A trending topic in the realm of information governance these days is the concept of “Born Digital” information. The term refers to content whose lifecycle begins as a digital asset, rather than being converted from analog information formats (such as photographs or paper manuscripts).
We can see evidence of this in the consumer world as markets move towards e-books, digital music services and online photo sharing.
The focus on born-digital information has garnered increasing interest and strategic focus in the business world as well over the last few years – as organizations seek to reduce wastage, minimize their carbon footprint and move towards more efficient information workflows.
5 Reasons You May Wish to Consider a Born-Digital Strategy
Paper is a poor medium for recordkeeping – it is susceptible to age, water damage, and fire.
Physical space is more expensive than digital space.
Analog information is less discoverable, costly to search, and costly to retrieve.
Analog information is expensive to process manually, and more prone to processing errors.
Your organization is a contributor to carbon waste.
Born Digital by the Numbers
The born-digital movement is a part of a global trend of digitization – a trend that has been accelerated by the adoption of remote work processes resulting from the pandemic.
Organizations that are ahead of the curve in their industry are generally considered to be more innovative, agile, and efficient than those still grappling with digitization blockers and navigating analog informational workflows.
Studies have also shown a direct correlation between digitization and productivity. As organizations seek to digitize their assets, they are able to adopt digitalized work processes, within which exist significant opportunities for efficiency through automation and standardization. Digitizing analog informational assets can represent a significant cost to the organization, and before such an endeavor can be pursued – an alternate, born-digital workflow should be implemented so that future assets live solely in the digital space.
Why is Adopting Born-Digital so Critical?
The previous section illustrated how organizations who are digitizing their assets and adopting born-digital workflows are more productive, more innovative and more agile than their competitors. As the world pivots to the cloud, and technology becomes a utility rather than a capitalized asset – organizations who fail to take control of their analog-born workflows may find themselves left behind.
In addition, information regulation is on the rise – and organizations are becoming more distributed. This means that there is a significant cost in generating, processing, managing, regulating, and destroying analog information – significantly more than the same informational asset in digital format. Organizations can realize a financial ROI for pivoting to born-digital workflows and modernizing their information landscape.
Powerful Benefits of Born-Digital Strategies
A well-implemented born-digital program should yield the following benefits for the business:
- Lower storage costs for information (analog vs digital)
- Lower costs for information processing
- More efficient information workflows
- More manageable and cost-effective eDiscovery and PII processes
- More discoverable, searchable information assets
- Lower carbon footprint
- Less wastage
- Lower printing, paper, and other material costs
- Higher employee productivity
- Opportunities of automation, standardization and efficiency
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