As new electronic document management technologies emerge, paper-based information management is fast becoming obsolete. By facilitating and securing file storage, access and exchange, these digital solutions are revolutionizing business process automation and workflow capabilities.
Recent research by Adobe Systems revealed that U.S. managers of small, medium and large businesses around the globe have negative attitudes toward traditional, paper-based processes. The major benefits cited to a completely digital workflow included going green, strengthening information security and attracting new talent. Jon Perera, vice president of EchoSign at Adobe, commented on the findings.
"Printers, scanners and fax machines are killing business productivity," he said. "Successful organizations are quickly moving towards paperless-based approaches for their critical business processes. This is about driving revenue, cutting costs, improving security and reducing environmental impact."
More than half of managers believe that digital technologies simplify work and 32 percent stated that these workflows allow their businesses to be more efficient. Moreover, 61 percent of these businesses said working in an electronic system offers their firm cost savings. All of these benefits have given enterprises with an EDM a competitive edge with clients, promoting growth.
Data protection is another primary reason for a digital conversion: 56 percent of respondents cited fears of losing important paper documents, and 60 percent believe that password-protected electronic records are more secure.
Overall, Adobe's report found a general trend of preference toward working for a company committed to paperless initiatives. In fact, 71 percent of respondents said they wish their company was more digital and 68 percent said the ability to operate mainly electronically as opposed to on paper is an important factor when deciding where to work.
A paperless reality
The financial services and insurance industries have especially embraced the idea of a paperless office, according to Biztech. The source reported that The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) is attempting to completely digitize U.S. financial markets by 2015. While stocks and mutual funds have already been converted to an electronic format, insurance policies are the next phase of these initiatives. Biztech revealed that the paper-based system had become logistically impossible, causing such significant delays that the bottom line was impacted. Electronic management of records is expected to lower costs and increase convenience from reduced paperwork per transaction.
Going paperless can allow for greater transparency and speed in every step of records management processes, and will continue to be a differentiator in a competitive marketplace that depends on utmost efficiency.
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