Calculating the Value of Going Paperless

Technology investments can be costly, but so are outdated software and inefficient processes. In fact, federal, state, and local data show that long-term financial benefits of technology upgrades far outweigh upfront costs. To help government agencies realize their potential savings, Adobe developed a Digital Transformation Savings Calculator, which shows how simple changes to workflows with Adobe Marketing Cloud can transform how agencies conduct business.

Since launching our Savings Calculator, numerous public sector agencies have used the tool to discover how much money they could save by going paperless. State and local agencies discovered potential savings of as much as $41.6 million, while federal organizations discovered around $25 million in potential savings.

Demand for these cost saving is global. While the digital savings calculator was designed to help public sector and civilian organizations based in North America, a number of organizations from around the world have viewed potential savings for their organizations. Around 11 percent of users were located in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, 5 percent were from Europe and the Middle east, and 3 percent were from Latin America.

The unifying factor here is efficient processes, a universal challenge across the globe. Tech helps public sector organizations do more with less, lowers administrative costs spent using antiquated processes, and increases value created, whether that’s measured in higher cost savings or increased citizen engagement.

Government today increasingly focuses on value – doing more with less. Making the digital transformation to a paperless system not only cuts down on paper costs, but also frees up time and resources that can be geared toward providing better services to citizens.

The before and after illustration of processes more clearly highlights these efficiencies. The current manual workflow of a typical organization involves multiple physical touchpoints to process a document. The document moves from desk to desk via mail/inter-office mail and employees are often unable to easily track the progress or whereabouts of the document, illustrated below:

Going paperless eliminates these choke points by replacing manual processes with an email workflow. The shift from manual to digital allows organizations to track the status of the document in the approval process, the length of time the document has been sitting in a person’s inbox, and the location where the document has been filed. The full process illustrated below:

In addition to improving internal workflows, the shift to digital ensures improved citizen interactions with government. In fact, the recent Adobe Digital Government Survey indicated that 62 percent of citizens would feel more positive toward government if online tools were improved. That is why we at Adobe recognize the importance of modernizing the way we collect and share information. From filing taxes to paying parking tickets and renewing driver’s licenses, forms make up an integral part of public sector interactions with citizens. Government organizations can now modernize this key touchpoint with citizens by improving the online tools people use every day.

In the United States, Adobe has helped states and localities implement these cost efficiencies. In Hawaii, with the help of Adobe Sign, state employees have signed more the 60,000 documents electronically, and as many as 25,000 government employees are expected to regularly use it.

The Illinois Department of Human Services saved $6 million in administrative costs by using e-forms to automate citizen interactions. A redesigned and customer-centric website for Chicago’s metro boosted ticket sales by 200%. Additionally, lawmakers in Wisconsin used Adobe Experience Manager to create an eFile refund system, cutting refund cycle from three months to five days – saving the state money that would’ve been spent on collecting taxes and providing tax info to citizens.

To discover the potential savings that your organization could enjoy, click here and check out the Savings Calculator. When agencies invest in systems and structures that support digital growth, possibilities are endless.