The three S’s that should be top of every organisation's priorities

As we near the end of 2015, we are seeing a greater content sprawl than ever before, with more content being produced in the workplace in an ever-widening set of locations. The knock-on effect is that many businesses are having to deal with compromised security, poor sustainability practices and a decline in staff productivity.

At Nitro, we don’t think businesses should have to compromise on important issues simply because they are time-short. It’s important we shed light on the three biggest concerns for organisations going into the new year and explain how to fix the problem.

  1. Speed (productivity)

When it comes to the workplace, efficiency and productivity cannot be gambled upon, yet some organisations seem to be doing just that. A recent report from the IDC states that document challenges are robbing organisations of 21.3 per cent of their overall productivity, and when broken down to an individual productivity cost, this amounts to almost £15k per employee per year.

Attachments are a source of great annoyance and time in the workplace. Almost half (48 per cent) of workers have reportedly emailed the wrong version of a file to a boss, client or coworker while 81 per cent have found themselves working on the wrong version of a file. If we add this up, just under seven hours per week are spent collecting, consolidating and deciphering feedback on documents, which equates to nearly a full working day.

With 74 per cent of knowledge workers lacking access to a PDF editor, there is a clear correlation. Without access to the right PDF-editing tools, these employees resort to an out of date, unsystematic approach which involves printing, scanning and hand-writing signatures - all of which amounts to a huge loss of productivity.

  1. Security

Internal security risks are naturally something to be mindful of and should be at the forefront of any company’s long-term objectives. The IDC study reports that 54 per cent of workers have discovered their organisation is exposed to considerable risk on account of stored company content that is incorrectly identified. Aside from leaving a negative impression, 76 per cent say that issues with the way internal document processes are managed impact revenues and create issues with auditors.

77 per cent of organisations admit to not providing a secure document sharing/mobile access solution for their employees, with a large proportion still relying on sharing tools like DropBox, Box.net, USB drives and email attachments. Having said this, paper is also not the answer. 61 per cent of data breaches involve paper records. It’s a format that’s just too easy to destroy or fall into the wrong hands.

Companies need to invest in tools which allow people to collaborate on documents with ease while also ensuring utmost security. There are tools available that enable you to track a document through its entire lifecycle, ensuring the right people see it at the right time.

  1. Sustainability

The concept of sustainability, or “going green,” is not a new one. We now live in a world where battery-powered cars and solar-paneled homes are becoming the norm. Though it’s taking a little longer to catch on in the business world, corporate sustainability has emerged as an integral part of new business strategies and something to take increasingly seriously in the new year.

The topic of sustainability is commonly driven by two core initiatives: reducing energy use and reducing waste (and therefore costs). Both are directly impacted by how documents are managed.

For example, the fact that a third of workers are still using a printer, scanner or copier 10 or more times a day, as well as the fact that 45 per cent of paper printed each day ends up in the bin paints quite a picture of modern business’ lack of commitment to sustainability. Copiers and printers consume the most energy of any office equipment and continue to burn energy when on standby or in sleep mode.

Unless given the right tools to digitally manage documents, many employees will default to printing, so it is important that document processes are introduced and implemented from the top down.

It’s time more serious thought was put into developing working practices that are productive, secure and sustainable. Significant change can’t be made overnight, but as we prepare for 2016 objectives, these should be at the top of the list.

Organisations can start by helping their employees break bad habits by providing them with tools that enable them to do their job better without financial, environmental or security risk. This way, they will maintain a thriving company culture in the long-term.

John O’Keeffe, VP EMEA of digital document productivity company Nitro

Image source: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images