Paperless Business…

The second in a series of @TomorrowsFM Water Cooler responses…. this months topic….. Paperless Business

Yesterday, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt suggested that he would like to the NHS become paperless by 2018, a move that could supposedly save billions of pounds each year.

What is your experience of paperless processes? Is the paperless business attainable and is it a good idea?

The IT revolution has been both a blessing and a curse. I’ll qualify that by suggesting that it’s been more of a blessing than a curse, however, it has led to a mixture of different systems being used to record information.

I’ve recently audited several clients who have decent records of information and data pertaining to their business and storage requirements, however this is spread amongst a mixture of mediums. So from the point of view of providing one version of the truth and a centralised repository for all data, I’m certainly in favour of going paperless.

In terms of whether it is attainable, the move towards this is a huge Change Management piece, involving both hearts and minds. We may have to wait another generation for the truly green-savvy worker to appear and be fully comfortable with reading everything on a PC screen or tablet. I personally have tried to move towards this way of working and found it difficult.

I suspect that some of the billions estimated to be saved could also be achieved from efficiency savings and being able to work quicker and more effectively. It would also be much easier for organisations to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act if they operated a paperless approach.

One thing is for sure; the move towards paperless working, cannot and will not be achieved without a robust and integrated IT strategy coupled with a resource to manage and maintain IT records, to ensure that they are always accurate, current and up-to-date. Maybe then, the FM department could regain some of the valuable space previously used for data archiving.


Facilities Management Consultant

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