For an increasing number of companies, success will be determined by how well they can navigate digital transformation. Decisions made today may pave the way for increased productivity, reduced costs, and happier teams—or they may leave the organization mired in old ways of thinking and slipping behind competitors.
For an increasing number of companies, future success will be determined by how well they can navigate digital transformation. Decisions made today may pave the way for increased productivity, reduced costs, and happier teams—or they may leave the organization mired in old ways of thinking and slipping behind competitors.
The linchpin? Printing. Effective digital transformation is next to impossible without first implementing a drastic reduction to—and in many cases, elimination of—paper-based processes.
Kick the Print Habit
Pressing “print” is baked into our workplace DNA. It’s the state of business today. And it’s a habit that can be very hard to break because, up until recently, there wasn’t another option.
Although it seems natural, printing is something we all (not-so-secretly) dislike. It’s a burden on us, our colleagues, and our IT staff, who spend an inordinate amount of time clearing out jams, replacing toner, and otherwise troubleshooting this outdated mode of work. Printing is a productivity killer.
Still think you need something tangible in your hand? Although that may deliver temporary satisfaction, the negative consequences of that sheet of printed paper are mind-blowing:
- In 2017, we used more than 400 million metric tons of paper worldwide.
- According to the United Nations, that paper use is expected to soar by 50 percent.
- Each one of us uses more than 10,000 sheets of paper every year.
- An average company wastes as much as $3.5 million annually re-creating lost documents and searching for missing information.
- That file storage cabinet in the corner may cost you as much as $8,000 to maintain, while electronic records solutions run about one-fifth of that.
Factor in toner costs, energy waste, and productivity lost to printing, filing, and searching, and the downsides accumulate quickly. A digital document management system can address all of these concerns, reducing waste and saving money.
Reduce Your Risk
These annoyances can also turn into liabilities for you—we’re all guilty of accidentally leaving a sensitive document on the workplace printer—and the organization, as companies like ShopRite have learned the hard way.
The traditional paper-based office stands vulnerable to the gamut of additional risk that digital processes can help alleviate. Information can easily fall into the wrong hands, opening you up to legal action. Fires, floods, and other natural disasters can wipe out the records of an entire company.
Also, short of locking papers in a room and hiding the key, it can be difficult to restrict access to sensitive information on a per-document basis. Once someone gets access, they have free rein to read (and remove) documents at will, presenting a serious danger to privacy.
The advent of cloud computing has brought with it a new level of security, which delivers access that’s customizable down to the user and function, not to mention peace of mind when Mother Nature gets rough. A document solution that lives in the cloud is your most secure way to work, whether preparing standard HR paperwork or confidential documents that require digital signatures.
Think of the Planet
Not only will your workplace security and morale see significant benefits from digital transformation, but the earth will as well. Consider the following:
- Pulp and paper are the third-largest industrial pollutants in our air, water, and soil.
- The chlorine-based bleaches involved in the creation of paper release toxins into our environment.
- Ink and toner cartridges contain toxic dyes and can have adverse effects on the natural world if not disposed of properly.
In the modern, progressive workplace, conservation and sustainability are a given. Reductions in paper-based processes are a necessary step down that path. A technology partner that provides valuable insights into your paper usage will be a key ally in your pursuit of a reduced carbon footprint.
Your employees need resources to find efficiencies and increase productivity—every minute spent on a paper-based process robs your workers of those opportunities.
An affordable PDF productivity solution implemented across the organization will allow anyone to easily create, share, edit, track versions, sign, and file—all without printing a single page. Add to this an eSigning solution and now you are dramatically saving time and money. . But installing the solution is only the first step. A framework of permissions is key to clearly define who needs access to what, ensuring secure documents are properly protected.
Be the Digital Hero
As an IT leader, you bear the additional title of “Innovation Driver”—the one who keeps the house in order and oversees how your fellow employees perceive and act within their digital work environment. Take the first step toward a new paperless (or paper-lite) world and help your company reap the full benefits of digital transformation.