The Paper Versus Digital Process Debate – The Acronym for Digital Persuasion

Technology for a paperless office has been around for years, but the adoption rate of the digital process has been slow. It may have been the timing, as many organizations could see the value in a digital document management software; however, most were still hesitant to take the next steps in actually implementing the process.

Now, the timing is favorable, as some of the largest and more progressive companies are starting to transition their workflow into the digital era of document management. These early adopters are paving the way for many organizations to follow, as the paper process begins to move into the archaic column. So what is it that these forward-thinking organizations see to make them take on a project such as this, which others may not?

They would rather stop being RESTRICTED by their workflows and position themselves in a state of FREEDOM with their document management processes. But what does this really mean?

The paper process leaves you RESTRICTED.

Reckless – When managing your document process with physical files, what you may not realize is that you are putting yourself at risk by creating something called the Shadow File. These are files that you create without intention, and they live on in hiding; however, these files may affect your organization further down the road when it comes to audits, compliance, lawsuits, etc.

Exposed – Working with a paper process leaves you open to many risks, whether it be that the file falls into the wrong hands or you misplace that important contract that needs to be scanned and emailed before tomorrow’s deadline (** by the way, through that last process you just created at least two shadow files).

Slow – Does one of your colleagues need a file? Of course you can get that for them, by next week … Do they need it now? Ha! Oh, they were serious. Dealing with the files that contain numerous documents held in rows of filing cabinets makes for a fun game of “Where’s Waldo?” However, if you are in a time crunch, this may mean you aren’t taking your lunch break until 3 p.m. today.

Tedious – Sort. File. Store. Find … Sort. File. Store. Find …

Restraining – the paper process is restraining on many of your current resources. Dealing with paper requires a great deal of not only your time, but office space and money.

Inefficient – Inefficiencies can be a huge burden to a company and make all the difference. With a paper process you are creating more work for yourself and other employees by adding multiple layers to the organization process.

Challenging – What happens if you get notified that you are being audited? If you are in a large organization this can be a challenging task that can require overtime, or even the need to bring in temporary employees to take care of the job.

Time-consuming – It is a daunting task that on average takes up to 60 percent of your daily work hours. Imagine what you would accomplish if you allocated just 30 percent of that time to more strategic initiatives within your department.

Expensive – There are many expenses that go into the paper process, both fixed and variable, such as storage costs, the cost of paper, your time spent dealing with paper files, and the list goes on.

Destructive – It’s a no-brainer that the environmental aspect of the paper process is anything but appealing. On average 50 percent of a business’s waste is paper-based, and as you read this more than 199 tons of paper will have been produced to be used in offices just like yours.

On the flip side, the digital process puts you in a state of FREEDOM.

Fast – find, file, sign, share, organize … all within three clicks. With the continual innovations of technology in today’s global workforce, we are connected and closer than ever, sending and sharing documents from all over the world.

Regulated – a company’s information and documentation can be sensitive, especially when it comes to employee files. Proper information governance can reduce risk and can be achieved by taking a digital approach. Control who can see what files and what they can do with those files.

Efficient – Congratulations! Your workload just got cut in half. With a document management process that is purely digital you are able to efficiently management your organization documents all from one device, with an automated filing process that makes is plain simple!

Effective – Even if just one department within a company converts its process to the cloud, the increased performance is felt throughout the entire organization. Let’s take HR for example; when this team is able to allocated time spent on tedious paperwork tasks, they are able to spend more time on strategic initiatives to help the business and its employees grow.

Direction – an electronic document management system will help streamline your documents in a way that complies to regulations and corporate branding. Easily make changes to new and existing documents and stay up to date and consistent. Your brand is important too!

Organized – everything you need at the click of a mouse from any device, at any time, from anywhere. Realize the benefits of automated filing.

Mobilized – It is the fast emerging word in tech, if you haven’t heard of it yet, then here it is: “Responsive” capabilities are becoming a demand from all generations, starting with the up-and-coming millennials. Having the ability to view and share any document on any device makes it easy to stay compliant and get what you need, when you need it. Even if it is getting an e-signature from an employee sent through their tablet or phone. This eliminates the distraction made by the trend of remote employees working from various locations.

It is easy to see that the writing is on the wall with the pros of a DMS (Document Management Software) heavily outweighing physical paper processes. It is only a matter of time before the adoption of a purely virtual approach becomes the norm in most office environments, as we see the successful transitions made by these progressive organizations; others will be quick to follow.

 

View the original article on Workflow’s website

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