A successful paperless office initiative requires thorough planning and informed decisions about what system to use and how to roll out the technology for maximum impact.
That strategic planning process starts with getting buy-in from executives and directors, building awareness among your users and evaluating your business processes.
Once your team has worked through those early stages in your paperless office initiative, it’s time to move on to designing and deploying a solution.
Designing Your Solution
The main goal for the design phase is to combine your knowledge of your business needs with the expertise of your enterprise content management (ECM) consultant or vendor, making sure you share a common vision and that the vendor’s solution is going to work for you.
The ECM expert’s role is to design a paperless solution that addresses bottlenecks and other inefficiencies in your business processes. If the solution isn’t what you envisioned in some way, there’s time to rethink and reconfigure various aspects until it’s right.
Key design considerations include how to link files together, where to share information and what index fields to build into the system. These then determine what components and features should be used in creating your paperless office.
One benefit of the design step is that it allows end users to see what the solution is going to look like and helps them visualize how the change could benefit them, which tends to generate additional excitement about moving to the paperless office.
If you’ve followed the previous three steps and engaged end users in the process, the design phase is when they start asking, “How soon can we install it?” They’ve had input in the discovery phase, and the design shows them how their pains are going to be addressed. They see the vision, and they want it.
That enthusiasm doesn’t just come from end users; department heads also get excited when they see how the paperless office is going to free up the team’s time for higher-level tasks that they just don’t have time to tackle with the old system.
Deploying Your ECM Solution
Depending on the design, deploying your ECM solution might begin with a test system or occur in several phases. This is also an important time to begin training. Have your IT admins shadow the vendor or consultant while they’re installing the system on your servers or in the cloud.
Once the system has been deployed, run through one of your processes with a sample document or files, and use this as a training exercise.As with any technology initiative, becoming a paperless office takes more than purchasing the right paperless office software and hardware. All of your earlier planning stages come to fruition when you deploy the new solution. If you’ve followed the process, this solution applies the right technology to the right business practices, helping you become a paperless office.
Ready to learn more? Download our e-book, Become A Paperless Company In Less Than 90 Days and discover the six-step process for making your paperless office a reality.
Learn more about enterprise content management.