With the tools, they work together seamlessly, share documents and hold video conferences.

Market analysis and trend detection

Analyzing social media data and customer reviews enables companies to identify current market trends and adapt their products and services accordingly. Companies use software to analyze data from Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, to identify current trends in the target group. Based on the findings, they adjust their marketing strategies and run more targeted campaigns.

A good example of this is the annual Spotify Wrapped campaign.

Spotify analyzes the listening habits of its users over the course of the year and then creates individual "year in review" reports for each user. These contain information such as the most-listened-to artists, genres, songs and other interesting data. Users often share these personalized statistics on their social networks, which in turn contributes to Spotify's brand awareness and attracts new users. This campaign shows how social media data analysis helps create targeted and engaging marketing campaigns.

Paperless office environment

Software for digitizing files and documents enables companies to reduce their physical storage space at the corporate site and thus save costs. They also make documents easier for employees to access. Because: These are simply available online for everyone. This is a great and indispensable advantage, especially in times of home office and remote work. 

A concrete example of this is the introduction of the e-file. The e-file centralizes all information on a case as a digital alternative to the paper file, saving time and costs. It is available at every workplace and on mobile devices. Unlike the paper file, several employees can work with it simultaneously. This reduces paper consumption, protects the environment, saves space and significantly speeds up document processing. 

digitization software select

How Companies find and roll out the right Software for Digitization

In order to choose the right software for digitization, companies should first and foremost focus on their needs and challenges. To end up with an efficient, carefully curated collection of tools, we recommend the following 5 steps:

1. Specify the required solution

As a first step, companies should ask themselves whether they need a set of highly specialized tools for their requirements or an all-in-one solution. There is no blanket answer to this. For small companies or teams, it usually makes sense to rely on a solution that covers as many processes as possible at once. This is because employees there often take on several roles and thus tasks. Many different tools would therefore mean that employees constantly have to switch between programs. Highly specialized teams are often better served with a tool that is tailored to their challenges.

2. Select user-centric tools

If companies are aware of what kind of software they need, they should compare their own requirements with the functions of the tools when choosing programs. A requirements workshop can help with this. The goal of the workshop should be to understand where the shoe pinches for the respective department and which optimizations and automations the department would like to achieve with a tool.

In order to obtain as holistic a picture as possible of the programs' potential, not only the employees concerned, management and the board of directors, but also IT experts and the data protection officer should be involved. This gives the software selection an additional level of security.

3. Evaluate tools

Once companies have selected the right software for digitizing processes, they should not start implementing it straight away. It is advisable to first evaluate the new programs in small teams. In doing so, companies finally check whether the tools are as suitable as assumed.

4. Implement tools

If the programs have proven to be suitable, companies integrate them throughout the department or the entire company. In order to introduce the tools as quickly as possible, it often pays to bring in external specialists. This usually also increases employee acceptance of new, digital technologies. This is especially true for older employees, who are usually somewhat skeptical about digital changes.

5. Establish rules of use

To ensure that employees are not left alone with the new software, companies should establish binding usage rules. This ensures that employees know how the programs can support them. Training sessions that explain how the programs work and their benefits to teams are also often helpful. 

Do you have questions about selecting or implementing software for digitization in your company? Then contact our team of experts now!

digitization software application areas

6 important Business Areas for Digitization with Software

The goal is clear:

Companies want to use software to automate business processes, increase sales, reduce costs and thus increase profits.

In which areas can they start? The following 6 work areas are particularly suitable for starting automation:

accounting

Digitizing accounting means that companies digitally automate paper-based processes. In this way, they process administrative tasks such as contracts, documentation and invoices almost without human intervention. Crucial to this is a powerful OCR software. It should be able to recognize and processes as many fonts and languages as possible.

Production

Automation and control systems in production are key components for companies to operate as adaptively and agilely as possible in Industry 4.0. They enable production plants and equipment to respond quickly and efficiently to changes. This is particularly important in times of a major shortage of skilled workers. After all, although companies do not replace employees with automation and control systems, they do take a lot of work off their hands. This means that manufacturers can get by with fewer staff or can use existing personnel for more complex, strategic tasks. The bottom line is that this makes companies more competitive.

Human Resources

Digitization in HR management encompasses all procedures for dematerializing or dematerializing HR processes and working methods with the help of specialized software. In practice, companies thus streamline the application process for new employees, manage employee data centrally, and automate administrative tasks such as time recording and vacation requests. This means that companies automatically sift through applications, generate hiring contracts, and provide a platform for the workforce to submit leave and record working hours.

data processing

To accelerate the processing of data, companies rely on automated data processing systems. These analyze large quantities of structured and unstructured data.They recognize patterns and trends in these and generate reports according to their own specifications. Companies use these systems, for example, to examine historical sales data in order to make better decisions for developing new products or entering new markets.

Distribution

Sales software provides critical support to salespeople in their daily operations. For example, a customized application provides sales staff with leads, sends follow-up emails, and tracks sales activities. So, in practice, digital solutions software develops high-quality leads, for example, by automatically analyzing databases and marketing information. Salespeople can view information about these leads in the software, including contact information and past interactions.

Project Management

Project management tools automatically assign tasks to responsible parties, monitor progress and send reminders for deadlines. In practice, teams using appropriate software set project goals, for example, distribute tasks to responsible employees, monitor deadlines and thus ensure that projects are completed on time.

Possible applications of software unlimited

The possibilities for digitization with software are almost unlimited in practice. In addition to the work areas mentioned, companies can use digital applications in other segments such as marketing, research and development, IT, legal and compliance, communications, purchasing and quality management. At the same time, the use of holistic software is not limited to any specific industry. Digital applications are just as suitable for business as they are for the public sector. Companies therefore use complex automation software in healthcare, retail, e-commerce, logistics and transportation, as well as in administration and education, for example.

Konfuzio as an indispensable Part of the right Software Package

Konfuzio is a highly specialized solution to efficiently automate all your business processes. Thereby, the automation of data extraction processes is the core of the application. Via state-of-the-art functions such as ICR, OCR and OMR you can extract data from handwritten documents, printed characters, images as well as marked checkboxes with the highest accuracy. To achieve this, Konfuzio includes pre-trained categorization models, file partitioning algorithms, and hybrid extraction AI that companies can tailor for each individual use case.

In practice, you optimize and automate comprehensive daily work steps with Konfuzio. This streamlines processes, reduces the error rate and allows you to concentrate on sound business decisions. The bottom line is that Konfuzio is a highly specialized partner that makes mid-sized companies and corporations more flexible, scalable, customer-friendly and competitive.

Learn more now about how Konfuzio digitizes your business for the future. Talk to one of our AI experts about it!

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