It’s no secret that today’s workforce is making every effort to take business paperless. In some cases, businesses have been forced to make the change due to the pandemic. Others have made the change due to environmental concerns, financial concerns, or both. More and more companies are seeing the many advantages of going paperless.
We spoke to one such business, Allcott Associates, based in the U.K. As founding partner Kim Allcott tells us, not only is it easier and more efficient, but going paperless has also added several layers of security to their sensitive files. See our interview below to learn more.
Paper Usage is Actually on the Rise
It may seem counterintuitive in the digital age to hear that paper use is actually increasing year over year. Even with all of our computers, tablets, and smartphones, the average office worker will still use roughly 10,000 pieces of paper annually. In addition to that figure, it’s also estimated that 45% of that paper will end up in the trash by the end of the day.
It’s true that we may not be able to eliminate the use of paper in our lifetime, but we can reduce the amount that goes to waste. The EPA estimates that paper makes up the largest percentage of waste in our landfills each year. Various studies put that amount at somewhere between 23%-26%. With many offices being able to resume in-person activities, it’s estimated that paper usage will rise by about 7.2% in 2021.
Decrease Data Loss, Increase Security & Efficiency
If environmental reasons aren’t a concern for your company, consider the security advantages of a paperless business. As Kim points out, being digital allows her to limit who can access certain files and from what machines. It also adds more security by requiring unique passwords for each employee. As people come and go from a business, access can be adjusted with just a few clicks.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) also allows her business to add one more step to the process. MFA requires two or more verification factors before granting access. This can be a text to your phone, an email, a fingerprint, or any number of things aside from just a password. This makes it much more difficult for an outside influence to gain access to your files.
Kim is also quick to mention that paper copies greatly increase the risk of files being misplaced or stolen. It’s not that file cabinets are insecure, it’s the human error of forgetting to put files away. If a briefcase is stolen, the files go with it. On the other hand, if a computer is stolen, that machine and its access can be disabled remotely. Having MFA in place will also make it much harder for a bad actor to gain access. It’s just one more obstacle that can aid in preventing criminal activity.
In terms of efficiency, going paperless also has huge advantages. Many businesses are opting to use cloud services and document scanning services, so employees can access files from anywhere at any time. This makes all of your files accessible instantly, and any changes will be updated in the cloud. A study by The Economic Times in 2019 found that 25% of employee’s time is wasted looking for files they need. Going paperless can nearly eliminate that time wasted by indexing files and logging all updates in real-time.
Make Compliance Easier
In 2016 the E.U. passed the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. GDPR is one of the largest and most comprehensive overhauls to the way data is stored, managed, and protected. The fines and penalties that go along with violating it can be astounding. Going paperless has made complying with data laws much simpler in Kim’s opinion. Eliminating her paper files is just one less thing to worry about.
Although the United States doesn’t currently adhere to GDPR domestically; It’s commonly believed that the U.S. will likely undergo some form of long sweeping overhaul similar to GDPR in the near future. Although the U.S. already has a number of laws dictating the way data needs to be handled, they’re still considered piecemeal compared to GDPR.
Even if it takes a few years for these laws to be enacted, it’ll be worth it to be prepared. Until that happens, paperless business practices can help you be compliant with any and all current laws and regulations (HIPAA, FACTA, etc). Whether you’re making the switch to save time, money, or resources, the benefits far outweigh the minor hurdle of getting started.
Get Started Today
There are numerous advantages to taking your business paperless. Nearly every business we’ve spoken with has embraced the change. Their only regret so far seems to be not having made the switch sooner.
Let Record Nations connect you with service providers in your area to help make the transition smooth and worry-free. Start the process by filling out the form, using the live chat button, or giving us a call at (866) 385-3706. Afterward, you’ll receive quotes from top professionals in your area, and you can choose the best option for your business needs.