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A Quick Guide to Responsible AI for Forward-Thinking Organizations

  • Digiform Solutions

5 Costs of Not Going Digital

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Digital transformation sounds expensive. That narrative, however, is shifting as going digital has become the cost of staying in business over the past ten years. Instead, it’s easy to take a look at costs incurred by not integrating digital processes into your life science business.


If you’re looking for managerial and/or corporate buy-in to leverage electronic records, purchase digital signature services, or procure an electronic quality management system, it might be time to talk about what paper and manual processes are costing you. Use these talking points to help inspire your organization's leadership to make the change.


5 Costs of Not Going Digital
Electronic Records

“The National Archives and Records Administration is no longer accepting paper records from agencies beginning January 1 2023.”

5 Costs of Not Going Digital: Dig Deep

Not taking the right steps to embark on your digital journey at the right time can end up being a costly mistake. Below is our take on the 5 Costs of Not Going Digital after being in the game for over 2 decades.


1. Paper Records and Storage Costs

Life science processes have been historically paper-heavy. Add in FDA retention laws, and it’s easy to start spending big money on keeping that paper around and accessible for audit. Office and storage space rent, document imaging and indexing, and time spent looking for paper records during audits all cost a tremendous amount of money. Employees, on average, spend 20 – 30% of their work day looking for information. Going digital reduces or eliminates many of these costs.


2. Security

Digital records are more secure than most people think. It’s a common misconception that paper records are safer or more secure than digital records. In fact, one 2019 study on data breaches indicated that 65% of large-scale (500+ patients) data breaches reported to the Department of Health and Human Services between 2009-2016 were paper- and film-based. Cloud- and blockchain-based digital recordkeeping carry safeguards against nefarious and accidental record breaches.


3. Disaster Recovery

Record recovery after a disaster incorporates both storage and security. Digital records are often maintained in multiple servers across geographical locations, helping ensure that records will be accessible even in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. Considering FDA retention laws, this is extremely desirable.


4. Inability to Collect Key Analytics

Modern companies measure success. Keeping processes manual and paper-based limits the extent to which companies can analyze their processes. Digital transformation can provide key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify which processes are operating well and which require improvement. Having to comply with 21 CFR Part 11 could become insignificant compared to the time and cost savings identified through using KPIs via digital systems.


5. Inability to Retain Key Talent

In an employee’s job market, retaining key talent has become more important since the pandemic began. Employees look to their companies for innovation and transformation as indicators they are willing to adapt to the marketplace. Providing employees with tools like electronic signatures and digital records keeps them confident in your adaptability, improves their efficiency and makes their jobs easier in many aspects.

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