There has never been a more momentous period in technological advancement than now.
In slightly more than a decade, we've seen the Internet go from the beginning stages of consumerization to the point where nearly every individual carries a mini-laptop (a.k.a. a smartphone) at all times. Just when one tool becomes the new "must-have technology," another innovation seemingly comes along that blows it out of the water.
For business leaders, this presents both an opportunity and a problem. On one hand, you have more affordable tools at your disposable than ever before that offer the same capabilities as those being used by large organizations and corporations. There are applications out there there that allow employees to work remotely, and others than enable your company to analyze important trends.
At the same time, there is no one-size-fits-all software package that provides you with everything you're looking for. Tapping into these different movements, from bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies to data analytics, requires a number of steps: integrating your datasets, moving applications to an environment where they can be accessed remotely, adopting new solutions, and so on and so forth.
Fortunately, there is at least one technology - paperless systems - that can pave the way to taking advantage of these other innovative strategies.
Paperless systems' immeasurable impact
Make no mistake about it, there are plenty of tangible reasons as to why you should implement a paperless document management system.
Processes like filing, mailing and invoicing are some of the most time-consuming tasks for employees, which in turn drives up labor costs. On top of that, paper and storage comprise some of the top expenses for companies every year.
Paperless document management eliminates most storage and paper expenditures, while making several employee activities substantially more efficient.
But there are plenty of other intangible benefits that paperless systems have the ability to lead to. Here are three:
1. BYOD: If you've heard of the BYOD phenomenon, that's a good thing - it means you're not living under a rock.
Approximately 90 percent of IT departments are already in full support of mobility movements, according to multiple studies. While the reasons why companies implement BYOD plans may vary, the general consensus is that these practices lead to better, happier and more productive employees - all of which benefits organizations in the end.
Paperless document management can help make BYOD a reality for a number of reasons, including:
- The ability to boost unified communications, something that many organizations are struggling with. Paperless systems provide consistent information that can be accessed by employees across the workplace.
- These solutions move mission-critical applications and files to the electronic workflow, making it possible for workers to view them remotely.
- Paperless systems typically come with increased security capabilities.
Needless to say, all these factors contribute to safer and more effective BYOD practices.
2. Data analytics: Have you heard of the way some companies are using business intelligence and analytics to identify consumer trends and security threats, measure the likely return on investment and so much more? With the help of paperless systems, you will soon have the ability to do this, too.
For example, in a blog post for Healthcare IT News, FormFast director of workflow engineering Scott Fuller outlined how automated systems enable healthcare providers to utilize business intelligence. Most of these organizations, he wrote, have "troves of data" that are "locked away in databases, information systems and file cabinets."
But if all of this information was integrated into the electronic workflow, he said, data analytics - and all of its corresponding benefits - would become a possibility. This could improve a number of areas for healthcare providers, from risk and audit process management to human resources.
3. Business continuity: After Hurricane Sandy caused massive outages in the Northeastern United States in October 2012, many organizations were forced to shut down for a while. Not International Flavors & Fragrances, according to Lifehacker. The company had moved several of its processes, such as email, to an offsite provider, which remained up even as local offices were left without power.
Paperless systems enable companies to automatically back up important information to an offsite location, and to access those applications remotely. This was largely how the company remained active in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.