What are the reasons I should use electronic methods over paper methods
As technology progresses, new methods emerge and old ones fade to oblivion. Methods for which, until recently, seemed to be unthinkable to live without.
Paper was invented around 100 BC in China. Before that papyrus, an ancient writing surface made from the pith of the papyrus planthad been used.
Problem with papyrus was that the ink sat on top of the surface and could get washed off easily. Paper, on the other hand, absorbed ink which thus couldn't be erased.
For that reason, bankers and businesses initially started using paper to conclude contracts. Paper ensured them much greater clarity and certainty.
The rest is history as paper expanded over the whole world and has been used as a primary writing and record keeping surface for more than 2,000 years.
With the emergence of electronic methods, this is about to change. Presented below are some of the reasons you should start using electronic methods over the paper ones.
What are the reasons for (not) using paper methods
Although paper methods are outdated, they still give electronic methods a 'good run for their money.'
One of the biggest pros to using paper is its low initial cost as everyone can purchase some paper and few file folders and they are ready to go.
Some people are just more keen on using paper to write something. It is fairly simple to put papers in a file, rather than scan and upload everything you have already written.
Additionally, there is a nostalgia factor and fear of the unknown. People are usually more familiar with paper and don't have to learn anything new to get started.
Although these reasons are fair, they just aren't convincing enough. If we submit to traditionalism, we wouldn't progress as a society.
Furthermore, there are some major disadvantages to paper methods that simply aren't characteristic for electronic methods as well.
Probably the biggest problem with using paper is that you have to physically store huge piles of files for so long, typically several years.
In the UK for instance, business records have to be kept for at least 5 years. Imagine how much paper can pile up in this period of time considering there are numerous other records that have to be kept also.
What is more, stored paper can easily get lost as there are numerous files which can get mixed, destroyed or even stolen.
Lastly, using paper can be more time-consuming as we usually write slower than type. In addition, electronic methods offers many functions that enable you to complete your paperwork faster and share your documents with ease.
All in all, paper methodsjust don't seem like the best idea anymore.
What are the reasons for using electronic methods
Electronic methods most notably, enable you to store everything in one place. In addition, if you have internet you can access everything you need from anywhere in the world.
Unlike with paper methods, you don't actually have to be present at the location. Something like digital document signing is therefore essential for modern businesses.
With electronic methods you are able to grant access only to authorized users and no unauthorized person can access information without your knowledge.
With paper methods,on the other hand, documents can get lost or stolen quite easily as a moment of distraction or forgetting a piece of paper suffices to lose it forever.
Paper document is accessible to anyone. Anyone can see and transcribe it. If you keep a document solely in its electronic version, it is usually encrypted.
Modern encryption methods make it practically impossible to break the protectivebarrier and are thus much more secure than for instance, keeping paper files in locked room or even in a safe.
Furthermore, paper documents can be subjected to tampering in a way that can be difficult to detect. Or someone could just remove some papers from a file and replace it with an altered copy.
All those alterations are hard to detect. Even electronic documents are in some formats effortlessly tampered. .Docx format is such file type.
Nevertheless, electronic methods enable you to convert one file format into another format that makes it impossible to alter a document without detection.
There are countless free online PDF converters that allow you to convert .docx format into PDF format, which is able to register every alteration.
With electronic methods, therefore, you can quickly determine who has accessed documents, whether the access was authorized, and what they did to documents
So-called audit trails are something, paper methodsaren't capable of providing.
Lastly, paper documents can be destroyed without any major difficulty in the event of a fire or some natural disaster.
If such an event occurs, electronic methods usually keep a backup version of lost information so that you will be able to restore all lost data with ease.
With paper methods conversely, once the carrier of information is destroyed it is most certainly destroyed for good and there is no way of restoring it.
Not to mention the fact that electronic methods enable you to expedite workprocess making it more efficient.
Artificial intelligence and automatic computer learning are two of the most important future features.
To conclude, although paper methods served us well for more than two millennia, the time for electronic methods has come.
From electronic document management systems to digital document signing and document formatting. All those features are achievable only by using electronic methods.
Electronic documents are the safest method for storing information as it can usually be accessed only by authorized persons due to heavy encryption protection.
Even if an unauthorized access happens, you are always able to detect who and in what way altered electronic documents.
In addition, electronic methods allow you to save a lot of space previously used only to store physical information.
As if that were not enough, advanced electronic methods are capable of replacing many human inputs and thus enabling you to focus on other business areas instead on tiresome paperwork.