The first step toward change often starts in our minds. We need to educate ourselves in order to change our habits. When it comes to the topic of paper, there’s a lot of change that still needs to happen in our organizations. Even having a responsibility to the environment and instituting green initiatives isn’t enough to reduce our reliance on paper. This challenge takes time and planning; going paperless isn’t a change that can happen overnight.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a drastic change. It can be an easy, gradual process that will bring huge benefits across the board. The number of ways you can start the process is vast, but the most common ways are to reduce resource usage, implement recycling policies and encourage employees to print less and to store more images.
You can start by addressing specific areas where the most paper is being used. Once you identify where or what processes are the most paper heavy, you can plan alternatives. Think of all the paperless ways we share information: reminders on our phones, notes on our computers and apps on our tablets. There are myriad ways to schedule meetings and other daily tasks that cut down on the amount of paper we use. Many businesses are finding that Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and document capture solutions are crucial to their environmental initiatives.
Also crucial to your business is the confidentiality and security of your data. There’s no room for error or risk of compromising documents. The security of your data is paramount to both you and your customers, and proper precautions should be made to ensure protection.
Do These Sound Familiar?
- I need to safeguard my data.
- Compliance requirements are keeping me up at night.
- I am at risk of being out-of-compliance and incurring fees.
- I am not cost effective in meeting my governance, regulatory or compliance requirements.
If you’re running all of your business processes on manual-based paper processes, then your documents and information are both unsecure and vulnerable to natural elements. With increasing levels of compliance regulations and required audits, both internal and external, keeping track of necessary documents is more important than ever. This is hard to do with paper and your business is risking both compromised data that could result in lawsuits and negative repercussions.
A well-thought-out ECM solution can ease minds and facilitate audits and other compliance requirements. Solutions come with extensive security options and workflow capabilities that help to streamline your manual, human error-prone processes to ensure data protection. Not only does ECM help you to be more environmentally friendly, it protects you from security threats.
Change begins when we change our mindset with the goal to make our business better. It should be everyone’s goal to be efficient and environmentally friendly. The technologies are there to help you and all of us.
Joanne Novak is a program manager at Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. and is responsible for program development with the company’s Business Intelligence groups, including the Intelligent Information Management (IIM) practice. Her responsibilities are to build sales and customer-facing educational and thought leadership insights as well as strategic initiatives for IIM.