Building Stronger Digital Capabilities

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Home > Articles > Building Stronger Digital Capabilities

 Building Stronger Digital Capabilities

Bertrand Leong | Today's Manager
September 1, 2017

Fuji Xerox shares how businesses can build stronger digital capabilities so as to thrive in today and tomorrow’s economy.

Aligned with the seven Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) recommendations, Minister for Manpower Mr Lim Swee Say mentioned in his May Day 2016 message that manpower could become the bottleneck of Singapore’s future growth unless we become more productive and manpower-lean. However, the country’s average productivity score during the second half of 2016 had decreased by 11 index points as compared to the first half. To improve employee efficiency, recent studies suggest that companies adopt an enterprise mobility strategy, which has been shown to lead to improved processes (by 30 per cent), higher productivity (by 23 per cent), and more satisfied employees (by 100 per cent).

Additionally, the 2016 enterprise mobile apps report by Adobe Systems concluded that as many as 61 per cent of employees believe that a company that has not utilised enterprise mobile apps are placing themselves at risk by having less efficient operations. However, many businesses in Singapore have yet to embrace mobility solutions despite enterprise mobility being a key workplace trend. Even more fail to realise its benefits to productivity and process efficiency that can be achieved by an app ecosystem tailored to suit digital work styles of individual employees.

So what is the reason for this hesitation? Head of Marketing Office Business Products Group, Fuji Xerox Singapore, Ms Adeline Goh, says the reason why many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are slow to adapt is their tendency to be comfortable with the status quo. “They may lack the manpower and resources to improve and are already lean in dealing with day-to-day operations,” she says. “These restrict them from investing resources to deploy and look into company solutions which take time.”

“Many may not know where to begin,” she adds. “They don’t know what they don’t know and don’t realise that this is an easy problem to solve. If someone approaches them with a solution, and they are not keen, do they decline because they know and don’t want it, or do they not know what they don’t know? Even if the funding is there, a company can still be investing in mobile devices without adopting mobility solutions.”

It becomes easier to recommend a solution when SMEs are cognisant of what they don’t fully know. Education is key to helping SMEs adapt to this shift and is the first step to helping them explore their options before implementation.

Pain points
Fuji Xerox has transitioned from just selling copiers to devising digital solutions in response to the pain points of SMEs. “Take some time to think about and understand the pain points and challenges of your business,” says Ms Goh. “If you are looking at efficiency, identify which parts of your process are pain points. Is manual work robbing you of valuable time such that you can’t focus on more important tasks? Do you have difficulty gaining access to the right information while travelling? Do you have to sieve through copious amounts of digitised information before finding what you need?”

Look at three key areas: top-line, bottom-line, and processes. What do you want to fix? Do you wish to cut costs? Then search for solutions that can help you reduce costs. Once you have that, educate yourself about the various schemes of government support and explore your list of options.

Look at how these digital solutions can help you to gain revenue. Consider solutions that can help you to consolidate your data for marketing campaigns for instance.

The bottom-line refers to cost management. How do digital solutions help you reduce costs? Take for instance: instead of physically transporting hardcopies of invoices from one office to the next, consider a digital solution that eliminates printing costs, travel expenses, and the hassle of transporting documents.

When exploring digital solutions, look at your end-to-end processes. How do your processes help your people be more efficient? With digital platforms, social media comes to the fore. How can you then leverage a customer relationship management (CRM) system to create a marketing campaign, blast it out to a segmented customer base, promote your service/product, and in turn increase customer loyalty?

Features of an Effective Mobile Solution
A mobile solution comprises its content (information), the platform (app), and the tool (device). Look at the app design on the content level, use mobile device management (MDM) at the app level, and set protective barriers at the device level. Ensure that your mobile device is installed with an antivirus software especially when travelling because public Wi-Fi makes your device vulnerable to attacks. For an effective mobile enterprise solution, think about the output you wish to use it for and consider its content accessibility, authentication, encryption, and download capabilities.

Ms Adeline Goh

Head of Marketing Office
Business Products Group
Fuji Xerox (FUJIXEROX)

Content Accessibility
One needs to look at the app design to see how its content is being used. A company may have an internal repository of case studies, collaterals, and information. The sales team is able to access this content on-the-go and retrieve information on their mobile devices to show customers. Having access to information is the first key function in mobile solutions. Some questions to ask is ‘how easy is it to access this information’, ‘who can access it’, and ‘when to access it’?

The second function is user-authentication. Authentication is one way of protecting your information. Is it private or public? Do users need to log in to view the content? Do they need a password? In app design, user authentication helps if you wish to distinguish who your users are and who gets to access the relevant information.

The third function is encryption. Encrypt to prevent unauthorised access to your data. For example, an app should be clever enough to push your information out the moment you close it, such that the information is no longer stored there. Otherwise, once it is available just on the mobile device and not pushed or stored on the cloud when the app closes, the information automatically
becomes irretrievable and is vulnerable to unauthorised

Download Capabilities
The user may decide to download a file and utilise the information. Download capabilities enables a user to access important files from a central repository at a dentralised location. Ask what you would like to utilise the downloaded file for. Would you like to print it, forward it, or simply download and store it on your Google drive?

Fuji Xerox has a simple cloud solution called SmartSuite. SmartSuite allows users to print or scan documents into Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and the like. Users can retrieve it, use it, and perform cloud-on-demand print. “Previously, I was at a meeting downstairs and had an interviewee coming by. My laptop was upstairs and I did not have access to his resume but I had a smartphone app which was MDM supported and encrypted. So I downloaded the resume, sent it to print, and picked it up from the nearest printer,” shares Ms Goh.


Copyright © 2017 Singapore Institute of Management

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Today's Manager Issue 3, 2017

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