Archive for the ‘Document Management’ Category
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
In the world of business, time is money. Long gone are the days where workplaces could assign excess work to staff without any forethought. Modern business process management puts a much greater emphasis on running efficiently and discourages surplus staffing.
Most businesses now function with “lean” workforces, meaning they have just enough people to do what needs to be done, and additional tasks can only be accomplished at the expense of others. This is when the advantages of online document management come into play. By moving document management online, there is an opportunity to create greater efficiencies for staff.
Three proven ways that online document management can help make the lives of employees easier:
- Collaboration: Online document management systems free up access to documents
and allow for changes within documents to be monitored and managed. This helps avoid the unnecessary complication of passing files by email, dealing with multiple versions of a draft, and reduces the need to track down whether or not everyone has had input on a document.
- Eliminate duplicate work: Often, documents require duplicate work. Something as simple as filling out the name and address of a client in a form multiple times, adding a header to a document, or reproducing other common elements can be a tedious and redundant process. Setting up a system to eliminate repetitive work makes any document handling process simpler and more effective for everyone involved.
- Eliminating the need for other software products: Document management systems can be customized to facilitate the specific processes a company needs. This can minimize the time it would normally require for additional work to be done by staff. For example, if finalized documents need to be converted to a pdf format, the system can be designed to handle pdf conversions internally, saving employees from the extra step of using a separate software program to perform the conversion. Creating a system that can perform all of the steps internally saves time and frustration for everyone involved.
Taking the time to install a properly designed document management system can help maximize your workplace efficiency and keep saving you time going forward. Time is money- the decision to make the most of your time by implementing online document management is one that will continue putting dividends in your pocket!
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
In the past, we’ve discussed how moving your document management systems into the cloud can help free up the resources of your IT department, save time and money, and help you manage the ever increasing demands for efficient and intelligent document storage. With benefits like this, you might think that everyone would switch to using the cloud overnight! However, like any technology, cloud storage must instill confidence in the general populace before it sees widespread adoption. Recent announcements that the CIA and the U.S. Navy are making use of cloud storage and other services seem to indicate that confidence in the cloud is building at a steady rate. The important question is, has cloud storage reached its tipping point?
According to Wikipedia, the definition of the tipping point (for economic circumstances) is:
…the point at which a dominant technology or player defines the standard for an industry-resulting in “winner-take-all” economies of scale and scope.
Just last week, another announcement came that indicates cloud storage might be close to its tipping point. Amazon Web Services has released an update announcing that their Simple Storage Service (S3) is now being used to store over 2 trillion objects. Now in it’s sixth year of operation, it took five years for Amazon S3 to reach 1 trillion objects stored, and less than 1 additional year to double it’s previous milestone. With storage growth increasing at this speed, it’s hard to imagine what the totals will be a year from now!
While we might not yet have reached the tipping point for cloud services, the pace at which Amazon’s S3 Storage Cloud is growing suggests that we might not be that far away. If you haven’t yet taken the time to explore how the cloud can benefit you, It might be time to ask: how will my industry be redefined when the cloud becomes the dominant technology?
In other news, WebPal will be at the CTIA from May 21st to May 23rd. Come visit us at our booth.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
The subject of moving health records into the cloud typically invokes a concern for security. With an issue as sensitive as health records, security is obviously of high importance, but the benefits of moving health records into the cloud are also too substantial to ignore. The cloud is more secure than one might first think. Here are three fantastic reasons that might tip the scales in favour of moving health records into the cloud:
- Equal access for all healthcare providers: As medicine progresses, our records don’t get any simpler, on the contrary, they become more complicated. We deal with additional specialists and more complimentary care providers for individual conditions because it allows us to receive better comprehensive care, but in order to best help patients, all healthcare providers need access to the same records. If one particular care provider is responsible for “owning” the records, it can be too easy for delays or problems in accessing or updating patient files. If all healthcare providers have equal access to revise and review patient files, then everyone has access to the most current and accurate information – leading to better care.
- Cloud computing is cost effective: The recent trend to switch to electronic records has posed a challenge for many healthcare organizations. Their expertise is not in computers and online document management, and simply moving to electronic records, means having to build expensive infrastructures. Moving to the cloud for content management of health records means that healthcare providers get the resources they need without having to invest in infrastructure. Those savings can be spent elsewhere, such as in patient care.
- Enforced Standardization: One of the challenges currently faced by organizations moving towards electronic records systems is a lack of standardization. A unified record keeping system in the cloud shared by healthcare providers would force all contributors to standardize, avoiding potential incompatibility issues that can be created by competing records systems.
Security will always be a key component when moving electronic health records into the cloud, and you don’t have to compromise safety in order to do so. When you weigh out the advantages, it is a logical investment.
In other news, there has been a whole lot going on here at Palomino. Including, our brand new WebPal 3.0 release, the team heading to HostingCon and CTIA this Summer and a new partnership with the National Association of Career Colleges. Stay tuned right here and on Twitter as we roll out more information.
