Will COVID-19 Usher in the Era of the Paperless Office?
Now that millions of Americans are working from home, among the first-hand discoveries many people are likely to be making is the limitation imposed on their organizations by dependence on hard-copy documentation. That's because despite the availability of sound, secure technologies that enable digital access to written, typed, and recorded data, significant numbers of businesses and other entities continue to lean heavily on paper when it comes to getting information down and conveyed. The coronavirus pandemic has done much to show up this reliance for what it is: a mistake.
COVID-19 Challenges Hit the File Storage Room Hard
With stay-at-home orders still in place in the majority of the U.S., access to centrally stored paper files is not merely inconvenient, but disallowed (and potentially punishable by fine, if not done correctly). Who knows what additional opportunities a business might have had over the past few weeks and months had all its important files been digital and quickly accessible by teleworking team members?
"Companies were caught with their pants down" when the pandemic hit, Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, recently told Vox.com. "Companies where the technology and culture were aligned with working from home were more successful in working from home than others.”
Now is a good time for those organizations that have yet to digitize their files to reevaluate company needs and get on board with cost-effective data solutions. Below, we delve into five ways a solid, cloud-based document management platform can better equip companies for what's very likely to come as a result of the coronavirus outbreak: a significantly larger remote workforce than we've ever had previously.
Instant, Simultaneous Availability Anytime, Anywhere
When organizations have their data digitized in a cloud-hosted content management system such as Canopy, Ripcord's proprietary digitization platform, they don't have to wait for the documents they need. Canopy allows huge volumes of structured and unstructured data alike to be scanned, indexed, classified, and then made quickly searchable by users.
A remote workforce poses no challenge when Canopy is in play. Not only can hundreds of specific documents be called up with a few keystrokes, but multiple people can view the same documents simultaneously, on any connected device. It doesn't matter if these coworkers in the same time zone, let alone office space. Plus, collaborating on document changes can promote teamwork.
Efficiency off the Charts
Going paperless (or as close to it as possible) by using a cloud-based data management system significantly boosts an entity's efficiency and organization quotient. Instead of being lost in the piles of other paper on a colleague's messy desk, wedged in the pages of a binder or book, or misfiled in a cabinet somewhere, a document containing vital information for a company is forever in its proper place once it's digitized in a cloud-based instance such as Canopy. What's more, lengthy, unproductive (and costly) physical searches for specific paper documentation become a thing of the past.
Social Distancing Made Effortless
Perhaps, even in this time of shelter-in-place orders, it's feasible for important paper documentation to be physically transferred from one coworker to another. That doesn't make it wise. While so much remains unknown about the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it is "a sticky virus," according to Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and it has been shown to live on cardboard for up to 24 hours. So why take the risk of contaminating oneself or coworkers by sharing paper documents? A cloud-based document management system means social distancing gets maintained, with no face mask required.
There's no question about it: digital documentation is more secure than paper. Encryption in Canopy, for example, scrambles any data that a would-be cyber interloper may attempt to view. Thus, information stored in RIpcord's highly secure center is unreadable except by those who have been granted explicit permission. Further, Canopy has tailorable administrator controls, so accessibility level can be made bespoke for each user within an organization.
Going paperless also eliminates the more obvious security risk of losing or leaving out paper documents for non-organization members to find.
Money Savings Galore
Whether they're in elegant cherrywood file cabinets in corner offices, in their own room in cardboard boxes or offsite in a storage unit, there's no question that housing paper files costs money. Lengthy searches for specific documents, the exact location of which no company employee can remember, also eats up cash, this time in the form of wasted human resources (and that's if the search is successful). Finally, there's the loss of any potential revenue that could have stemmed from locating a specific document or piece of data at the time an opportunity presented itself.
With Canopy, organizations that have gone fully remote due to the coronavirus can refocus their efforts on growth, not just recovery.
Ripcord Can Help
We're on a mission at Ripcord to digitize the world. Our proprietary cloud software, Canopy, enables the instantaneous categorization, indexing, search and retrieval of every part of an entity's scanned documentation. We're digitizing Earth, industry by industry. Contact us today to learn how to unleash the power of your data.