Going paperless: 6 hurdles it’s high time to overcome !
Published on 22 November 2017
Even though going paperless is the first step in a company’s digital transformation, many companies have yet to venture down this path. Why? Fears and hesitations are blocking digitalization from spreading in businesses. Here are a few tips to help you overcome these fears.
1. A die-hard reliance on paper
Going paperless may be a shock for long-time users of paper. Whether this hesitation stems from deeply rooted habits or an attachment to physical documents, it stands in the way of certain companies deploying new work methods.
To assist companies in this change, the corporate mindset must be entirely reinvented to include digital processes. The idea is to spark a movement, a transition into going paperless for which digitalizing data is a must.
2. Costs and time
Companies do not always have the time or resources to launch a digitalization project, which requires investing in tools and cloud services in order to ensure that the information systems and processes to be automated are properly accounted for.
This investment, nonetheless, yields significant results. Using paperless invoices, for example, reduces processing times and improves the major financial indicators, mainly DSO and DPO. This also significantly reduces costs. With the solutions offered by Generix Group, you save on average €6 for each invoice issued and €10 for each invoice received.
3. Organizational obstacles and impacts
Digitalizing data requires reorganizing work methods, gaining expertise and upgrading methods. This training and adaptation period can generate frustration as some employees might feel they are losing authority or responsibility, which can lead to decreased productivity.
However, deploying a digitalization solution has many positive effects: automated transactions, fewer disputes, greater visibility, better management of document life cycles, improved data security and integrity, faster information exchanges, improved data quality, etc.
In order to do this, you ideally need to break down silos and move directly to a more agile system that would allow all departments to increase their efficiency and collaborative efforts.
4. Fear of losing control
Companies are under major pressure to automate and standardize their operations. From this pressure comes the fear of losing control over certain tasks as a result of automating processes.
Some employees are thus wary of digitalization as they fear software will be taking all the decisions for them. However, electronic data interchange solutions (EDI) for example can be easily coupled with validation workflows. As such, it would be impossible to validate a task without approval from the person in charge.
5. Online data breaches
Another obstacle that prevents companies from going paperless is the fear that their data stored online in a cloud could be breached.
Digitalization solutions are however equipped with systems for securing data. For example, certain electronic exchanges can be adjusted according to the level of document confidentiality and security needed.
In any case, the security solutions applied to digital documents go far beyond any manual measures that could be applied to physical documents: data encryption, integrity management, probative value storage, authentication management, access traceability, etc.
6. Lack of legal understanding
Digitalization no longer depends on the size of a company. When regulations exist, they apply to everything: digital B2G invoices, pay slips and tax declarations, etc. At best, the deployment schedule takes into account the size of a company as one of the foundations.
This is how, in France, for instance, the Chorus Pro project works. This government program forces companies to digitally bill their public sector clients by following a schedule that varies according to company size. And these measures may inspire some other countries to do the same.