Moving away from paper and towards a different way of storing information can seem daunting for any business that has established practices of working. The reality, however, is that the disruption to working patterns can be minimal and that the shift to a new way of working can be very smooth.

Time and space saving

The benefits of paperless solutions for small businesses that may be short of physical space and time can be great. The need for bulky filing cabinets, or even separate rooms filled with paperwork, can be removed, freeing up valuable space to be utilised in more productive ways.

The time spent looking for documents, and maybe even transporting them between locations, can also be saved as files can be accessed with just a few simple clicks.

Save money

As well as saving storage space and time spent locating documents, you can also save money on paper, printing, postage, ink and storage cabinets. Printing costs alone can be substantial in an office which uses a lot of paper. In fact, printing costs are usually the third highest expense for businesses, behind rent and payroll.

Environmental impact

Not only will your company feel the benefits of going paperless through reduced costs, but you’ll also be improving your impact on the environment. Most of us are finding ways to be greener and one way we can do that is to reduce the need for paper around the office. 

A document management system will hold all your data in one place and can eliminate the need for paper files. Whether you are obtaining ISO14001 to reduce your environmental impact as a company or would just like to do your bit, a DMS can help.

Vulnerabilities of paper

Paper, by its very nature, can be subject to a number of problems which can cause issues for small businesses. Paper may become damaged by unpredictable events such as flooding or fires. The natural wear to which frequently used paper is subject to can mean that items quickly become unusable or illegible. Employees may cause accidental damage, and items can be lost, either by carelessness or malicious intent.

Moving away from paper-based information can help to reduce the risk of vital documentation being subject to any of the vulnerabilities of paper.

GDPR implications

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will replace the Data Protection Act (DPA) in May 2018 will mean small businesses need to make some changes to their practices in order to comply. 

An important part of GDPR is known as ‘the right to erasure’, which states that individuals can request that any information held on them by a business be removed if there is no compelling reason for it to be retained. Finding and removing this from paper documents may be difficult and time-consuming, but is rendered incredibly easy if a document management system is being used.

Searches for information can be quick and thorough, and removing items can be done easily and permanently. There will be no risk that paperwork has been missed, or that duplicates have been made unknowingly.

Easy transition

Making a move away from paperwork need not be difficult, or require a total disruption of established ways of working.

Watermark Technologies’ document management solutions retain the things that organisations like about paper, namely the look and flexibility – whatever business they operate in.

The web-hosted solution, Papercloud, requires no installation or maintenance but is accessed via the internet and continually updated; the transition towards its use is smooth and easy. It is simple and intuitive to use, easy to access, safe & secure, as well as GDPR compliant.

Any data that a business has can be imported directly onto it, and cross-platform compatibility means that any device can access Papercloud.

High levels of safety, which include multi-layered data security encryption, backups, individual user logins and ransomware resilience, means that peace of mind exists too as the move away from paperwork to a document management system begins.

Making the move to becoming a paperless office will help you become a more efficient business, saving time and eliminating the risk of document loss or damage. Crucially, it will ensure that you comply with the compulsory GDPR, with the deadline looming on 25th May 2018.

You can find out more on our blog about the benefits of a document management system and why you should use one.

Take the first steps towards going paperless and contact Watermark Technologies today.    

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