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
In 2011, we wrote an article on this blog about how Simplicity Rules in Document Management. In the intervening two years, while technology has continued to evolve at a dramatic pace, the lesson in that article still holds true.
In a world becoming increasingly mobile, online document management has had to evolve with its users, becoming less complicated and easier to understand. If the device you’re using doesn’t already have built in cloud storage capacity, there are third party apps available for downloading. For most people, document management has become so simple that you don’t even need to think about how you use the cloud (as we touched upon in our earlier article The Cloud is All Around Us).
A well-designed document management system is capable of increasing security within a company while also empowering staff to be more efficient and productive. Security is an obvious concern for any company, but if too many steps are involved you will definitely encounter resistance to the new system from your employees. No one wants to enter 5 passwords in order to perform a pdf conversion or transfer a file. When designing a document management system for your company, thinking of what works for your document management in a personal context can be an excellent way to start the
process. If you wouldn’t use it, most likely, neither will your employees.
Change is often a source of fear for people. Making the process simple will help defuse fear and resistance to change – in fact, if you make it simple enough, you might even encounter love for your new system. While it might be tempting to create a complex document management system that is capable of doing everything you might ever need, you should always remember that simplicity still rules in document management.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
A discussion paper created by the World Health Organization/International Council of Nurses in 2009 estimated the global shortfall of nurses was close to 2 million in 2005 and projected the shortage would rise to 2.8 million by 2015.
The demand for nurses outweighs the number of students in nursing, and training is not something that happens overnight. How can we bridge the gap between the deficit of nurses and the rising need for care?
The answer is in increasing efficiency. When you consider that as much as 40% of a nurse’s time can be spent on paperwork rather than on interacting with patients, the benefits for improving efficiency (by reducing paperwork) are obvious. The key is empowering nurses with the tools they need to reduce the desk work, allowing them to be the frontline of care they were trained to be. The solution to this treatment approach can be found in online document management.
It won’t be long until we see some new equipment along side of the standard stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. Many facilities are now outfitting their staff with mobile computing devices. Armed with tablets and other portable workstations, nurses are able to bring patient forms and charts right to the bedside. The online document management system can be used to pre-fill in common elements on forms (such as the patient’s name and address) and can be set to automatically receive data from Wifi-enabled monitoring devices. No more handwritten blood pressure readings! A patient’s vitals can be recorded as they are taken, and viewed remotely by any member of that individual’s care team before the nurse on shift even leaves the room.
RN’s typically enter the nursing profession with a great desire to help others. Their primary goal was never to fix forms, it was to fix people. An added benefit of using an online document management system isn’t just a more efficient nursing workforce, it can actually lead to staff becoming happier and more fulfilled in their jobs. With so many advantages, the question isn’t whether or not to switch to online document management, it’s why have you waited this long?
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
Many people have concerns about adopting new technology. For people accustomed to old-fashioned document management, the idea of moving to the cloud can be intimidating. It’s easy to believe that the cloud will be somehow less robust or capable than a physical server system that you can reach out and touch.
Mobile document management is infiltrating the world around us, often thanks to smartphones, which have become mobile offices for many busy people seeking to make the most of every moment they have. Mobile management of content is increasingly becoming accessible, efficient and effective.
“What if I move my document management to the cloud? Will this new system be able to perform under pressure?”
A recent advertisement from Verizon has introduced us to proof that mobile document management can work in extreme circumstances. The commercial discusses the Golden-i Headset Computer and how it is used to help firefighters save lives. This exciting new technology offers rescuers the ability to see better in smoke-filled rooms, sharing video with people off-site who can offer helpful advice, such as transmitting blueprints and other necessary documents to first responders.
A computer that can see through walls and find people hidden by smoke, as remarkable as it is, still does not reach it’s full potential until it has the ability to connect and share information with others. If mobile document management can handle the stress and strains of a live firefighting situation, what could you accomplish with this type of software and set-up?
There’s an old saying – if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Soon there could be a new adage- When there is heat, run to the cloud!
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
Whether working from home, a local coffee shop, or from a co-working space, the look and feel of many modern offices are changing. Telecommuting is no longer a perk handed out sparingly among a few trusted employees. Flexible working arrangements are becoming more common as businesses become “flatter”, and shift from monitored workplaces to a more results oriented environment.
Previously, managers and business owners were concerned with whether or not productivity levels would decrease if employees were permitted to work outside the physical office space. What they are starting to realize, is that telecommuting can benefit a company equally, if not more so than it benefits individual employees. Just as many “bricks and mortar” retail stores pioneered the transition to the online world, many other businesses are now also starting to say goodbye to their physical locations. Employees need to share documents and information, but in a hyper-connected online world, the need for cubicles and a chat around the water cooler is on the way out.
Cloud computing is often viewed as the gateway to cost savings in the IT department. Once you’ve decided to free yourself from physical computer servers, a whole new world of options opens up for cutting fixed costs.
