Initially, this blog was going to be opened by quoting the numerous dry-humored 2020 internet memes floating about, such as “We are not Barbara Walters, but this is 2020,” but we figured that’s too expected of us. You’re welcome. 

In all truthfulness, though, it is the year 2020. Sounds like the Jetsons should be flying in any minute, right? Which means we need to have an honest talk about some of the processes we’re keeping around.  

Those of us old enough to remember pagers and fax machines can also remember the natural evolution toward cell phones, texting capabilities, email, ShareBase and other more efficient and trusted means of communication. As stacks of files became digitalized PDFs and our phones sprouted keyboards, it was obvious there was a more efficient, much safer way of going about our lives and, eventually, everyone just jumped onboard.  

If you didn’t, there was no way to keep up with the world around you. There was no one to fax because everyone emailed. Cryptic pages were replaced with clear texts. Why is that guy carrying physical stacks of paper? A new arm workout, maybe?  

Please Stop Emailing the Fax Machine 

While it’s all too easy to see the worn time stamps on processes like paging, faxing and maybe even emailing, today’s technological pace makes progressing difficult. We, as a society, are no longer taking collective, monumental leaps in our communication styles. Why? Because we don’t have to. My Samsung S6 can call and text with your iPhone 11 just fine. I can just as easily email you a file as I can drop it in a file-shared folder. For the most part, we have options in terms of our communication style because the foundation is the same: digitalized, streamlined content.  

And because we’ve become so comfortable with this pre-established foundation, we have some difficulty recognizing when the pendulum does need to swing. When a process does need to be brought forward, it seems monumental. A scary leap that we’re not used to, even though we unconsciously leap all the time. How many of you have recently upgraded your TV? Programmed remote start for your car? Installed side-mirror sensors? Congrats – you took a leap! And I’m sure, after having enjoyed this more efficient processes for just a short while, you thought, “why did I wait this long? I could never go back.”  

We hear this phrase all the time, and not just when going completely paperless. It’s usually with those smaller, foundational processes that are obviously mismatched and ineffective but, for some strange reason, just weren’t carried forward. It’s the text message trying to reach a pager and the email sent to a fax machine – the communication just isn’t there.  

I’ll Take “C” for WAY Too Much, Alex.  

Certifications and signatures (P.S., we dove into the lost potential of ink signatures in last week’s blog) are today’s worst offenders to the paperless people. Your document is born digital, goes through a digital review process and, ultimately, could be shared and saved as an electronic file. Except for one problem – it needs and be signed and sealed before it can be delivered. So you print the digitalized version, apply some wet ink and a raised certification, and then: a) scan a copy into your computer; and b) pay for postage or courier fees to deliver a physical copy.  

Aside from all the extra time and effort you’ve spent on this roundabout process, the real kicker is that you jumped through hoops only for your process and papers to end up less secure. Wet ink and raised seals are easily replicable and circumvented because they aren’t time stamped and/or encrypted, as they would be in a paperless process that also communicates with the rest of your digital practices. After all, it is 2020 – have we mentioned that yet?  

Maybe you’re not ready to go “completely paperless.” We get that. But, as you set goals for the first year of the new decade and prepare to do a little Spring cleaning, take some time to do a procedural inventory. What ‘80s and ‘90s processes are still at-play and, by nature, will just not communicate with your world in 2020?  

We Want to Hear From You! 

What hesitations do you have in “taking the leap”?  

Respond in the “comments” section below or on LinkedIn. We read and respond – promise!  

Are you a current ImageSoft customer who wants to take your solution to the next level, but aren’t confident in identifying the gaps? Want someone with an eye for inefficiencies to review your processes and potential solutions? Remember to schedule some time with our Solution Health Check Specialist. He’ll help you achieve optimal health for both your organization and paperless solution!  

Sharing is caring!