Paperless Office – Reality or Myth?

The term “paperless office” goes back to the 1970s. Back then, it was rather a prediction, some fantastic idea that was supposed to turn into reality in 40 years.

Forty years later, we can see how much has changed. Considering the development of digital technologies, the term paperless office is mentioned more and more often. Many companies and environmental protection activists promote the idea of an intelligent future office where operation processes are run with maximum efficiency while being in line with corporate social responsibility.

For example, in 2013, the “Paperless Coalition”—which consists of such service providers as Google Drive, HelloFax, Manilla, HelloSign, Expensify, Xero, and Fujitsu ScanSnap—was created. The new campaign aims to introduce business users to the advantages of the paperless office and efficient resources that allow businesses to reduce paper use and “save time, money, and trees.”

The idea of a paperless office is not flawless. Today, you can come across a number of pro and con arguments. Fundamentally, it has less to do with the implementation of such a model and more to do with whether a business user needs to have evidence of the existence of documents or transactions. In other words, some companies need a “paper trail” to protect themselves.

However, today, nobody denies that electronic technologies can significantly change companies’ operations and business processes. Their sensible use frees employees from labor-intensive work with paper documents, which ultimately improves their performance. Even if a completely paperless environment is still an unreachable goal, striving for it makes good sense. Everything required to achieve this goal is available—the tools we have today allow every company to implement their daily operating processes without printing a single sheet of paper.

Many companies are familiar with such terms as “mobile office,” “mobile employee,” “BYOD,” and “cloud services,” and the use of these concepts brings the office workflow experience to a whole new level. A paperless office means optimization of the working environment by switching to e-document management, e-procurement, electronic archives, and electronic communication.

The advantages of replacing paper-based processes with electronic ones are obvious:

  • Provides access to required information at any time and any place, allowing for quick information searches
  • Promotes teamwork even when employees are outside the office
  • Allows the remote management of tasks, assignments, and projects and allows managers to track status in real time
  • Enables a higher level of information protection and security of access to confidential information
  • Saves on operational costs attributed to paper-document management, upkeep of personnel, etc.
  • Increases overall operational performance and the flexibility of workflow

Not to mention the fact that the reduction of paper use will have only a positive impact on our planet and will help to save natural resources.

Changes in the office workflow experience are not revolutionary. They are rather evolutionary and are connected to the gradual change of information flow within the office and the building of the intellectual infrastructure.

For many years, Auriga has been assisting companies that have decided to implement such changes. We have developed a great number of solutions that have allowed our customers to rebuild their business processes thanks to integrated solutions customized in accordance with their requirements.

These solutions include, among others, the following:

  • E-document management
  • Development of enterprise electronic reporting systems
  • Development of automated workstation systems
  • Automation of project and task tracking
  • Implementation of mobile employee program solutions
  • Development of mobile and web-clients for videoconference systems
  • Mobile banking
  • Mobile office in the cloud
  • Data protection in the cloud
  • Implementation of the digital signature module

Obviously, creating a paperless office should not become a goal in and of itself, because at this stage, without a relevant regulatory framework, it is hardly possible. The goal for each company should be creating an efficient office keeping in mind corporate social responsibility, which means saying “no” to the use of paper when possible. This is where Auriga can successfully apply its accumulated expertise to help companies optimize business processes to the greatest possible extent while building intelligent offices.