The cost of hard-drive storage and servers is at an all time low. The opportunity to send your information into the cloud is now completely viable with Australian suppliers of that solution; data transfer speed is at an all time high and certainly increasing with the rollout of the NBN.
So with that rolled out, basically you’ve got a situation where Organisations with satellite situations, even a three or four person office, medical center, whatever it maybe, if they’re not really looking at taking their paper-based records and making them digital and integrating the opportunity to access all of your Microsoft office data into a single source of information, I don’t know when it’s going to improve.
Basically all the elements are there, document scanning is the logical progression and the cheapest it’s ever been.
Document Management Applications are now available which are rules based repositories that have full Workflow capabilities and the ability to integrate with Microsoft Office so Excel, Outlook, PDF files, Scanned Images creating a single secure repository for all of the history of the organisation.
These applications have true workflow functionality embedded and rules based securitisation and retention of the information, so you can permit or lockout certain users, allocate certain levels of document security even within a particular file.
That strength in being able to fine tune accessibility for specific documents and users is just so powerful.
Once you get rid of the paper-based filing system, you’ve removed the opportunity for disaster. The opportunity of loss is now gone because you have basically secured it electronically via Tape or into the Cloud.
With the new document management applications, the information you’ve got within them are also available by PDA devices so your mobile phone or an iPad/Tablet. A tremendous benefit is having the ability to have remote staff that can still access all of the information and documents that they need to at their fingertips, that’s definitely a big plus for business these days.
You don’t have to have your staff locked at a desk in the office. With the cost of floor space in High-rise offices in Sydney and Melbourne you now have that ability to have staff working productively from home, you can downsize on your office area because you’re not occupying all of your floor’s space with filing cabinets.
Particularly when you want the best staff, to have solicitors, accountants, all of these very well qualified individuals being able to work potentially anywhere 24-7, significantly the Company they work for is giving them the flexibility to work anywhere, so they’re not tied to a desk, the days of locking people into a dedicated workspace scenario is declining.
If you can bring all of your record management protocols into this era, you’ve now got a situation where you can glue all your best staff to the organisation because they enjoy working there. You’ve taken all of the mundane filing work away. You’re not filing and retrieving from filing cabinets. It’s just a better methodology.
The other significant point that I’d love to make as to why now is the best time to change from a paper-based filling system to a wholly electronic environment is the situation of change management. If you went back a decade ago it was a real issue for organisations to make any modifications to how they were doing things.
At that point, if it wasn’t broke, don’t fix it was the mentality. That’s not the case now. If you’re not being innovative, you’re on the way to being in decline. The truth today is your staff is openly seeking technical change, filing and retrieving paper records is tedious and prone to misfiling and that’s just frustrating and frankly the most boring job in any workplace. People are seeking change. They are looking for easy access of information. If you can make them more productive, they will be happier.