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" A paperless Environment"

By jbellusci ·
OK, I want to post a question just to get some opinions on this.

I am a Network Administrator at a very small company (around 65 employees) with a very small IT staff (3 people plus the director)

Only in the past year have things become more "project oriented" in our department and we have new projects coming up all the time. All of which are neccessary for growth of our business. These things range from upgrading our AS/400, making programming changes, building an FTP server and havingthe ability to transfer files with clients/vendors, adding a firewall the normal sounding "IT stuff"

Then all of the sudden out of nowhere one of the heads of the departments is demanding that by the end of this year (it's now August) he/she wants to have a paperless environment for his/her department.

The minute I heard this, I thought it was ludicrious. Not only do we have a small staff, but I feel that this is really an unobtainable goal and not realistic at all (this company is big on "hard copies" of things)

I feel as though we should be concentrating on other things. I feel as though a paperless office would improve efficiency to a degree, but all in all I think it's a pretty insane request.

I was just hoping for some feed back on this.

thanks in advance.

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" A paperless Environment"

by dlw6 In reply to " A paperless Environment ...

First, you'll want some collaborative software (Notes and Exchange are the two most popular). Just swapping files on the server is only a partial solution: if you want to actually improve efficiency you'll need the collaborative software. You'll also need some encryption software such as PGP to do digital signatures.

Second, you'll need training. Your IT staff will have to run the server, and the employees will have to learn how to use the software. Even if you're running Exchange already, for example, I'll bet that the average employee can't do anything past basic e-mail -- they never had to before.

Third, you'll need hardware. Can your current systems support the employees running ALL their Office programs at once? Instead of shuffling papers, they'll be shuffling programs on the taskbar. Are the monitors large with low emissions to enable employees to stare at them ALL DAY without generating employee disability claims?

Fourth, who is going to pay for this? Since it's only in one department, it can't come out of the IT budget. Furthermore, once you add up the costs, the onus is on the department head to show the savings from the paperless office.

Fifth, since it's just one department, they've still got paper when dealing outside the department. Depending on what they do, this might be a big deal.

Finally, there is the matter of some people's inherent resistance to change. Is this department head ready to discipline employees who can't/won't learnthe "new way" in a timely fashion?

This all came off sounding like I'm against the paperless office. I'm not. BUT, it's more of a journey than a destination.

Or you could take away all the printers and fax machines in that department and seewhat happens.<grin>

Good fortune,
Don

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" A paperless Environment"

by jbellusci In reply to " A paperless Environment ...

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" A paperless Environment"

by D. Brinson In reply to " A paperless Environment ...

Off hand, I would have to stay you are correct: it is an insane request. The time, effort and expense it takes to go mostly paperless (I don't care what the commercials say, I've never seen a company go completely paperless) is extensive. Please, don't get me wrong, I think it's worth it. I think it can save money, trees and make a company more efficient, but to try to do it with a small staff who I assume are swapped with other projects, for only one department in a relatively short span of time is probably not do-able. However, depending upon the politcal situation at your company, you may be forced to try. You may want to speak with the manager of the department and see if he/she would be willing to champion a company-wide project that would be better funded and hopefully have a more reasonable timeline.

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" A paperless Environment"

by jbellusci In reply to " A paperless Environment ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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" A paperless Environment"

by maxwell edison In reply to " A paperless Environment ...

Greetings,

You are approaching it the wrong way. If one of the "heads" wants it, and the other "heads" concur, you have no choice but to comply (or at least attempt to) or leave.

Don't ask "if" it can be done, but instead ask "how". Research the process. Start the process. Look for ways to implement the process.

And above all, hold the "heads'" feet to the paperless fire. Let them discover for themselves the merits of such a plan or how futile an attempt it really is.

Maxwell

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" A paperless Environment"

by jbellusci In reply to " A paperless Environment ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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" A paperless Environment"

by jbellusci In reply to " A paperless Environment ...

This question was auto closed due to inactivity

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