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Digital transformation was one of the hottest buzzwords of 2016, whether it manifested itself through process automation or the proliferation of the Internet of things (IoT) in the workplace. As more enterprises embrace digitalization in 2017, it’s critical for them to deploy the right technology, especially in the first and crucial step of going from paper to digital. Regardless of where you are in your digital transformation journey, here are three key priorities to keep in mind:

1. Get a handle on unmanaged environments

As workplaces today continue to be inundated by new—and legacy—technologies, the challenge remains to be, "How can it all be integrated?" Neglecting to integrate these technologies and manage them in one environment can lead to decisions that hinder productivity.

The switch from an unmanaged environment to a managed one can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Organizations looking to make the switch to a managed environment should seek out a strong partner who can look at both sides of the equation, not just the hardware but also the software. Many customers are now expecting a strong value add with bundled software that can improve overall processes, particularly in the paper-laden human resources and accounts payable departments. In addition to offering bundled software, a strong partner should have training and installation services available to ensure a strong return on investment.

2. Take advantage of document management technology

Enterprise customers are printing less and less, but there will always be paper—at least for the foreseeable future. These customers now expect workplace technology that not only integrates with paper, capturing the valuable information trapped on it, but one that comes with the ability to connect into document management systems, like enterprise content management (ECM).

2017 will be the year for enterprises to get serious about mobility.

Document management systems provide the tools needed to boost productivity by automating processes and storing and analyzing the growing amount of business-critical data generated on a daily basis. These solutions add the most value when they are customized to meet an enterprise’s unique business processes, so it’s important to work with a strong partner who can plan a fast, efficient deployment, whether on-premise or in the cloud. Digitizing paper is the first step to digital transformation. Without the best-qualified team to help, your digital transformation could become an extended, negative experience.

3. Embrace workplace mobility

Mobility has been a buzzword for quite some time, but adoption in the workplace has been slow. In fact, a recent survey from Gartner shows that only 23% of employees surveyed were given corporate-issued smartphones. 2017 will be the year for enterprises to get serious about mobility.

Whether mobility means arming workers with mobile technology they can take on the road with them or adjusting work-from-home policies, it’s time to realize that work is no longer conducted solely in the four corners of the office. No matter their location, employees need to be able to digitize, store, and share business-critical documents with team members. Worker mobility will lead to instant collaboration and improved productivity.

Information is the lifeblood of every business—and it’s growing exponentially every day. In order to gain a competitive advantage in today’s increasingly digital society, enterprises need to be able to analyze and harness the business-critical information trapped on paper. By getting a handle on your environment, ensuring the right document management technology is in place, and embracing workplace mobility, 2017 will be the year your enterprise shines.

Andy Domnauer is the Regional Sales Director (East – US) at Visioneer and has over 20 years of experience selling computer software and hardware through both direct and channel sales models. Follow Visioneer on Twitter @visioneerinc or contact him at adomnauer@visioneer.com.