The digital revolution has impacted almost every facet of our lives, from how we socialise, exercise, bank, and work. Although business is now conducted largely through smartphones, tablets and laptops, many workplaces are still cluttered by mountains of paper.
Given the indisputable benefits of embracing digital technology, businesses are fast running out of excuses for their stubborn attachment to the cumbersome paper trail.
Once, a commitment to go paperless was a commitment to the environment. Today, it is also an undeniable sign of business maturity. For a business to embrace digital, it is generally reflective of far more effective processes and broader strategies within the workplace. In a 2015 global study of digital businesses by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte it was found that businesses that had made a key strategic decision to embrace a paperless working environment, had 13% more revenue, were 50% more profitable and had a 19% higher valuation. The figures were conclusive and pointed to a brighter future for businesses that took the leap to leave paper behind.
These mature businesses are employing digital solutions to help them transition from reams of paper to a more effective way of managing workflow. Moving to a swifter digital model is not only beneficial for potential clients, it is helping to make a more productive and happy workforce who are not wasting hours trying to keep track of sheets of paper.
An effective digital strategy that aims to streamline processes and eradicate paper is crucial to giving small businesses across Australia a vital edge on their competitors. Paperless technology is not solely for large corporations with revenues to match – it is perfect for nimble small businesses that are ready to embrace its benefits.
It would be difficult to argue the merits of the fax machine ahead of the smartphone in today’s business world. What was once a corner stone of Australian business practice is now almost obsolete. The same is happening for paper. The decision to go paperless for businesses will lead to a more effective and productive workforce, and a more streamlined, successful operation. The time to act is now for any Australian business caught in the time-consuming paper vortex.
About the author
Matt Old is the director of commercial sales at DocuSign ANZ.