Document Management & Modern Workplace Trends

Research by the International Data Corporation (IDC), published in a report entitled “Are your business processes stifling your market opportunity? Cost-efficient print and document management through smart MFPs”, has revealed a number of crucial workplace trends. Businesses and their work environments are evolving, with recent years showing huge increases in the volume of data received by businesses. The IDC predicts that this growth in data access capability and delivery will continue into future years, occurring at rates yielding approximately six-fold increases every five years. While this vast trove of data can be an incredible resource for businesses, it won’t necessarily make things easier; it will only be beneficial if accessed and utilized as efficiently as possible.

When we talk about efficiency, we are applying the term to two different aspects of business: cost-efficiency (associated with saving money) and time-efficiency (associated with productivity). Both are equally important in running an effective business. Thus, as the IDC’s report reveals, another of our key workplace trends will involve balancing cost reductions with increases in productivity—a challenging balance to achieve. Smart use of effective technologies, such as the multi-function printers touted in the IDC’s report and the electronic document management system (EDMS) offered by Biel’s, is often the best way to achieve this balance.

How so? Technologies such as EDMS streamline a business’s document management and data practices. They prevent “wild document chases,” in which valuable time is wasted searching through file cabinets for elusive paper files. The IDC estimates that “the typical enterprise with 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $2.5 million to $3.5 million per year searching for nonexistent information, failing to find existing information, or recreating information that can’t be found.” Professional services network Coopers & Lybrand reports that “professionals spend 5-15% of their time reading information, but up to 50% looking for it.” Manually filling out data fields is another poor use of time and energy that employees could better direct towards more specialized and important responsibilities. Using paper as the medium of one’s business documents, then, is a source of less-than-ideal productivity.

The switch to an EDMS, which replaces paper files with electronic documents in a secure, easily-accessible digital system, saves time for employees to use on more specialized tasks. This, in turn, results in more efficient business procedures, enhanced productivity, and significant returns on investment.

The IDC’s report identifies an additional workplace trend: the expansion of a mobile workforce. The IDC estimates that 2018 will see 75% of employees working from mobile devices at home, on the road, or from customer areas. A predominantly mobile workforce will necessitate access to data and business documents from anywhere in the world—a need being met by innovative Cloud technologies, into which document management software is being integrated more and more. The workplace trends we are seeing today—from data increases and shifts to a mobile workforce to balances in cost and time efficiencies—are always supported by effective innovations in technology.