blogs & Things

From Paper Based To Cutting Edge… With Zero Downtime

The ideal of a paperless office is one which can seem overwhelming for an organisation to achieve. When faced with the task of acquiring all that new equipment and software and then learning new skills on top of that… it can make the idea of going paperless seem more of a hassle it’s worth.

The thing is though, despite these perceived roadblocks, the shift from paper-based to paper-FREE is always worth it.


What Does a Paperless Office Look Like?

Well to start with… there’ll be a lot less clutter!

Have you ever walked into an office and seen stacks of paper perched at the end of desks, ready to be manually processed? Don’t you find it stressful to have all that loose paper, no matter how neatly piled, just ready to have coffee spilled on it, or blown away by a strong breeze? It’s not only inefficient but it’s also a GDPR nightmare and your people will thank you if you make it so they don’t have to look at those overstuffed filing cabinets ever again.

It makes it easier to access important data!

Talking of stacks and stacks of paper – your people having to sift through each stack to find one invoice is unproductive, time-consuming and beyond frustrating for all involved. A digitised office allows for a seamless workflow where everything is backed up and easily retrievable in the cloud.


Why Bother Going Paperless?

Let’s start with the environmental impact…

You don’t really need us to tell you that a paperless office is less harmful to the environment than a paper-based office. It’s not just down to the lack of paper waste though – a cloud-based infrastructure means less waste in hardware and data centres, using less energy which ultimately means burning fewer fossil fuels… a win-win for everyone!

It offers HUGE automation benefits…

By removing the manual effort of endless spreadsheets and invoice reminders, automation frees up your peoples’ time by removing the disruption of invoice reminders.

Even keying information into a computer takes effort and introduces human errors – a typo here or mishearing someone over the phone, all kinds of things could get in the way of correct data input.

Leading on from that, if all your data is on paper then it can’t be analysed and sorted without massive amounts of manual effort, no one can respond in real time to anything, and transparency and knowledge sharing between departments is nigh on impossible, resulting in an organisation which can’t communicate with itself.

Paperless offices are more accessible…

You may not realise it but some of the people in your office are having to work twice as hard to complete a task because they have no fine motor skills, or they’re struggling to read handwriting because it’s too small. A digitised platform built with accessibility in mind will have considered the types of end users on the other end of the application and will be designed so the font can be enlarged, buttons made big enough so that there’s no mis-clicks and screen readers can easily relay the information on the screen.

Security First…

The obvious (only) choice for security is passwords and encryption. When you have paper flying about everywhere, you don’t know what eyes are looking at what spreadsheet, leaving your organisation vulnerable to GDPR breaches and personal information becoming not-so-personal.

It offers improved resilience and future proofing.

In a paper-based office, there are countless ways those papers can get destroyed irretrievably. The worst doesn’t even need to happen to cause a catastrophic outcome for the business, you just need a slightly too humid climate to make those records unreadable.

However, organisations that store all their data in the cloud will have back-ups. Even if their hardware crashes, or everyone has to work from home, the business won’t have to come to a screeching halt.

It’s also a safe way to archive your data, meaning you always have an easily accessible audit trail.


Who Benefits From Implementation?

Your people benefit, first and foremost. They have the time to spend on other, more productive tasks in your organisation and focussing on the things that really matter.

Your members are also main beneficiaries, as most people expect a paperless experience these days and showing you’ve invested in creating a tailored, digital experience leads to higher member retention.

And don’t forget the priorities – who in the department needs to go digital first? Do you do digital all at once, or paper and portal and then all portal?

Implementing the Power Platform and the Cloud allows peace of mind that your data is being stored safely, and storage can be scaled up or down depending on the demands of the organisation.

cloudThing’s Teleportal is an accelerator that delivers bespoke user-portals which are tailored to the user who logs in and are rendered quickly. The portals are pre-integrated with Dataverse for a swiftly built and targeted experience.

Any organisation – membership, NonProfit, even an educational body, benefits from the Teleportal as it provides the ability to streamline the development of new portals and new functionality on existing portals and deliver Power Platform back-end solutions without the technical debt. It allows client-side rendering to reduce unacceptable back-end wait.

cloudThing makes the shift to digital a seamless and painless transition by taking your organisation along the journey every step of the way.

Step one involves gathering all the stakeholders to discuss the process. All future end-users are involved in this discussion, not just C-level executives and management – we consider the pain points of all people involved in the operations of the business.

Step two is more of a reminder to not go into the transformation process expecting to completely revolutionise all of the processes. You’ll run the risk of leaving staff members behind by doing a total over-haul of the workflows. Instead, cloudThing will help you map out existing paper-based processes and convert them to a paper-free digital workflow that ensures no one is left behind.

Step three, more mapping. This time it’s to lay out where all your data is currently stored. Do you have it all in one central location? Or is it all scattered to the wind over several office locations? In order migrate all your data into one system it’s important to map out exactly where all your data is.

Step four, quite an important one – digitising all of the files. This can be done either internally or outsourced and both have their pros and cons. Internally is cheaper, but by having staff members scan the documents themselves they will be pulled away from their tasks until all the documents are in. On the other hand, outsourcing has a higher upfront cost but will cause less disruption. It’s up to your organisation to decide which solution will work best for them!

Finally, step five is deciding who will be able to access what data and from where. Basically, once all the mapping and digitisation happens, individual users will be set up with logins based on their security credentials, from there they will be taken to a tailored dashboard with access to all the workflows they need.

cloudThing makes the shift to digital a seamless and painless transition. We do all the hard work before you press the switch over button, so all your people need to do is pick up where they left off – with less stress on their shoulders.


Interested in being paper-free? Email us and we’ll take you from paper based to cutting edge, seamlessly.


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