Unemployment claims are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to document processing. According to an article in Government Technology and the Department of Labor, every state is experiencing historic and staggering growth in unemployment claims. Labor statistics reveal that the United States is heading towards its highest national employment rate with over 30 million jobs (and growing) lost due to the pandemic. 

If you happen to visit California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) to file a claim, or most state employment offices for that matter, there is still the option to mail, fax, email or complete your claim online. States must figure out a way to process and manage these so people out of work can pay bills and eat. Employers must file paperwork to the departed workers, while some businesses who support the frontlines must expeditiously hire workers and contractors to help the sick or provide services, food and deliveries to the general public.

Meanwhile, industries like banking, finance, mortgage and insurance are busy working with customers on forbearance, refinancing, credit card services, loans, underwriting and other servicing needs. Each of these processes requires multiple documents with signatures, identification capture, W2s, statements, copies and much more – some of these are even hundreds of pages long. My neighbor was explaining to me this week how she called her bank to inquire about a mortgage payment and the agent didn’t have direct access to his computer from home, so the turnaround time would be delayed. It’s common practice to be able to access your files securely, especially in 2020! Needless to say, my neighbor was frustrated, as I’m sure many others are who are left with slow, delayed response times. My cousin who has her own small business posted a social media request for help on giving advice to her landlord on deferring payment because her business isn’t deemed essential and she can’t pay rent, which means the landlord can’t pay the mortgage. This means more calls and more email correspondence to the bank, amassing to the problem. I’m sure many of you have heard stories like these. 

These factors and others all point to why now is a good time to protect and invest in your company or service. In the cases above, scalable technology can offload the burden of an influx of many types of work, documents, requests, organization, filing and other time-consuming tasks. While businesses might be thinking this is the time to be conservative in IT spending, the fact is that digital transformation initiatives can keep economic concerns at bay. The current pandemic will eventually run its course and business will go back to a new normal. However, history has proven that there will be future crises and economic downturns that await us. Therefore, business leaders must grapple with investing in their processes and IT if they want to play the long game and survive hard times. 

There are companies like Ephesoft and its technology partners that specialize in helping any size organization with its digital transformation processes. Data and strategic information are at the heart of most companies and guides leaders to make informed decisions. The most common use case is getting the right data to the right people and systems with speed and accuracy. High volume and high-value documents such as invoices, mortgages, corporate loans, patient records, employee onboarding, human resources documentation, bank statements, mail, insurance claims, archives, transcripts, student records or contracts can be processed rapidly with the right technology. 

If state unemployment agencies, banks, mortgage companies and healthcare entities, for example, were to have an automated system that could accelerate their data processes by over 80%, this would alleviate long wait times and expedite value to customers. It could be even faster when technology is hosted in the cloud. Unemployed workers could pay rent and mortgages faster, patients and their doctors could have results faster and employed workers could focus on higher-level, more impactful tasks. Common sense? Business sense? Both! While digital transformation isn’t the answer to all COVID-19 woes, it can certainly offset potential threats and help the people who need it most. In fact, its what companies should be doing anyway to provide the most value for its customers. It’s time to make data-driven decisions to help your organization flourish.