How Sharepoint Can Help Shape a Paperless Office
Thanks to a surging recycling initiative that is picking up speed worldwide, there is a huge drive towards achieving a paperless office. Technology is finally at a point where we rarely really need to print documents, barring a select few industries of course. Microsoft Sharepoint can make a huge difference in the drive towards eliminating unnecessary printing of documents, by creating virtual capacity within which processes can be run digitally – saving time, money and the environment.
No need to print policy and procedure manuals
Employees have direct access to all key company documents on the Sharepoint server, which means that there is no longer a need for thick, quickly outdated manuals that needs to be printed anymore. Access to these documents can be tracked, traced, and controlled when it comes to the more sensitive documents, whether that be restricting access to only senior personnel or making the documents available as read-only.
All leave applications and other communication processes can move online
Using the approval process, leave applications and other submissions can be completed electronically, with the next person in the approval line being automatically notified via email that he or she needs to approve the pending request. Similarly, information can be disseminated according to clearly set-out structures.
Documents are safer and easier to file in virtual libraries
Paper can be destroyed, damaged or get lost. Electronic documents (pending regular backups) are eternal, or as near to eternal as can be. Sharepoint has virtual libraries with potentially endless capacity, and storing documents in these vaults is a lot less work compared to physically filing every document or any work you may do. They are also more accessible and easier to find when needed.
Access to documents and data can be monitored and controlled
Systems can be adjusted so that only the relevant employees have access to certain documents. Access to editing documents can be limited to one person at a time, which means that multiple different versions of the document cannot exist without being in chronological order. Or multiple users can be allowed to work simultaneously on a document. This document management feature also has a built-in version tracking function and audits so document history can be easily obtained. Documents can even be linked to data records both in SharePoint and in other Microsoft products such as Dynamics CRM.
Cross-referencing documents and data relevant to more than one division is now made easy
When saved, documents can be linked to multiple other relevant data sources, which means it is not limited to only one category. This increases the amount of data resources available in one search, and creates a more information-rich workplace.
Microsoft Sharepoint not only increases productivity and the quality of work, but also enables more secure systems and procedures. Add to that the benefit a paperless office brings to the environment, as well as saving money and time, and it becomes clear that it is a must-have for any business.