Do we expect too much from paperless business
Providers of paperless business solutions promise clients to cut costs, increase efficiency and guarantee compliance. But can they deliver on these promises?
Digitalization helps us create strong competitive advantage if handled properly. Going digital is the expectation of our customers who are conducting their business online, of our business partners issuing order forms and invoices in electronic format, and of the government institutions who are pushing for paperless operations.
Still, we cannot give up paper completely as some organizations have not shifted to paperless yet. The result is a combination of paper-based documents scattered across many locations or business units, and electronic documents kept in different information systems.
Lower operating costs
The first step towards a paperless business operation often affects document management. Digitization increases document value, enables more efficient management and opens up opportunities for the digitization and automation of operational processes.
Capturing the content of the now digitized documents is another major step. With automation, staff are freed from doing routine and repetitive tasks and let to focus on value-added activities. Moreover, costs associated with data entry are cut by 50% and the risk of error is reduced.
- Adds value to documents
- Increases data management efficiency
- Opens up opportunities for automation
Improved efficiency of business operations
Managing paper-based documents is a cumbersome task: searching takes too much time, sharing among users is complex and time-consuming, changes are poorly traceable, and there is risk of loss.
On the other hand, we can do much more with electronic documents that just look at them. We can share them with our colleagues, edit and add comments, receive change notifications, search them by content or descriptive data (metadata), access them from any location and track their use, while also ensuring document integrity and authenticity and preventing loss.
Actually, effective document management is the precondition for the digitization and potential automation of business processes, and generates added value. The decision to manage business processes and implement business solutions is driven by the desire to improve transparency and responsiveness, facilitate collaboration and minimize business risks.
The key to ensuring GDPR compliance is to design suitable personal data management processes and accountability schedules. The task may be difficult to achieve since in the throngs of hectic day-to-day operations we fail to maintain a comprehensive overview of all personal data processed.
Apart from GDPR compliance, the second hot issue is the suitability of long-term document storage. It may not be as pressing as the first one, but should definitely not be overlooked. It is therefore advisable to consider implementing certified e-storage solutions.
- Compliance of personal data protection
- Compliance of secure long-term preservation
Meeting the expectations
Even though the benefits of paperless business are unambiguous, the providers of paperless solutions are unable to ensure us that we will actually reap these benefits. Implementation of digital business solutions imposes several changes to be made: organizational, operational, technical and, not least importantly, cultural. Without active engagement and willingness to embrace change, the solution itself will not utilize the full potential of paperless business.
It is important that we attempt digital transformation after a careful consideration, taking into account all the aspects that can facilitate successful completion and implementation of digital transformation projects.
Want to know more? Contact us!