The term “going paperless” sounded almost fairytale-like as recently as a decade ago. However, paperless workplaces are not just increasingly commonplace—in many industries, that transition could be mandated. Granted, there are some situations where a 100% paperless transition isn’t possible. However, in most enterprise environments, paperless document management systems are far more cost-effective and secure than bulky and manual-heavy paper filing systems. 


With modern cloud platforms satisfying privacy and encryption requirements, it’s more cost effective than ever to completely transition paper archives and filing systems to an electronic document management system. That doesn’t mean that doing so doesn’t often face internal objections and concerns. What are the most common and how can you address them? 

Security and Encryption Concerns

Let’s start with what is often the largest arena of concern for department heads and leadership: Security. Understandably, if you manage sensitive information (e.g. financial and/or health records), your team is going to be protective of that data. Hacking, digital theft, and so forth are on the rise.

However, it’s worth pointing out that cloud systems are inherently secure, but people often aren’t. Providing the right training is a good start. In other words, reminding your team that your enterprise security starts and stops with their behavior. The simpler and clearer the rules (like telling your people not to take work laptops on vacation), the more likely they are to be followed. Make sure that you also follow common-sense internal protocols, like setting up firewalls that block social media and personal email accounts from your internal network. 

Also, setting up important fail-safes like two-factor authentication and other simple, common protocols ensures that your encrypted files won’t fall into the wrong hands. 

Work with a document management services provider that:

  • Offers cloud-based solutions that are HIPAA compliant
  • Can customize security layers and encryption appropriate for your specific needs
  • Recommends security protocols (e.g., two-factor authentication) to ensure your data remains secure

Too Hard to Ingest or Manage Large Paper Archives

People often simply get attached to what they know. Even if a workaround is time-consuming, inefficient, and more expensive than a newer alternative, that alternative can come up against resistance simply because it’s new.

When your staff is accustomed to working with a large paper archive, even if that archive is costly to store, hard to access, or susceptible to damage (water, fire, etc.), they may still be protective of it because they know how it works. 

Outside of “fear of the unknown,” another big obstacle to a digital transformation is the concern that digitizing a paper archive just isn’t possible. By working with an enterprise document management provider that’s already addressed similar volumes and projects for large organizations (including government agencies), the project will be fully managed and streamlined so it’s no longer overwhelming or a source of anxiety for the staff. 

Cloud platforms and document management systems facilitate more convenience and access for everyone. 

  • Electronic documents provide a single source of truth, rather than multiple copies and confusing versioning protocols
  • Revising and editing electronic documents is almost always easier and faster 
  • Electronic archives are searchable and offer better redundancy
  • Paper documents can still be stored offsite for the appropriate circumstances and legal requirements (only far less of them) 

Integration and Infrastructure

Building the requisite technical infrastructure for large IT platforms used to be cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming. Cloud platforms are managed offsite, allowing you to outsource the cost of the physical technology as well as the resources needed to manage and update software. 

With this additional flexibility, your partner will offer the additional training as well as server space you need, negating your need for a big spend on hardware and internal talent. 

Disruption to Workflows

Your staff is understandably protective of their overall productivity. Even if the new system will reduce cost and errors and improve automation, the idea of taking everything apart (and stifling normal activity) can feel like a massive risk.

A nuanced transition doesn’t have to be utterly disruptive. In fact, working with a team that has successfully transitioned other organizations will identify opportunities for workflow improvements, as well as cost savings. Within a matter of weeks, when you work with an experienced knowledge partner, you can:

  • Lower costs
  • Boost productivity and customer satisfaction
  • Increase ROI
  • Scale instantly 
  • Integrate with existing CRMs and productivity tools (Salesforce, HubSpot, Office, etc.)

QFlow’s Tailored Approach

When we work with new clients (and we have worked with both private enterprise firms and large government agencies, including the USDA), we start with a consultative approach. As your partner, we implement a strategy only after meeting with all of your stakeholders to understand what challenges and solutions need to be addressed. 

We invest the necessary time and intelligence to establish the right structures and taxonomies for your content, so your employees find documents quickly and accurately. Our automated workflow solutions address specific problems unique to your industry and organization. 

For companies that are obligated to adhere to strict retention regulations, we can also automate record disposal for better compliance and accuracy. We launch the system on your schedule, training the staff thoroughly as we go. 

Ready to learn more about how QFlow can truly make your environment paperless? Request a Demo today.

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