Over the past decade, there has been a break between emerging technologies and the continued need for old methods of business operations. Paper based documents have been the standard for a very long time. Now however, as technology works towards a more efficient means of handling and organizing documents, many organizations are making the switch to electronic content management (ECM).
The biggest change that organizations fear with document management and ECM systems is the switch towards a paperless office. This however, is a bit deceiving. There are many procedures that must be carried out on paper still, as other technologies have not emerged as a more efficient means of doing things. The concept of a paperless office is more cutting out unnecessary printing such as the mass preprinting of forms and making the switch to on demand printing. This process means that you only print forms as needed and thus only use what you need.
Many organizations are finding themselves in a hybrid system of both paper and electronic filing formats. This can lead to confusion and an actual decrease in efficiency when not implemented correctly. Consistency for both physical and digital records should be the goal for these organizations. Other means of increasing efficiency include consolidating multiple computer systems into a fully functional integrated system of electronic content management.
A problem that many of the hybrid system organizations are running into now however is a decreased overall efficiency due to multiple systems being put in place. This leads organizations into risks, especially if documents are lost due to this inefficient system. Lost documents that are necessary to exonerate an organization when in disputes with business partners, employees, customers, etc. could lead to unfavorable judgments in these cases.
Consistency within an organization is the best means of working into a more efficient system of organizing documents. Increasingly organizations can’t afford to be put into situations that could have been avoided by simply switching to a more effective means of document management.
Internally, organizations must have a system of check and balances instituted to ensure that businesses are not exposed to external liability. Documents must be protected from alteration, theft, and premature destruction. Electronic content management systems allow for increased security on sensitive documents. Access to documents is limited to those who need them, which decreases the risk of tampering.
Businesses today are finding increased issues with running hybrid systems of record management. The key to controlling your documents and records is implementing a system that can help you to manage these hybrid systems. ECM helps ease of access, while also restricting unnecessary access of files to those who do not have the correct permissions. Money is saved due to increased efficiency, and you help to protect your organization in times of trouble.