Offices across the country are increasingly pulling themselves out of the Stone Age and are rapidly progressing to the 21st century. Perhaps Stone Age isn't the correct term - Paper Age might be more appropriate. Years ago, workers had no choice but to place all of their files in paper form, from customer records to internal finances.
That hasn't been the case for some time though, thanks to the emergence of a supremely important tool called the computer. And now that such progress has been made on the technology in the last 15 years or so, the very nature of doing business in the United States has been changed for the better. Administrators can scan crucial files into the computer and place them in the cloud or on a unified system, maintaining records with paperless document management programs.
This has become a trendy and productive thing for business owners to implement in the workplace. Many find that the cost, time and effort savings are unparalleled and never look back.
However, it's also been revealed that making this move can do a lot of good in a legal sense. There are two forms of this sentiment - 1.), a lot of companies in the law enforcement field have seen digitization as a proven success and 2.) it can help regular businesses in any industry maintain compliance standards regarding storage, audits and accessing files.
When legal organizations digitize
According to Michigan Live, electronic workflow is greatly benefiting those involved in the law enforcement and legal processes in Jackson, Mich. After digitizing the system within the Jackson County District Court, judges can now approve search warrants electronically. These lawmakers now carry cellphones and tablets so that the legal process can continue even if they're not in their chambers when police officers need help.
Chief District Judge R. Darryl Mazur told the news outlet that this can enable warrants to be granted and executed within minutes, greatly speeding up this aspect of law enforcement. It used to be that cops would have to track down a judge themselves or hire a courier to do so, often wasting precious time. This could mean a lot in cases.
The situation is a bit less dire in an office setting, but that doesn't mean that people wouldn't benefit from a massive time cut due to digitization. For instance, what if a company needed an invoice with a supplier signed right away or there would be problems with the legalities of a contract, manufacturing holdups or a bevy of other issues that could affect the company's ability to continue on?
If there was an electronic platform in place, the invoice could be sent to the supplier and signed in mere minutes, greatly expediting the entire scenario and making sure that both parties have access to the legal and financial documents.
Comply with numerous laws
Going digital can allow a business to more easily remain in compliance with various different laws in any industry. For instance, those involved in the healthcare field have a responsibility to ensure that files are stored and maintained safely while making it relatively easy for authorized personnel to call up the records as needed.
So, going digital means that company leaders can place crucial files on cloud or unified archives and protect them behind firewalls, antivirus software, encryptions and other protections. This beats keeping them in filing cabinets, which are fairly penetrable.
Swiss Post reported that a study by the Association for Information and Image Management found compliance to be one of the leading reasons organizations are embracing electronic workflow. Without good management strategies, the source noted that risks can abound.