This is a guest post by Oscar King – a small business owner and freelance writer who contributes articles and insight into running an effective and smooth office. Learn more about his organizational skills on his Google+ profile.
Many businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of a paperless organization in terms of productivity, cost savings and increased workplace efficiency. As a result, many are actively moving their files and documents and converting them to digital formats that they can use at work.
But, because of the nature of the documents, man’s resistance to change and a few other factors, making the transition from a paper-based organization to a paperless one takes time. You also have to properly categorize the documents and move them in batches.
However, many organizations attempt to rush the process and end up making a few dangerous mistakes. In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the common mistakes made by companies while trying to go paperless.
1. Hasty Disorderly Transition.
For many companies transitioning to paperless offices, cost savings and efficiency is a priority. As a result, they tend to hasten the process resulting in lost files, missing documents and chaos in the office.
Naturally this ends up costing the business more in costs, productivity and results –and is probably one of the reasons some companies abandon their quest for a paperless office. So, to avoid the utter “carnage”, do the transition in bits or batches.
Unless you have a really small operation, you cannot make the transition in days or even weeks. A smoother and seamless transition often takes at least 3 months of gradually converting those files to the digital format. So, adjust your expectations and timeline accordingly.
2. No OCR Integration.
OCR simply means Optical Character Recognition. That’s geek-speak for a software that automatically recognizes every scanned file and converts them to the preferred format. Think of it as an “interpreter” between your scanned file and your paperless software.
Many companies opt for paperless software that either do not have OCR or have an OCR technology that’s a hit or miss at best. As a result, some of their stored documents become unintelligible. You want to avoid this by all means.
What you want is a paperless software like Lucion’s Filecenter that comes with a 100 percent reliable OCR. This way, all your files will be converted and viewable without any problems.
3. Inadequate Backup System.
Some businesses in their haste to migrate their operations often forget to get a comprehensive data backup plan. So, their documents end up being stored on local disks and hard drives. This is dangerous because those devices can become corrupted, the disks can fail and the company be engulfed in flames.
Having your data on all these local devices alone is no different from having the papers in the office. Once you lose those files, they are gone forever… unless you have a cloud and remote storage system.
Your paperless software therefore, must also provide adequate backups of your files. If possible, it should automatically sync all your documents to the cloud without you having to initiate the upload. This is the best way to keep your files secure and safe.
4. Poor or Absent Encryption Practices.
Most organizations have very lax security protocols that leave their data vulnerable to breaches and hacking by cyber criminals. Most just assume that all they need as long as their files aren’t in transit, it’s okay to leave them as they are.
This is a very wrong and dangerous perspective because it leaves your company information wide open to theft. You should start using standard 256-bit encryption technology for sensitive documents at the very least.
Not just for your in-office documents, but those documents in transit too. If you’ll be moving some files onto your thumb drive, make sure they’re encrypted and the thumb drive itself passworded.
Now that you know most of these mistakes, avoid them and make sure that you follow the outlined suggestions to get the most out of your migration to a paperless office. Good luck.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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