Use the Cloud to Transition Your Workplace to a Paperless Office

Wadih Pazos October 1, 2021

Use the Cloud to Transition Your Workplace to a Paperless Office
Document Management
Blog
The idea of the paperless office has been floating around for decades now, but for the first time ever, it appears as though the business world might actually be on the cusp of widely implementing the concept. Advancements in cloud computing have opened up new doors for IT departments, and in an increasingly globalized economy, the ability to transmit information instantly to remote destinations is proving to be a major asset for enterprises.

The majority of businesses are using the cloud for infrastructure

In January, RightScale released its fourth annual State of the Cloud survey, in which it polled 930 IT professionals regarding the extent to which their organizations have successfully implemented cloud solutions. The most telling result was that 82 percent of respondents reported that their enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy for IaaS, an increase of 8 percent from 2014’s survey.


While this figure might be cause for some initial concern, the report also found that the IT executives surveyed generally think there is plenty of room to grow – 55 percent said that at least another 20 percent of their applications are built on infrastructure that is conducive to cloud implementation, indicating that many organizations are planning ahead for the inevitable cloud expansion in business.
In addition, the study found that 88 percent of those surveyed are using public cloud solutions in some capacity, while 63 percent indicated use of private cloud services. However, despite this apparently widespread usage, the source also unearthed a fact that shows the relatively slow growth within the sector – 68 percent of respondents said their companies manage less than 20 percent of their total workloads using the cloud.

The dream of the paperless office is finally accessible 

MacWorld Australia contributor Anthony Caruana offered several tips for organizations looking to go paperless with their IT strategies. The first aspect that he stressed was ensuring that employees are on board with the transition. This could potentially involve hosting educational seminars, training sessions and feedback-oriented questionnaires in order to establish the basics and bring the whole staff up to speed with the new software that will serve as a replacement for legacy systems. Caruana cautioned that there will likely be a period of growing pains as workers become acclimated with the new technology – for many, abandoning paper will come as a shock initially. Over time, however, a cloud-based paperless system should serve to increase workplace efficiency and streamline operations.

Perhaps the most critical aspect of implementing new software is ensuring that it works well, Caruana suggested. If an organization chooses to invest in systems that do not necessarily address its specific requirements and actually complicate operations, then the investment has been made in vain. The author recommended seeking solutions that are compatible and can be used together to form a customized cloud infrastructure. He asserted that buying the supposed “best” software will not always yield the best results – businesses often have very different requirements, and one size does not necessarily fit all.Caruana pointed out that, despite an organization’s best efforts, it is impossible to completely eliminate paper from the office. This is due in large part to incoming mail, including important documents sent from customers, suppliers and the bank. Not everyone has made the paperless conversion yet, so companies will have to make sure they have an appropriate system for processing physical documents and storing them digitally.

For the first time since the idea was dreamt of, the paperless office can actually be a practical strategy in the business world. Companies that look to implement it should approach the situation from the perspective of how to best suit their individualized needs.

Wadih Pazos

Wadih founded PairSoft and PaperSave, and he currently advises non-profits on business process improvement and technology.

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