An effective cloud content management system reduces the need for space for physical servers and sometimes even the number of employees that need to punch in at the office. Staff can share documents with each other from anywhere in the world, safely and securely. If flexible work hours, or moving some jobs into telecommuting positions can help you make better use of your physical real-estate, then you win with increased staff morale as well as reduced costs. Cloud computing allows you to share documents, making the need to share office space a thing of the past.
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
The cloud offers amazing potential for most businesses, but cheap and easily accessible cloud storage can be a dangerous option if not kept in check.
When you have the space to store anything, it’s very tempting for many businesses to save everything, and that’s when problems can start.
In ages prior to computer storage, some companies would keep giant records rooms full of files. Depending on the size of the company, an entire department could be devoted to keeping the filing process running smoothly. To keep records systems current and accessible, a lot of organisation is needed, whether your files are in paper form or digital. Cloud storage is like a filing cabinet or records room. The structure might be in place but the contents and their arrangement can determine how efficient your business will run.
Computerized filing can lead us to become digital hoarders. As tempting as saving everything and their duplicates may be, it can add incredible amounts of complication if your company is ever faced with a lost file, a legal or regulatory audit, or must comply with a new or revised law regarding information security and storage. While business growth and changing operational environments may require larger amounts of information to be collected and stored, the solution isn’t just MORE storage, but rather BETTER storage – specifically, cloud content management.
A well designed cloud content management system keeps files properly organized and accessible so that users can access files quickly when and where they need them. Systems can also be designed to streamline or completely automate common file elements (such as inputting a customer name on multiple forms), reducing the chance of errors and confusion in the future.
So, while the new year and the wonderful world of cloud computing hold a lot of promise, if you move to cloud storage, be sure to consider a content management system to match. You will be thanking yourself in the future.
Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
“Cloud storage makes my documents vulnerable due to lack of security.”
This is an all too common misconception! Secure document storage is a concern of many people considering moving their information into the cloud, and while having your information stored under your own roof does give the feeling of greater security, it is far from a guarantee of secure document storage. There are steps that can be taken to protect your data no matter where it is stored and two of the three ways listed below are a good idea even if you’re not using cloud storage.
- Control the Access: In many cases, loss of information can be traced back to human error such as: not logging out of a system properly, using insecure passwords, or being tricked into giving up a password via phishing or some other form of fraud. This is less of an issue if people are only given access to the information they need, rather than given unmonitored access to all information. Solution: whether you host your data on-site or in the cloud, a well-designed content management system will help you control who can access your content and is the foundation of a good security policy.
- Encryption: Data that can’t be read is data that is secure. Having your important data strongly encrypted, whether or not it is stored in the cloud, is always a good practice.
- Legal Protections: Just because your data is in the cloud doesn’t mean it needs to be on the other side of the world. Storing your data in the same geographical jurisdiction as your company means that it is subject to the same laws and protections as it would be if you had it on-site. This alleviates concerns about data privacy, risk management, and accountability.
Phoenix NAP Partners offers a product called SecureCloud, which offers businesses the ability to choose the location where their sensitive data will be hosted. Thanks to a recently announced partnership between Phoenix NAP Partners and WebPal, SecureCloud will be available as part of the WebPal customizable content management system.
While secure document storage is a valid concern of any business, it is possible to have the benefits of cloud storage without sacrificing your data security.
Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Ever since the dawn of the computer age, business owners and employees alike have dreamed of a paperless workplace. Even with the great developments in technology that followed, this vision has yet to be realized for many companies. Many business processes still require a phenomenal amount of work with physical paper.
It might be impossible to completely eliminate paper from the office, however in the last few years, the rapid growth of technology has offered us incredible opportunities to reduce the amount of paperwork we handle. By creating online business processes we can skip the offline steps that create excessive and inefficient paper records.
What does it mean to take a business process online? It means redesigning every aspect of how a particular process is handled so that it doesn’t require paper or a connection to a local server. While it can be intimidating to move online in your business processes, doing so can help free you from the shackles of paper in a few important ways.
- Creating less paperwork means less storage is needed. Electronic records take up much less space than the equivalent amount of documents in physical form, and if you make use of cloud storage, you might be able to avoid having any records stored on-site at your location.
- Less paper records to file means fewer misfiled records. Paper records only work when everything is filed correctly, and if something is misfiled, the entire process grinds to a halt. Electronic records can be searched in moments, while searching for paper files can take much longer (especially if you’re searching for lost files). By moving business processes online, you ensure that the records you need are easily and promptly retrievable.
- Online business processes are protected from offline disasters. An online business process can be managed anywhere with an online connection, rather than chaining you to a room full of records or a local server room. Power outages or physical damage to a records room or it’s contents will have little or no impact on an online business process.
While there are many advantages for moving your business processes online, freeing yourself from paper records is quite persuasive on its own. The next time you are faced with the opportunity to change, try not to focus on how challenging it might be to redesign an existing business process. Instead, think of how pleasant an office unfettered by paper records might be.