Digitizing Government One Piece of Paper at a Time

By John Landwehr

Paper has long been viewed as a workplace villain – a wasteful, slow and expensive villain whose elimination would draw cheers around the world.

While eliminating paper entirely is not feasible, moving more of it to the virtual world in the form of digital documents is an achievable and important goal. Doing so saves time and money, while also improving the customer experience and providing a more secure transfer of information.

Today, Adobe is outlining its vision for how people will create, share and manage documents in this digital world. This vision is alive in our latest offering – the Adobe Document Cloud.

Adobe Document Cloud is the latest evolution of Adobe Acrobat, the gold standard for creating, sharing and editing PDFs. While Acrobat remains a desktop application, with the Adobe Document Cloud it can communicate with the Adobe Public Cloud as well as internal server-based private clouds, facilitating easier workflows with external contractors and internal users alike.

Capabilities like ‘wizards’, to walk end users through repeatable processes, and new edit and export enhancements continue to drive personal productivity. Adobe Document Cloud enables new levels of collaboration, including data collection with forms that can integrate with back-end systems, and automated review cycles with full comment capabilities and signature support.

As always, Adobe is committed to the security of our public and private sector customers. Improvements in application and content security provide more confidence when moving paper-based workflows to the digital world. And, continued support of strong configuration, deployment and update tools empower enterprise IT to keep their user bases safe while meeting business objectives.

Additional services such as e-signing, tracking and analytics will bring speed, efficiency and transparency to document processes. With Adobe Document Cloud, people will be able to work from anywhere, using a consistent online profile to upload, edit, route, approve, sign and track work across any device.

Why is this important for public sector organizations? New research from industry analyst firm IDC, a leading provider of global IT research and advice, shows that, like private sector organizations, governments can achieve real benefits from connecting their documents online in the cloud.

IDC’s research, which we commissioned, found that fixing the “document disconnect” could lead to a 23% cost reduction[1]. This shows that the current approach is leaving significant taxpayer money on the table.

Moreover, 67% of government agency leaders say they have trouble keeping track of edits, approvals and signatures on documents, some of which may be mission-critical. Beyond the security and efficiency advantages of going digital, employee morale improves when organizations reduce paper dependency. 60% of respondents said that employee satisfaction would improve with more digital documents, and 63% expect that productivity would increase.[2]

What’s stopping the movement away from paper and toward digital in the public sector? In short, there remains a culture gap in readiness to adopt new digital document systems. 60% of respondents say that their organization is required to obtain physical signatures. Additionally, 43% of agency leaders say they have different internal systems/applications that don’t “talk” to each other and 53% say people outside their organization with whom they need to exchange documents use a different system or application. Further, two-thirds of respondents say their enterprise applications are too difficult/expensive to change, despite the proven cost rewards of implementing a more efficient system.[3]

What this research shows is the massive opportunity available to public sector organizations. Planning and executing a strategy to move more documents to the cloud can save money, improve morale and better secure critical information.

We’re excited to share this vision with customers and partners around the world. We’re kicking off some fun competitions to learn more about the ways in which people want to digitize documents and will be sharing more details in the coming weeks. To learn more about the vision outlined today, go to Adobe.com/documentcloud.

[1] IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Adobe, The Document Disconnect in Government, Doc #254221, March 2015

[2] IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Adobe, The Document Disconnect in Government, Doc #254221, March 2015

[3] IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Adobe, The Document Disconnect in Government, Doc #254221, March 2015