Government supports Digital Inclusion to ease economy bounce-back

Covid-19 has forced businesses to take a granular view of their typical methods of working. Modus operandi in a pre-Covid-19 world meant employees generally worked set hours, usually between 8am till 6pm in an office. Whilst the pandemic might be on the wane, and there is a concerted government push to get people working from offices again, this doesn’t detract from the very significant development – a watershed moment – that businesses have had to embrace a more digital way of working. This pivot has been imperative to guarantee relevancy and continued success in a post-Covid-19 world.

What might have worked in the past, would no longer work today as businesses switched from office working, to working remotely from home. Duties that could only have been undertaken in the office were inevitably delayed. For example, Sarah from Accounts could no longer send by post her 300 invoices without physically being in the office and having an office printer churn out hundreds of invoices. Joshua from HR could no longer send and receive his new hire’s employment contract, without being in the office. Whilst ‘going digital’ might have been on a company’s agenda “in the next few years” Coronavirus has driven businesses to take a long hard look at processes that can be digitised.

It might then have come as a shock to business owners to discover that expertise in an area and at a time that they needed it the most, was non-existent. With all the talk of becoming less reliant on paper process and increasing sustainability within a company, how much – in all honesty – could a business “go digital” if they didn’t really know how?

This lies at the heart of grappling with not only new processes and a new normal, but also having confidence that the infrastructure is there to support heightened digital activity.

The UK government continues to be vocal about putting support in place for businesses to facilitate digital inclusion. As the topical issue of digital inclusion becomes increasingly popular, various government officials continue to advocate its benefits.

Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said: “We want to help people get access to fast and reliable connectivity. It is a top priority for this government. Councils have a vital role to play in the rollout of digital infrastructure and while there is good work going on up and down the country, there is more we can do.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP, echoed this by amplifying the importance of digital inclusion. He commented: “I want councils up and down the country to ensure their communities benefit from faster internet connections and better connectivity. This will help to drive growth locally and is part of this Government’s mission to level up every area of our country and help local areas to recover after the pandemic.”

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, the Local Government Association’s digital connectivity spokesperson, said: “Councils are uniquely placed within their communities to identify the needs of residents and businesses, including their demand for faster and more reliable digital connectivity.”

It is thought, that by committing to supporting investment in high-quality, reliable digital connectivity, communities can benefit from faster commercial growth, greater social inclusion and a more robust economy. This plan is fully supported by Docuflow, but before we can help companies with digitising their processes, we must look at what exactly is digital inclusion, and why it is crucial now.

There is more to digital inclusion than simply improving connectivity within rural communities to pave a better way of life for marginalised sections of society. Digital inclusion in the business world is the act of companies being able to access and use information and communication technologies to improve their business practises. This technology is a tool that fosters a digitally inclusive community, which is important to not only economic and workforce development, but also civic participation, education, healthcare and public safety too.

Digital Inclusion is essential today. Why? Gigabit broadband-enabled technologies can help businesses increase productivity at a time when resources might be reduced, especially if a company has furloughed staff and is operating on a decreased workforce.

One of the ways digital inclusion can be increased is through technology training for wider, enhanced digital literacy. For example if you are looking at ways to improve your document management system, Docuflow will sit down with you and go through demos and a hand-holding process, to make sure you get the best out of the easy to use software. We will not leave until you are 100% comfortable with your new product and way of working, and we will continue to give guidance when you need it.

For a business, the first step towards digital inclusion is about analysing the current digital landscape, figuring out where you fit in, and identifying obstacles that could mar your progress. Docuflow can help you lift those barriers and help you become more digitally inclusive. We will analyse your current processes to help your business become more digitally aligned. Do you have an idea of where you can digitise processes? Talk to us. If you haven’t got a clue about where to start, but want to explore digital inclusion opportunities, talk to us. We are here for you.

Docuflow are champions of digital inclusion.

From hybrid mail post solutions to e-signing and distributing confidential documents with DocuTrack, Docuflow offer a host of services that can help you work smarter, enjoy greater returns on investment, and work in a more sustainable, ethical way.

We work with businesses of all sizes across both the public and private sector, helping companies on their digital transformation journey whilst raising awareness that digital inclusion can be easy and simple to implement.

DocuTrack, Hybrid MailSecure PortalsForms & Data Capture and ECM & Workflows are just a few of our services. Get in touch with us today to see how Docuflow can help you turbocharge your digital inclusion journey.

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