5 Digitalization Trends Changing the Modern Business Landscape

Digitalization streamlines workflows while meeting modern consumer expectations

The digital transformation is upon us. More and more businesses are leaving analog processes behind. Industries like retail, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing are moving towards a digital future. This transformation involves digitalization — the process of moving workflows into a digital ecosystem.

Successful digitalization tactics should increase efficiency while enabling better communication and collaboration. These digitalization trends are leading the way.

Digitalization isn’t just a buzzword — it’s the present for industries around the world. Read our comprehensive guide to make sure your business is on track.

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The benefits of digitalization

Digitalization refers to the process of transforming analog workflows into digital ones. In other words, this process provides the framework for working with digital data. There can be many benefits of digitalization, among them:

  • Reduced costs: Analog businesses spend billions of dollars on supplies like paper, ink, and storage space for physical files. Digitalization can eliminate or greatly reduce the need for these physical supplies, allowing owners and managers to stretch their budgets further.
  • Sustainability: Digitalization comes with significant environmental benefits. Paper accounts for 26% of total landfill waste while also contributing to deforestation and air pollution. Reducing your dependency on paper can be a thoughtful way to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.
  • Better security: Even if your office has tight security, locks can be broken. To mitigate catastrophic and costly breaches, data should be digitized, encrypted, and protected with cybersecurity measures like credential requirements and audit trails.
  • Greater efficiency: Digitalization streamlines workflows in numerous ways. It makes files easier to find, can automate some administrative tasks, and fosters collaboration.
  • Meeting modern consumer expectations: Digitalization signals that your company is forward-thinking and prepared for the future. Consumers have come to expect the convenience of digital processes, and having them in place gives you an advantage over analog competitors.

To take advantage of the benefits of digitalization, businesses should invest in the right tools. By studying the top digitalization trends reshaping industries, you’ll be better able to understand where to focus your efforts to maximize efficiency.

Did You Know?:In a five-star customer review for the fi-8170 scanner, one user wrote, “This scanner is a tremendous step up and has already increased our productivity and workflow.” Click here to learn more.

5 digitalization trends to watch

Cloud computing

When discussing digitalization, businesses often think about transferring files from physical to digital — but don’t consider where those digital files will live. Cloud computing is an essential part of the digitalization process, as it allows companies to store data in the cloud, rather than on premises. This can eliminate the need for in-office servers, storage hardware, and other costly maintenance tools and practices, eliminating one of the biggest digitalization challenges.

Cloud computing can also make scaling more efficient. Rather than having to install new hardware to increase your storage capacity, you can simply add to your existing plan. According to Forrester Senior Analyst Tracy Woo, “It’s well understood using [the] cloud is necessary to stay competitive.” In fact, by 2025, 85% of enterprises are expected to have adopted a cloud-first strategy. Businesses that don’t examine the possibilities of cloud computing could soon be left behind.

Machine learning

Machine learning is a field of artificial intelligence (AI) that uses data and algorithms as training materials. From there, it can use that data to determine next steps, reducing the need for manual input.

Machine learning has a significant role in the digitalization process. Imagine transferring your entire analog history to a new digital framework manually. Scanning documents, inputting keywords and meta tags, and organizing databases by hand take an enormous amount of time that could be better spent elsewhere. Machine learning not only streamlines these processes, it can unearth valuable insights that further improve business operations.

Generative AI

Like machine learning, generative AI is another discipline of artificial intelligence that relies on data and algorithms. Where it differs is in the creation of new content, rather than just the organization of existing content. This has many practical applications across a number of industries. In finance, for example, generative AI can assess risks, raise warnings, and reduce human error. This could save the banking industry between $200 billion and $340 billion a year.

Internet of Things

The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the defining features of the digital era. IoT technology allows physical objects to connect to an internet network; you’ve likely encountered this in the form of smart speakers, thermostats, locks, or security cameras in your own home. On a small scale, these devices simplify mundane tasks — it’s more convenient to set a thermostat from your smartphone than get up and do it manually, for example.

On a much larger scale, the Internet of Things represents a significant part of the digitalization process. Being able to connect devices to your network can allow your employees to more easily manage and collect data from them. For example, connected devices in the manufacturing industry can alert workers to potential issues before they escalate and cause production to stop.

Distributed scanning

As the digitalization process gets underway, you’ll need to find a way to convert your existing physical records into digital form. Historically, this has involved scanning those files from a centralized location. However, with help from cloud-based software and the Internet of Things, businesses can use distributed scanning to speed up the process and easily integrate those digital files into existing workflows.

Distributed scanning (sometimes called decentralized scanning) allows the digitization of records to occur at multiple locations. This eliminates the bottlenecks that occur in centralized scanning, making your business’ digital transformation run more smoothly. In some industries, distributed scanning can also amount to significant cost savings, particularly if you spend a lot of time transporting materials to a central scanner.

Did You Know?:Feeling the need for speed? The ultra-fast fi-7900 can reach double-sided scanning speeds of 140 pages per minute. Learn more here.

Our recommendation: RICOH fi Series scanners

Those in the process of digitalizing their companies have no shortage of scanner options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing, and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi Series scanners.

Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi scanners are capable of processing tens of thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.

Created with demanding workflows in mind, the RICOH fi-8170 scanner has an automatic document feeder capable of scanning 70 double-sided pages per minute. Its compact form makes it great for offices where space is at a premium. The fi-7300NX network-enabled scanner is ideal for distributed scanning. For enterprise-grade projects, the fi-7900 can handle up to 140 pages a minute, with automatic skew correction and active separation minimizing paper jams without the need for manual oversight. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line.

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